At a recent Liberal meeting, a motion was passed to look into privatizing the national broadcaster, the ABC. The ABC prides itself on providing a non-biased, independent opinion on news and current affairs and is the leading broadcaster of children’s programmes.
Here in Newcastle, we’ve already felt the brunt of ABC cuts to local programming back in 2014, including the much loved Afternoon programme hosted by Carol Duncan. It’s like “Here we go again” for us if there are more cuts coming, will we lose the remainder of our local programmes and lose the ability to do emergency broadcasting when we have a situation like a bushfire or a flood?
When we had the April 2015 storms, nearly every household radio was set to 1233 ABC Newcastle to find out the latest news on the unfolding situation. Although we had Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the radio provided the older generation with the vital information plus a friendly voice to keep them company.
The television shows we see across the four ABC stations are quality and substantial, compared to what’s on the commercial television stations. The thing I like most about the ABC television programming is the shows are majority Australian and focuses on delivering fact-based current affairs such as Four Corners and Australian Story. Play School is another quality show that has entertained children for over fifty years and is a staple of a toddler’s daily routine.
The question is if the government does privatize the ABC, will this change the quality of the programming that is delivered into Australian homes? We don’t know what the pending privatization will mean but the ABC is Australia’s National Public Broadcaster, so it must remain in public hands!