May 14, 2018

The clear message behind the government’s ABC cuts

The government has definitively told the ABC that if they're not going to stay off the media oligopolies' turf, then they'll be starved. It's going to take some shrewd maneuvering for the broadcaster to come out the other side.

Christopher Warren

Journalist and media watcher

The unprecedented early announcement of the federal government’s intent to freeze ABC funding as part of the 2019-22 triennial funding is aimed at a single audience: the long-suffering media oligopolies, particularly News Corp, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media.

In the normal course of things, the ABC’s triennial funding arrangements are announced in the budget immediately before the three-year deal starts -- in this case, it would be in the 2019 budget after an extensive to-and-fro of semi-public lobbying. The only point in announcing these cuts a year ahead is to send a message. And this message comes reinforced with a further government supervised “efficiency” review and hot on the heels of the “competitive neutrality” review.

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5 thoughts on “The clear message behind the government’s ABC cuts

  1. gjb

    I think the government is buying good coverage for the upcoming election at the same time using the ABC’s charter against it.
    Pity that the essential work of ABC in times of disaster will not be taken into account. The real issue is public safety, ABC is a impartial advisory media allowing trained and skilled emergency managers to get their message broadcast. Commercial channels thrive on panic and chaos and therefore attempt to inspire it, they want a ‘bodycount’, potential or real to sell their shit.
    Some of their hysterical cyclone alerts are dangerous to impressionable people

  2. BeenAround

    Firstly, I declare my bias – I watch the ABC and listen to ABC radio almost exclusively because I cannot tolerate the crass commercialism and juvenile content of commercial TV and radio.
    This Turnbull government’s vindictive attack on ABC funding proves how nasty and inept this Turnbull government is. On one hand, it pursues an undeclared neo-liberal policy agenda in defiance of anything recognisable as ‘liberalism’ or ‘conservatism’ and on the other hand it panders to ‘alt-right’ lunacy of Pauline Hanson to get it’s tainted support in the Senate.
    This, along with the revelations from the Hayne Banking and Financial Services Royal Commission, has presented Labor a golden opportunity to openly oppose anti-democratic neo-liberalism and oppose the now obvious excesses of Capitalism in the Australian context. Will Labor have to courage to return to its roots and cease its meek alternative stewardship of an increasingly neo-liberal economy? I hope so. But I doubt ‘Zinger’ Shorten is the person to lead that re-birth of authentic Labor politics.

    1. Rais

      Pandering to Hanson didn’t get the WA Liberal government very far. Their decision to favour the Phonies in the last election got their numbers in the Legislative Assembly reduced to 13, just a third of Labor’s numbers. That will probably go up to 14 soon in a by-election to replace a Labor member who resigned, having got preselected and elected on a long list of untruthful claims about his qualifications and life experience. While there is no evidence that the WA Libs have learnt anything from this the Federal Libs might. Or not.

  3. Paul Guy

    The LNP are proving once again they want to control the media. The ABC to be their media arm, their Pravda.
    Bring on the next election Tosser Turnbull.

  4. klewso

    “No criticism or scrutiny will be tolerated : look what we did to that nice Mr Murdoch’s budget!”?

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