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The Forum > Article Comments > Itís time to privatise the ABC > Comments

Itís time to privatise the ABC : Comments

By Felicity McMahon, published 8/8/2007

We have a national broadcaster that is the mouthpiece of the left for which all taxpayers are forced to foot the bill.

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I find that the ABC's focus on aboriginal affairs way, way over the top. Nevertheless, the drama features that the ABC has produced must make this institution one of the greatest assets we have and it must rank amongst the world's best. I don't want to see anybody muck around with it.
Posted by healthwatcher, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 8:47:46 AM
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Whether or not the ABC has a left-wing bias (the left says it hasnít; the right says it has) is irrelevant to whether or not the broadcaster should be removed from the public teat. I think that the ABC is definitely biased towards the left but, as I am capable of making up my own mind on what I see or hear, I donít really care.

As an older person, I have to say that my biggest beef with the ABC is its emulation of commercial channels Ė chasing the lowest common denominator audience with silly shows for most of the week, its advertising of itself and these silly programmes, taking up just as much time as the advertisements on the commercial networks, and its insistence on having that silly bloody bowtie logo stuck on the screen.

I hate channel logos! I now watch only about 2 hours TV per week, on all channels because I find these things distracting and offensive. If the commercials want to do it, operating on market forces system where viewers can dump them if they donít like what they sell, fair enough. But, taxpayers should not be paying an organisation with no real competition to do the same thing!

The way the ABC is heading, it will wither on the vine. It now portrays itself as a ďbusinessĒ, rather than a service, and it is not doing a very good job of it. I will tolerate channel-advertising logos only for the very best programmes, and the ABC is no longer presenting anything much better than the commercials.

The ABC has already chosen to ape the commercials in the Ďmarket forcesí field, and is failing.

Public money should be withdrawn.
Posted by Leigh, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 9:24:39 AM
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What an odd argument. It seems that Liberal sympathizers on the board can be trusted to act impartially. But Labour sympathizers cannot.

Bias is like the wind. When it's blowing your way you often don't notice it.
Posted by Boswell, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 9:25:29 AM
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Great another privileged right winger who's removed the silver spoon from her mouth just long enough to complain about the evil left wing ABC. The author hasn't even bother to come up with any new arguments. Let me assure you that when Labour get in a few years down the track Labours supporters will be complaining about the ABC not being nice to them just as they did during the Hawk-Keating era.
Posted by Kenny, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 9:30:46 AM
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I to am so sick of the inherant bias of Mother and Son. When the ABC did round the clock coverage of the recent floods in Newcastle and the Central Coast it always seemed that the flood waters were coming from the left.

It's so sad to see someone as young as you still fighting the cold war.
Posted by Burkey, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 9:41:23 AM
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By this argument it is also time for the Sydney Morning Herald to be sold, as its blatant left-wing bias (Henderson&Devine excepted) shows that there is no need for a public newspaper.

But soft! Fairfax is a privately-owned corporation! Australia has no government-owned general-circulation newspapers.

*If* you had made a genuine case that the ABC is severely biased to the left, you would still not have demonstrated that public-service broadcasting should cease.

But you have not even successfully argued that the ABC is severely biased. You have shown instead that some of its personalities and a few of its programs have expressed opposition to the policies of the incumbent Government -- hardly a secret nor a problem, given the range of ABC services and the controversiality of the policies in question. Former officers and leaders of the governing party also oppose them.

You will find that the same is the case in most privately-owned media institutions, though I must concede that the editorial reins are held more tightly in the most conservative parts of the press and that people from corporate media are less politically active.

I surmise that the kind of person who would aim at and succeed in a career in public-service broadcasting is more likely to consider other kinds of public service, such as serving in Parliament, than people in the corporate media, some of whom appropriately seem to have a revolving-door relationship with other parts of corporate Australia.

You are incorrect to claim that the ABC as a whole is failing in its duty as a public broadcaster and internet media service, with its comprehensive coverage of regional communities, its wide and accurate news reporting, and its excellent services for Australian children.

Leigh is correct that the ABC would be mistaken to wholeheartedly embrace the style and aims of corporate media. I don't think it has quite done that yet.

Only if it were completely failing in its mission to serve the Australian public would the closure or sale of the ABC be warranted. It is in fact serving the public exactly as intended.
Posted by xoddam, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 9:48:30 AM
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