Save the ABC
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says ABC not on Australia’s side …
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stepped up his criticism of the ABC, accusing the national broadcaster of being unpatriotic in its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims. Jan 29, 2014
Tony Abbott continues criticism of ABC over editorial judgment,
says the Government is considering future of Australia Network. 4 Feb 2014,
Review finds no systematic bias
Former 60 Minutes executive producer Gerald Stone has conducted a review of ABC current affairs programs and found no systemic bias. March 12, 2014
Join Friends of the ABC here.
Russia’s independent media face crackdown
Kremlin’s recent press restrictions amid Ukraine crisis have led to fears over a wider censorship policy. 26 Mar 2014
Independent and opposition outlets in Russia have remained on the periphery of the country’s media landscape. In 2012, Russia passed a new law on censorship that allowed authorities to block websites found to contain “extremist content” – which since then has been widely defined. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a law banning gay “propaganda”, which can be used to severely limit reporting on LGBTQ issues.
Democracy cannot be given to people
Democracy must be actively created, it is a process whereby citizens play some part on how a community, a state of country does about its business. In order to play a role, citizens must be informed, must have access to arguments on all sides.
Charles Tilly argues that democracy can take many forms but that three processes are necessary conditions:
- the integration of “trust networks” into public policies,
- the insulation of public policies from “categorical inequalities,” and
- decreasing autonomy of major power centres.
This government is trying to undermine trust in the national broadcaster.
George Monbiot on the ABC said there is a crisis in democracy across the world, “that people who are not elected are in fact now running things, pulling the strings, and elected governments either don’t want to, or can’t say no. “What we’re effectively seeing is the displacement of democratic representative government with something approaching plutocracy, the rule by money. . .” George Monbiot: Global Democracy Produced by Kirsten Garrett Background Briefing ABC Radio National Sunday 11/11/2001.
A 2012 study into the state of democracy in Britain supports Monbiot’s contention. It warns democracy is in “long-term terminal decline” due to the rising power of corporations, lobbyists, politicians become less representative of their constituencies and as a result citizens becoming totally disinterested in political issues.
People don’t care when they feel powerless or uninformed. The ABC is a world class institution that provides a range of programs in various media that people trust. And it manages to keep that standard day after day despite running on the smell of an oily rag.