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Boycotting Q&A, boycotting democracy

Politicians who boycott media organisations with whom they disagree politically rarely come out looking good. UK Labour leader Neil Kinnock tried it with News Corp in Britain 25 years ago, and never won…
Calm before the storm – preparing for Q&A. Photo by the author

Making sense of Zaky Mallah

Under wraps with my annual winter cold much of this week, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the Q&A/Zaky Mallah affair. I’ve read the angry columns and editorials, heard politicians declare their…
ABC managing director Mark Scott said that the ABC was ‘on the side of Australia’. AAP/Alan Porritt

Government adds its own review to two others on Q&A

The government has ordered its own inquiry and Tony Abbott has declared "heads should roll" as the row over Q&A escalated after the program was rebroadcast.
In Tony Abbott’s worldview, it seems, a person’s freedom of speech depends whose side they are on. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott spins tangled web of free speech and editorial judgement

In all the politicking and government attacks on the ABC for giving a platform to former terror suspect Zaky Mallah, the free speech debate has become confused.
Zaky Mallah’s inclusion on Q&A has received high criticism from members of the government. ABC

Mallah caught the ABC bus to Q&A

Zaky Mallah, the former terrorism suspect at the centre of the Q&A storm, travelled to the studio in a free bus the program puts on to take audience members from Sydney's western suburbs
ABC

Don’t fear difficult debates on Q&A

Q&A is in trouble again, following an unscripted intervention by a certain Zaky Mallah. In response to a comment by Coalition MP Steven Ciobo, Mallah – convicted of threatening to kill ASIO officials…
Kevin Rudd was portrayed as interfering, micro-managing and bullying in his first stint as prime minister – but some painted a different picture. AAP/ABC

The Killing Season exposes multiple truths, but little honesty

Whose "truth" best explains the implosion of the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments? Multiple "truths" are presented in the ABC's The Killing Season as we continue to pick over that era's debris.
AAP/Joel Carrett

Journalists must get better at science

Media are important. Especially the media we trust. One might express the effect of a piece of journalism (J) about, say, a particular drug or food, as a factor of media authority (A), multiplied by the…
AAP/Dan Peled

Local content and the ABC

The following is an edited version of a submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee with reference to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Local Content) Bill 2014…
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.
Taking the politics out of it, what should the ABC be doing with its reduced budget? AAP/Joel Carrett

Expert panel: is there a place for the ABC in modern Australia?

In the recent ABC funding debate, many have questioned what the public broadcaster is for. What should its role be in Australia’s contemporary media landscape? Some argue that the ABC is a market-failure…
Do Yourself a Favour recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the music show Countdown. ABC

Rebooting Countdown would help the Australian music industry

Are there lessons to be learnt from the success of the seminal Australian music program Countdown, and the ways in which it bolstered the Australian music industry during the 70s and 80s? Do Yourself a…
Australia’s long-running poetry program, Poetica, is one of the victims of the cost-cutting at the ABC. Yasunari(康就) Nakamura(中村)/Flickr

A gift adrift: what the loss of RN’s Poetica means to poets

Australia’s long-running literary flagship program – Poetica on Radio National (RN) – is slated for axing in 2015. It’s one more casualty of the cuts to the ABC budget, announced last week. For the first…
The BBC, like the ABC, has faced significant pressure to change in response to repeated debates over how it should be funded. EPA/Andy Rain

It’s open season on public broadcasters as ABC joins hunt for cuts

2014 is turning into a grim year for public broadcasting. In June, Hubert Lacroix, the president of Canada’s public broadcaster CBC, announced an unprecedented series of job cuts. One-quarter of the staff…
The ABC’s focus on digital will not help it make a case for its uniqueness. Dan Peled/AAP

The ABC’s ‘me too’ strategy puts it on track for redundancy

Is the ABC trying to make itself redundant? Because that appears to be its strategy. Here’s why. The ABC is expensive. In 2013 it was allocated more than A$1 billion of taxpayer funds. The ABC claims…
Tony Abbott told Tuesday’s partyroom meeting he wanted to show the Rudd-Gillard years are not the new normal. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott says he just has to get off a couple of barnacles

With the polling bad, some of his strongest media backers excoriating him and his pants on fire over the “no cuts to the ABC” pledge, Tony Abbott has assured his Coalition partyroom that, bar a couple…

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