NINETY YEARS AGO, in July 1932 a radio announcer, Conrad Charlton, said these words into a microphone: “This is the Australian Broadcasting Commission”.
Public broadcasting was born in Australia.
In 1956, the year of the Melbourne Olympics, his son, Michael Charlton, did the same for the launch of ABC television in Australia.
So for more than sixty years the ABC was an analogue, free-to-air, strictly advertising free, national media service, first radio then television as well.
In the city centres, where most of us live, and across rural and regional Australia, it became a national fixture in many, probably most, Australian lives.
Then came the digital revolution which fundamentally changed everything. And along came the internet. Global media, apart from public broadcasting, were intrinsically based on advertising as the business funding model alongside subscriptions and direct payments.
Faster than most had imagined that media world unravelled.
Fast forward to today. We are in the middle of a federal election campaign. The national broadcaster, for a few decades, has been much more intensely contended politically and ideologically.
The very existence of the ABC and public broadcasting remains an open question and a highly politicised one.
Into that cultural and political space comes a new book, one that advocates in detail for the continuation of a strong vibrant national broadcaster and public broadcasting – WHO NEEDS THE ABC? why taking it for granted is no longer an option.
Its co-authors are Dr Patrick Mullins, a Canberra based writer and academic and Mathew Ricketson, Professor of Communications at Deakin University in Melbourne. A former journalist, Matthew also sat with Ray Finklestein QC in the Independent Media Inquiry that reported to the federal government in 2012.
They discuss the past, present and future of the ABC and public broadcasting with Peter Clarke.
SCRIBE WEBSITE: https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/who-needs-the-abc-9781922310927
MATTHEW RICKETSON WEBSITE: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/matthew-ricketson
PATRICK MULLINS WEBSITE: https://patrickmullinsauthor.com
ABC ALUMNI WEBSITE: https://abcalumni.net
Article by Peter Clarke remembering Cyclone Tracy 1974 and the ABC in Darwin in the aftermath. https://abcalumni.net/2022/03/16/through-flood-and-tempest/
REPORT BY QUENTIN DEMPSTER AND FERGUS PITT INSIDIOUS AND INTENTIONAL: POLITICAL INTERFERENCE AND HARASSMENT OF THE ABC” https://cdn.getup.org.au/2871-_Insidious_and_intentional-_political_interference_and_harassment_of_the_ABC.pdf
OPINION/ANALYSIS: “No-one is talking about ABC funding in this election campaign. Here’s why they should be” https://theconversation.com/no-one-is-talking-about-abc-funding-in-this-election-campaign-heres-why-they-should-be-181948
OPINION/ANALYSIS: “The ABC’s budget hasn’t been restored – it’s still facing $1.2 billion in accumulated losses over a decade” https://theconversation.com/the-abcs-budget-hasnt-been-restored-its-still-facing-1-2-billion-in-accumulated-losses-over-a-decade-176532