ABC (Australia)

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Not to be confused with the American Broadcasting Company

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, shortened to ABC is a public broadcaster in Australia. The ABC is operated on a budget of over $1 Billion (Australian) [1] and has been criticized for it left leaning bias by conservative figureheads in Australia. [2]

Contents

History

The ABC originally started out as a radio station called the Australian Broadcasting Company in 1923 and in 1932 the company was nationalized under the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act. [3] [4] It started broadcasting as a television service in1956 and in the 2000’s digital channels were added such as ABC2.

Funding

The ABC is completely funded by the Federal Government except for a small percentage which is generated through the profit of items sold in the ABC shop such as DVD’s. The operating budget for the ABC is slightly over $1 Billion according to the latest Government budget data. [5]

Ratings and programs

As it is not a commercial network it does not necessarily go for high rating programs but concentrates much of its air time on news and current affair programs such as “7.30”, “Four Corners”, “Lateline” and the “ABC News” as well as many local programs such as children’s programs from 6am to 10am every weekday. [6]. It consistently polls around 15 – 20% of the overall population share every day. [7] [8]

Politics and allegations of bias

The ABC been accused by Australian conservatives over allegations of left wing bias in its journalism especially when it over represents leftist issues in Australia such as immigration, republicanism, multiculturalism, reconciliation and its support for the centre-left Australian Labor Party. [9] [10] Conservative commentators in Australia such as Andrew Bolt as well as Coalition members have stated that they believe the ABC to contain bias from the left. [11] John Howard who was the Liberal Party Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 – 2007 had cut the funding to the ABC by close to 10% for what he believed to be left wing bias. In a 2004 poll of journalists the ABC came in second to the question of “the most politically biased media organisation in Australia”. [12]

References

  1. http://www.budget.gov.au/2009-10/content/bp4/html/bp4_agency_resourcing_04_bcde.htm
  2. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_your_abc_of_bias/
  3. http://www.acmi.net.au/AIC/RADIO_HIST_AUS.html
  4. http://www.radio.adelaide.edu.au/intro/history_OZ-radio.pdf#search=%22%22Australian%20Broadcasting%20Company%22%22
  5. http://www.budget.gov.au/2009-10/content/bp4/html/bp4_agency_resourcing_04_bcde.htm
  6. http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs
  7. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2009/12/week-52-3.html
  8. http://www.throng.com.au/ratings/free-air-tv-ratings-monday-december-7-2009
  9. http://candobetter.org/node/17
  10. http://www.themonthly.com.au/monthly-essays-robert-manne-new-teeth-aunty-reinvigorating-national-broadcaster-749
  11. http://newmatilda.com/2009/08/24/small-l-liberal-not-left
  12. http://www.roymorgan.com/resources/pdf/papers/20040903.pdf
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