Monday, August 11, 2003

Robert Manne argues for adverstising for ABC: "A few years ago SBS introduced between-program advertising. This has interfered neither with the content of SBS news and current affairs nor with the enjoyment of its viewers, who do not endure the crass interruption of programs taken for granted by commercial TV. With a revised charter, requiring the ABC to maintain its independence from both government and business, and with a truly independent board, I do not see why between-program advertising need compromise in any way any activity of the ABC."

Herman and Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent have shown shown clearly how paid advertising ["the second filter"] corrupts and ruins news reporting. Public broadcasters should be publicly funded and not receive any paid advertising. It is true that SBS news is better than the ABC, far better, but the introduction of paid advertising is a grave error. In fact it surprises me that the Howard government has not pushed for paid advertising at the ABC from the beginning: that is the best and most effective way to permanently compromise public broadcasting and align the corporation with elite corporate/political interests. The hamfisted attempts by Minister Alston to attack the ABC suggests he knows what his job is but does not know how to go about it.

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