Articles on ABC

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Is the existence of the public broadcaster necessary for a healthy democracy in Australia? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Do Australians really need the ABC?

Since 1803, when its first newspaper was published, Australia’s media have been owned largely by private enterprise. Except for the Government Gazette, which was confined to publishing official government…
The ABC will be richly rewarded for its decision to monitor its coverage if the analysis is robust, empirical and multidimensional. AAP/Stefan Postles

Beyond ‘impartiality’: how the ABC can benefit from editorial audits

The decision of the ABC to conduct regular editorial audits of its coverage of controversial topics is a great idea. The ABC has a unique place in the Australian media landscape. Learning more about how…
There’s no clear need for a review of the ABC’s operations – and such calls have a long history. Sarah Ackerman

What would be the point of yet another ABC inquiry?

Prime minister Tony Abbott may be a fan of institutional inquiries and a critic of supposed ABC bias, but he has nothing to gain by responding to calls for yet another review of the ABC. First, there’s…
Known for good political antennae, ABC chief Mark Scott has come under fire for his decisions around the Snowden spying leaks. AAP/Alan Porritt

ABC could learn from BBC realpolitik over spy leak fallout

The current stoush between the ABC and the government sees two competing perspectives on the role of public service media in play. The Coalition, on the one hand, regards the ABC as duty bound to serve…
Chairman of the ABC James Spigelman delivered his National Press Club address in Canberra. AAP/Stefan Postles

Attempts to stand over ABC nothing new, says chairman

ABC chairman Jim Spigelman has strongly defended the national broadcaster against political attacks and complaints about its competing online with commercial media. Spigelman said there was nothing new…
Does the ABC have any business providing entertainment to the masses? ABC TV/AAP

Public interest or public choice? Your $1.2bn ABC

Australia is about to have a debate on the role of government in business. That debate is going to be spread over several issues – Qantas’ junk bond status, Holden’s Australian manufacturing decision…
The news media and politicians often squabble over whether an issue is the public or national interest, renewing a centuries-old debate. AAP/David Crosling

Right to know: the ‘nation’, the ‘people’ and the Fourth Estate

We might forgive politicians for putting the “national” interest before the “public” interest. But when the news media makes the same mistake, it is time to be worried. The Guardian and the ABC rightly…
The full story of the Keating years – and their aftermath – is both far more complex and contentious than the man himself would have us believe in his ABC interviews. AAP/David Crosling

Keating: interviews for the true believers

The ABC’s four-part series of interviews with Paul Keating, which has just finished airing, displayed the former prime minister and treasurer in all his complexity, both at his best and at his worst. This…
The ABC’s Four Corners program investigated the people smugglers allegedly behind this asylum seeker boat, which sank off the coast of Java in September this year. AAP

Four Corners: human smuggling and the spectacle of suffering

Last night, the ABC’s Four Corners program fed us with yet another 50 minutes worth of emotional, heartbreaking and harrowing testimonies of traumatised survivors of yet another human smuggling tragedy…
Shows such as Kitchen Cabinet can elicit unexpected – and genuinely newsy – responses from guests. ABC

We still want to consume news – but tastes are changing

Earlier this year, the ABC’s managing director Mark Scott announced Australia’s public broadcaster would begin a search “to find creative ways to deliver news to children and teenagers”. In the announcement…
Wherever the leaders went on the campaign trail the media followed. How can we assess the media’s performance? AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: the role of the media

In one sense, the Australian media did a good job under difficult circumstances in this election. The difficult part was how predictable the campaign was and the increasing inevitability of the outcome…
While reporters’ political biases are always hotly debated, other biases remain - including too few voices from diverse backgrounds. AAP/Alan Porritt

Whose views skew the news? Media chiefs ready to vote out Labor, while reporters lean left

Most Australian journalists describe themselves as left-wing, yet amongst those who wield the real power in the country’s newsrooms, the Coalition holds a winning lead. But while the media’s political…
The ABC will be left with significant holes in their schedule after the BBC signed a deal to share their content with Foxtel last week - will they fill it with more local content? EPA/Andy Rain

The Foxtel-BBC deal: implications for Australian television and content

The ABC’s 50-year TV partnership with the BBC is at breaking point after a landmark deal between the British broadcaster and pay TV provider Foxtel was announced last week. Under the new deal Foxtel will…
BBC Director-General George Entwistle has been forced to resign, plunging the public broadcaster into crisis. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

BBC scandal: lessons for the ABC to learn

As the BBC considers splitting the role of its chief executive and editor-in-chief, should the ABC give serious thought to adopting a similar model? The ongoing turmoil at the BBC over an ever widening…
Any restriction on buying painkillers needs to be consistent with national privacy protection. Nils Geylen

For your own good? Privacy law and enthusiastic pharmacists

Earlier this week the ABC reported that a handful of pharmacists in Tasmania had engaged in community policing. They’re tracking the purchase of codeine-based painkillers, sharing information with their…
Rupert Murdoch says News Corp has improved governance since the News of the World scandal that led to the arrest of former News International head Rebecca Brooks. AAP

Murdoch, Scott defend governance in media

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has survived a push by shareholders to have him removed as chairman, arguing the…
The ABC has been criticised for offering rolling 24-hour news, but chairman James Spigelman says the ABC must deliver a comprehensive service. ABC

Commercial media can’t satisfy Australian audiences: new ABC chair

The ABC’s new chairman, James Spigelman, has rejected claims the broadcaster should steer clear of the audiences already…
The ABC has nothing to fear from an Abbott government, Malcolm Turnbull says. AAP

Turnbull says trust in ABC ‘crucial’ as newspapers fall

Shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull says the ABC will take on a crucial role as a source of well-funded, independent…

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