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Federal Government crippling a local industry…

By johnyboy - 8 December 2011 25

The Federal government over the last 5 years has gradually increased its spending on internal video production units. The small production industry, (yes, there is an industry here in Canberra – but largest on a per-capita basis) is starting to feel the pain from the decrease in video production outsourcing by government departments.

Some departments are spending big money on the establishment of these units, by way of expensive broadcast equipment, then the staffing budget to operate the equipment. The capital cost to set up these units is usually above $1 million.

The local industry is feeling the pain and is literally competing against the government to pitch on work.

DEEWR established a large production unit a few years back and is known to be pitching against private industry for other department production projects. This is hurting local production companies, because they just can’t compete on price.

The production industry in Canberra employs some 100-200 people at a conservative guess. Production company owners aren’t supportive of the magnitude of some of these commercial-scale government production units.

What’s the problem, you say?

Well, the problem is three fold:

Cost vs outsource

The cost to open and run a unit would far out weigh the cost to outsource. The demand for projects to a department could at one stage justify the establishment of a unit, but as we have seen with DEEWR, the demand decreases and then the department is stuck with expensive broadcast equipment (one broadcast camera kit costs $85,000-$150,000). The unit then tries to justify its existence by pitching for work, alongside the commercial companies, for government jobs.

Quality of work

As with private enterprise, it’s a competitive market: meaning quality must always be maintained. Secondly, because profits are not required and high-performing environments are not maintained, the quality of work by the units is low.

Government competing against private industry

Government should support industry, and it does. But, in this case, it is an oversight by the executive level and the sums need to be done to see that creating a production unit just does not make sense. Outsourcing on demand makes much more sense financially and quality-wise. Secondly, government should not work against locally owned, small family businesses.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Federal Government crippling a local industry…
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EvanJames 12:16 pm 03 Jan 12

Best not to. Next thing you know, there’ll be angry notices going out about excessive downloads straining the departmental servers.

davo101 12:07 pm 03 Jan 12

What happens when you anger the gods. Got back to work today to find this email:

Colleagues

I would like to wish you and all those you care about a great Christmas and an enjoyable new year.

My end of year message to you is now available on video on the department’s intranet http://xxx.xxx.gov.au/about/dg-messages/111215v.

Thank you for the contribution that you have made this year.

Needless to say, I’m not going to watch it.

dpm 10:56 am 09 Dec 11

Mysteryman said :

You do realise that I was talking about updates? Three to five minutes, maybe 6 minutes, tops. Never did I say ANYTHING about 30 mins worth of ministerial droning. You should also know that most people aren’t interesting in being “able to search for it, mark it up, comment on it, incorporate it into my own work, and have it linked to other related material”. They are updates for goodness sake. We aren’t talking about broadcasting hours worth of information. The purpose of an update is to get a message across quickly. It works. That’s why they do it.

Maybe they just like the celebrity status of ‘being on TV’ (and finding another way to utilise the inhouse production resources they set up – that were sitting around doing little most of the time)? 😉
Do they have a makeup department too? Hahaha!

Mysteryman 10:37 am 09 Dec 11

davo101 said :

Mysteryman said :

This isn’t the 60s.

Exactly. So don’t feed me information in a linear and passive fashion as if I’m a school pupil trapped in the 1950’s. I want to consume my information in a non-linear active way. I want to be able to search for it, mark it up, comment on it, incorporate it into my own work, and have it linked to other related material. Video impedes this and greatly reduces the bandwidth of the channel.

Seriously: would you rather sit and listen to the minister drone on for 30 minutes, or spend a couple of minutes scanning his weekly email looking for anything of interest?

Mysteryman said :

There’s a reason for the increase in video content and it’s because it works.

In the words of Wikipedia (a community edited information source–how very modern): {{Citation needed}}

You do realise that I was talking about updates? Three to five minutes, maybe 6 minutes, tops. Never did I say ANYTHING about 30 mins worth of ministerial droning. You should also know that most people aren’t interesting in being “able to search for it, mark it up, comment on it, incorporate it into my own work, and have it linked to other related material”. They are updates for goodness sake. We aren’t talking about broadcasting hours worth of information. The purpose of an update is to get a message across quickly. It works. That’s why they do it.

davo101 9:46 am 09 Dec 11

Mysteryman said :

This isn’t the 60s.

Exactly. So don’t feed me information in a linear and passive fashion as if I’m a school pupil trapped in the 1950’s. I want to consume my information in a non-linear active way. I want to be able to search for it, mark it up, comment on it, incorporate it into my own work, and have it linked to other related material. Video impedes this and greatly reduces the bandwidth of the channel.

Seriously: would you rather sit and listen to the minister drone on for 30 minutes, or spend a couple of minutes scanning his weekly email looking for anything of interest?

Mysteryman said :

There’s a reason for the increase in video content and it’s because it works.

In the words of Wikipedia (a community edited information source–how very modern): {{Citation needed}}

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