Articles on ABC TV

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The ABC has, in general, been able to withstand the pressures and (less common) interventions of governments or media barons. AAP/Joel Carrett

Cost of Q&A compromise to ABC independence remains to be seen

The history of the ABC reveals battles lost and won around censorship, concessions made in times of crisis and independence compromised or overturned.
Comfortable? Sang Tan / AP/Press Association Images

Bad news week for BBC as Murdoch press sharpens claws

It’s to be yet another week of crisis, inspection and introspection for the forever under pressure BBC as the government is set to publish a green paper on Thursday, which will, the Guardian says, signal…
NBC newscaster John Cameron Swayze was television’s first “anchor man” – though not for presenting the news. The term referred to his status as permanent panelist of the quiz show Who Said That? Wikimedia Commons

The origins of the all-powerful news anchor

In the beginning, newscasters weren’t even visible to TV news viewers. With Walter Cronkite, everything changed.
Is it economics that’s the issue with ABC cuts – and if so, what kind of economics? ABC Publicity

The economics of politics is what’s firing anger over the ABC cuts

Sometimes things that are pretty simple for most people can seriously confuse an economist. The heat over the ABC cuts is a good example of the blurry line between economics – and the economics of politics…
Not everyone is happy about Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to ABC funding – but they may represent value for the taxpayer. Michael Scott

Less publicly-funded TV is good news for taxpayers … if not pigs

Malcolm Turnbull’s well-telegraphed announcement yesterday that the ABC’s funding will be cut by A$254 million over five years is no surprise. But, broken election promise aside, this is actually something…
Deborah Mailman and Elizabeth Wymarra play the Housewives of Naorromine in Black Comedy. ABC

Black Comedy: the ABC makes a bold foray into race relations

ABC’s new Indigenous sketch show Black Comedy, which premiered last night, is touted as a “show by blackfellas … for everyone”. As a blackfella, I’m not sure I agree that it is for “everyone” but that’s…
Comedies such as Please Like Me help to break the stigma around mental health. ABC Publicity

ABC’s Mental As … it’s OK to laugh about mental health

So what’s funny about mental illness? Very little. It can be hard to smile, let alone laugh, when every day feels like a wet blanket. When someone makes a joke about mental illness, it often trivialises…
There’s more than one way to decode ABC’s The Code. ABC

The Code: darkness in the blaze of the Australian sun

ABC’s six-part political thriller The Code is shaping up as the most challenging political thriller on Australian television since the BBC’s House of Cards (1990). And, like the BBC series – and its recent…
Let’s hope the series tackles the big projects in its satirical sweep. Utopia, photo: Hwa Goh, ABC

Working Dog’s Utopia is a welcome satirical treat

Crack open the champagne. The return of Australian satirical drama to ABC television is cause for celebration. Utopia, an eight-part series that launched last week, is the real deal. It offers a high-energy…
The Dreamhouse launches tonight on ABC1. Artemis Films

Living with intellectual disability in The Dreamhouse

“I’m not a mummy’s boy any more!” proclaims Justin. “You never were!”, counters his mother Margaret. Justin, aged 32, is leaving home for the first time. He has Down syndrome and he and two others who…
The ABC has a charter requirement to reflect the national identity – but it falls short when it comes to cultural diversity. Velovotee

Whose Australian stories? Cultural diversity at the ABC

Australia’s national broadcaster this week launched a rebranding campaign for its flagship television channel, ABC1, that features Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds. But if you look at the…
Hope, faith and miracle are the operative words when it comes to stem cell tourism. pol sifter/Flickr

Stem cell tourism exploits people by marketing hope

Stem cell tourism is when people travel to another country to receive treatments unavailable to them at home. It exists chiefly because most stem cell “treatments” are unproven and not readily available…
Eamon Farren as Ava and Jessica Marais as Carlotta. Photo by Simon Cardwell. ABC

Thanking Carlotta – a pioneer for sex and gender diversity

In 2005 the road film Transamerica, directed by Duncan Tucker was released. It was a controversial film for its time simply for telling a trans story on the big screen. A complex transsexual character…
Ron Barnes, Doug Cope, Eileen Webber and Bob Lugton feature in ABC TV’s 4 Corners documentary The Walking Wounded. The Walking Wounded, Four Corners

The Walking Wounded calls for a rethink of what we most value

Starting with Karl Marx, many thinkers have pointed out that the creative potential of the capitalist economic system comes at a cost – the lack of inherent ethical scruples to limit the inexorable logic…
Maybe we should toast the ABC’s strategy for the digital age. Constance Wiebrands

Crunch time: is the ABC really spread too thinly?

If you want to capture a lasting image of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at the height of its powers, it might be a good idea to take a screen-shot of the homepage of the ABC’s website. But do…
Jonah and the Fobba-liscious boys. ABC

Jonah From Tonga and the essence of cringe

Chris Lilley has long been a high maintenance love object. Last night, the first episode of Jonah From Tonga was broadcast on ABC1. Critics have had an easy time finding humour in socially “well-placed…
Free-to-air television in Australia is based on vintage thinking. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Broad reform of FTA television is needed to save the ABC

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
Mark Scott has apologised to Chris Kenny for The Chaser skit – but how comfortable should satirists get with good taste? Norsi Stall

Kenny’s dog days are over – but is satire’s bark worse than its bite?

Hear ye, hear ye across the land! Chris Kenny is definitely NOT a Fido fiddler! Remember, he is definitely NOT a Fido fiddler. So sayeth – sort of – Justice Robert Beech-Jones in his judgment this week…
Most people haven’t actually seen many vulvas up close, and don’t know about the vast anatomical range of normality. Philippa Willitts

Vagina Diaries draws attention to hidden cost of labiaplasty

ABC TV’s The Vagina Diaries investigates the worrying trend for increasing numbers of labiaplasty procedures being performed in Australia. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to remove or reduce the labia…

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