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ABC cuts: a betrayal of local broadcasting and women’s sport

By Canfan - 25 November 2014 13

The announcement earlier this week that the Federal Government would cut $254 million from the budget of our national broadcaster, along with $50m from SBS, will have a detrimental impact on local media coverage and a potentially devastating impact on women’s sport, said ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury.

Mr Rattenbury has tabled a motion for debate in the Assembly calling on all members to oppose the cuts and to condemn the Federal Coalition Government for its attack on public broadcasting.

“In response to the cuts, the ABC has announced a range of cut backs. Around 400 jobs will be lost across Australia and at least 8 staff will go from our local ABC,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“It is likely that televising a number of women’s sports will cease, including the W-League and the WNBL.

“This is a betrayal of women’s sport, which has grown vastly in the past few decades. Many of the teams now have a considerable supporter base and substantial sponsorship deals.

“With no TV coverage, teams could struggle to attract the same level of sponsorship. This could lead to a devastating impact on the sport as a whole – potentially forcing players to move to better supported competitions overseas and impacting the level of competition here.

“The ACT will lose valuable programs such as 7:30 ACT, which provides coverage of local issues, local political scrutiny, and the production of local content that is important to Canberra residents.

“In this age of commercial journalism, the need for impartial and unbiased media has never been greater.

“These cuts are an attack on public broadcasting, an attack on independent, quality journalism, and an attack on democratic principles. They also represent the clearest example in the litany of broken promises we have seen from Tony Abbott,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.

(Shane Rattenbury Media Release)

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13 Responses to
ABC cuts: a betrayal of local broadcasting and women’s sport
gazket 11:45 am 29 Nov 14

The ABC have become one sided leftie money wasters and are an attack on public broadcasting, an attack on independent, quality journalism, and an attack on democratic principles.

fixed that for you.

The ABC saving money by cutting womens sport. Where are the hoards of leftie comments accusing the ABC being misogynists.

Cutting sport, one of the cheapest forms of TV production.

How about they cut the hoards of foreign language and foreign news programs on the ABC instead of cutting local content . Who watches foreign language news programs that ? .00001% (guess) of the country.

How can foreign content paid for by Australian tax payers be more important to the ABC than keeping local content.

Also I would say the high wages paid at the ABC extends far further than the presenters.

And cutting regional jobs will affect the regional communities already decimated by government failures to invest anything in these communities.

I’m also sure there is plenty more ABC waste happening in capital cities than the country regions they wish to cut.

justin heywood 11:00 am 28 Nov 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The ABC budget cuts have nothing to do with the loss of regional and womens’ sport broadcasting. It’s about political pressure.

Correct. And anybody with a functioning brain knows it.

But if you share the ABC’s predominately Green/left worldview, just ignore the actual truth and go with the confected outrage.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:24 am 28 Nov 14

The ABC budget cuts have nothing to do with the loss of regional and womens’ sport broadcasting. It’s about political pressure.

Mysteryman 9:17 am 28 Nov 14

2604 said :

Give me a break.

While the rest of the public service has endured years of efficiency dividends (a weasel word for funding cuts) under Rudd, Gillard, Rudd again, and now Abbott, the ABC’s funding has not only not been cut, but has massively expanded. A 4.6% funding cut is absolute peanuts and still leaves the ABC ahead of just about every other part of government – let alone other media.

Mark Scott had a choice about where to make the 4.6% spending reductions. He could have saved money by not commissioning more forced, unfunny rubbish from the Chaser crew. He could have wound back the ABC’s ever-expanding digital operations (for example, the Drum). He could have avoided costly bidding wars on sporting events – for example, the $1.5 million he spent outbidding SBS for the Asian Cup soccer. Paul Barry gets paid $191,000 per year to present 15 minutes of TV per week, for about 40 weeks of the year, forchrissake!

Instead, Scott chose to direct his cuts at the ABC’s rural and regional operations and other areas such as classical music where the ABC is often the only service provider. At the same time he was announcing these cuts, Scott announced the creation of a new ABC Digital Network. The ABC chairman, Spiegelman, said that the cuts would “provide funds to invest in essential new online and mobile strategies that better connect the ABC with its audiences”. The message is clear – Scott had a choice between maintaining regional media and specialist services on the one hand, and empire building in the digital space on the other, and chose to put his eggs in the digital basket.

I can see why Rattenbury is distressed though. Once-quality shows like Q&A and Lateline, and services such as NewsRadio, now exist only as facile soapboxes for a motley crew of academics, unionists and left-wing politicians to spout the same simple, undergraduate-level dogma espoused by the Greens. (Capitalism, Tony Abbott, fossil fuels all BAD. Sustainability, tolerance and other people’s money for all of my hobby horses GOOD). The idea of losing even 5% of all that free publicity and lobbying and having to reach into his own pocket to push his agenda must be quite upsetting for old Shane.

Finally, you want “an attack on democratic principles”? How about the ACT populace being forced to spend $7-800 million on a light rail system because a politician who received only 4966 first-preference votes thinks it’s a good idea?

Thank you for taking the time to type that. It’s just a shame more people won’t read it. I’m so tired of hearing unions and lefties complain about cuts to the ABC. Cuts that are long overdue and still generous compared to what the rest of the public service has endured.

dungfungus 9:16 am 28 Nov 14

dkNigs said :

Noticed the time and temperature on Northbourne have been off this week. Cuts? How will I know the temperature in the morning now Abbott!?

” How will I know the temperature in the morning now…..?”
Look at your computer screen?
If you sense there is heat around your bottom and you smell smoke, something may be on fire.

Ben_Dover 8:16 am 28 Nov 14

If there’s no audience for women’s sports, why should money be wasted broadcasting it?

dkNigs 8:10 am 28 Nov 14

Noticed the time and temperature on Northbourne have been off this week. Cuts? How will I know the temperature in the morning now Abbott!?

chewy14 10:18 pm 27 Nov 14

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

ABC chose to cut women’s sport – the have other options, such as letting go some of their entitled fatcats – many of whom are doing standard journalism but being paid $300,000 plus a year, oh, and that’s with an extra fortnight’s leave a year beyond any other government employee other than a teacher. Ask any commercial media outlet whether there’s fat to trim at the ABC!

And a paid parental leave scheme that is better than the one Tony Abbott wants for everyone else.
Now you know why the femmes on the ABC current affairs programmes never talk about that one.

“everyone else” is free to negotiate employment entitlements with their employer just like the ones at the ABC have. What that has to do with a taxpayer funded upper class welfare scheme I have no idea.

dungfungus 8:18 pm 27 Nov 14

rommeldog56 said :

2604 said :

Give me a break.

Finally, you want “an attack on democratic principles”? How about the ACT populace being forced to spend $7-800 million on a light rail system because a politician who received only 4966 first-preference votes thinks it’s a good idea?

Sorry, 2604, but the Gunners-City Light Rail was a policy that ACT Labor took to the last ACT election. As i recall, the Greens supported that or mirrored it, during the election campaign.

ACT labor also said that they would increase Annual Rates by 10% on average. each year.

And ACT Labor still got voted back into Government with an assist from the Greens of course – who are rewarded with the tram + control of TAMS/roads/parking, etc.

So, ACT populace isn’t being “forced” to pay anything – they voted with their eyes wide open

So, its actually the idiot ACT voters who voted them & the Greens back, who should shoulder any blame. There are just too many left leaning Ning nong voters in this place, I’m afraid.

There was a time that you wouldn’t get away with saying that on The RiotACT.

dungfungus 8:17 pm 27 Nov 14

Masquara said :

ABC chose to cut women’s sport – the have other options, such as letting go some of their entitled fatcats – many of whom are doing standard journalism but being paid $300,000 plus a year, oh, and that’s with an extra fortnight’s leave a year beyond any other government employee other than a teacher. Ask any commercial media outlet whether there’s fat to trim at the ABC!

And a paid parental leave scheme that is better than the one Tony Abbott wants for everyone else.
Now you know why the femmes on the ABC current affairs programmes never talk about that one.

rommeldog56 6:05 pm 27 Nov 14

2604 said :

Give me a break.

Finally, you want “an attack on democratic principles”? How about the ACT populace being forced to spend $7-800 million on a light rail system because a politician who received only 4966 first-preference votes thinks it’s a good idea?

Sorry, 2604, but the Gunners-City Light Rail was a policy that ACT Labor took to the last ACT election. As i recall, the Greens supported that or mirrored it, during the election campaign. ACT labor also said that they would increase Annual Rates by 10% on average. each year.

And ACT Labor still got voted back into Government with an assist from the Greens of course – who are rewarded with the tram + control of TAMS/roads/parking, etc. So, ACT populace isn’t being “forced” to pay anything – they voted with their eyes wide open

So, its actually the idiot ACT voters who voted them & the Greens back, who should shoulder any blame. There are just too many left leaning Ning nong voters in this place, I’m afraid.

Masquara 9:55 pm 26 Nov 14

ABC chose to cut women’s sport – the have other options, such as letting go some of their entitled fatcats – many of whom are doing standard journalism but being paid $300,000 plus a year, oh, and that’s with an extra fortnight’s leave a year beyond any other government employee other than a teacher. Ask any commercial media outlet whether there’s fat to trim at the ABC!

2604 11:02 pm 25 Nov 14

Give me a break.

While the rest of the public service has endured years of efficiency dividends (a weasel word for funding cuts) under Rudd, Gillard, Rudd again, and now Abbott, the ABC’s funding has not only not been cut, but has massively expanded. A 4.6% funding cut is absolute peanuts and still leaves the ABC ahead of just about every other part of government – let alone other media.

Mark Scott had a choice about where to make the 4.6% spending reductions. He could have saved money by not commissioning more forced, unfunny rubbish from the Chaser crew. He could have wound back the ABC’s ever-expanding digital operations (for example, the Drum). He could have avoided costly bidding wars on sporting events – for example, the $1.5 million he spent outbidding SBS for the Asian Cup soccer. Paul Barry gets paid $191,000 per year to present 15 minutes of TV per week, for about 40 weeks of the year, forchrissake!

Instead, Scott chose to direct his cuts at the ABC’s rural and regional operations and other areas such as classical music where the ABC is often the only service provider. At the same time he was announcing these cuts, Scott announced the creation of a new ABC Digital Network. The ABC chairman, Spiegelman, said that the cuts would “provide funds to invest in essential new online and mobile strategies that better connect the ABC with its audiences”. The message is clear – Scott had a choice between maintaining regional media and specialist services on the one hand, and empire building in the digital space on the other, and chose to put his eggs in the digital basket.

I can see why Rattenbury is distressed though. Once-quality shows like Q&A and Lateline, and services such as NewsRadio, now exist only as facile soapboxes for a motley crew of academics, unionists and left-wing politicians to spout the same simple, undergraduate-level dogma espoused by the Greens. (Capitalism, Tony Abbott, fossil fuels all BAD. Sustainability, tolerance and other people’s money for all of my hobby horses GOOD). The idea of losing even 5% of all that free publicity and lobbying and having to reach into his own pocket to push his agenda must be quite upsetting for old Shane.

Finally, you want “an attack on democratic principles”? How about the ACT populace being forced to spend $7-800 million on a light rail system because a politician who received only 4966 first-preference votes thinks it’s a good idea?

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