Let's face it - the ABC is a really good television station. I have to admit it's probably my favourite station. I usually only listen to ABC radio in the car as well.
The ABC seems to fill the massive holes that the other major commercial networks leave in terms of content. For example, it's left to the ABC to televise the paralympics!
I am disappointed that the station isn't more popular. It's not like there is much commercial TV equivalent to the first-rate programs like Catalyst
, Four Corners
, Foreign Correspondent
, The Glass House
, The Chaser Guys
, Enough Rope
, The 7.30 Report
, Media Watch
, and The New Inventors
,. Oh, and I should give a special mention to nathan's favourite, The Saddle Club
The ABC's charter
essentially states that it is to provide programs that will inform, entertain, and educate. I believe that a lot of programs are of very good quality, and I think they're doing a great job of meeting those goals. There has been some critcism that the amount of Australian drama on the ABC has dropped 80% in the past 5 years, however the ABC claims this is because of a lack of funding from the Federal Government, and you know what? I believe them!
I've known for a long time now that John Howard doesn't like the ABC in it's present form - he doesn't have direct control over it! But the time will soon be upon us when he practically will - and it may be lost from public hands forever! I bring your attention to this article
. Note: The article may seem biased, and you may not be in agreement with the source, but I already know most of the content to be true through following this issue in the media. Besides, the points in this article are just what I wanted to write tonight anyway, they're just written better! Also, the article briefly mentions the change to cross-media ownership laws, which I am against as well. It is more dangerous territory!
Now, when the subject of allowing advertising on the ABC comes up, I always cringe! Not only would it severley impact on the ABC's independent voice, but it would be the beginning of the end for Government funding. Having commerical income for the ABC would destroy it's essence; obviously it would cease, or gradually cease to be a publicly funded organisation. Instead of something being for the public's interest, it may be done for the commercial sponsor's interest. When an organisation becomes dependent on money like that, it can become a puppet on strings very easily. Watch out for the next episode of The New Inventors - I hear they're demonstrating the new X Brand Mobile Phone.
There would also be the possiblity of scrapping certain programming altogether, because it wasn't bringing in enough ratings for a particular commercial sponsor. Instead, they would replace it with a more mainstream "popular" program.
At the moment, commercial radio stations and television stations usually steer clear of criticising their major sponsors, for obvious reasons. Would you really want the ABC to be under that kind of pressure? And if commercial interests ever had a say in spending - there goes some of the services to rural Australia. In a lot of situations, ABC radio is the only voice to the bush.
The ABC is severley lacking in funding from the Federal Government - in a way it is trying to force them into accepting commercial funding. It is ridiculous for the ABC to be in this situation when the Government is sitting on a $14 billion budget surplus.
We hates dem, we hates dem!