May 16, 2018

News Corp on ABC budget cuts: message received!

A raft of "exclusives" about ABC bonuses in the News Corp papers today come on the heels of budget cuts to the national broadcaster.

Christopher Warren

Journalist and media watcher

News Corp papers this morning backed up the government’s cuts to the ABC with an “exclusive” reheat of seven-month old figures on senior ABC salaries, consultancies and bonuses, first published in the ABC’s annual report way back in last October.

If the government’s 12-month early announcement of the impending ABC funding freeze was a pre-election message of support to the media oligopolies, today’s News Corp reports can be read as a clear response: “message received!”

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney and the Herald Sun in Melbourne puffed the “exclusive” story out of the group’s Canberra bureau on page 1, spilling to page 11 in the Tele and page 6 in the Herald Sun. Although the story itself was relatively straight, the headlines were clear. In the Tele for instance: “Amazing Bloody Cheek” across the top of the page, with the kicker: “Public broadcaster doles out $2.6m in bonuses while crying poor”.

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