ABC (Australia)

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Not to be confused with the American Broadcasting Company

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


The ABC originally started out as a commercial radio network called the Australian Broadcasting Company in 1923. In 1932, the company was nationalized under the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act.[3][4] It started broadcasting as a television service in 1956 and in the 2000s digital channels were added such as ABC2.


The ABC is almost completely funded by the Federal Government. It is also funded by a small percentage generated through the profit of items originally sold in the ABC Shop (which has since ceased operations as of 2019) such as DVDs, which are now sold through contracted privately owned brick-and-mortar and online retailers. The operating budget for the ABC is slightly over $1.06 Billion according to the latest Government budget data.[5]

Ratings and programs

As it is not a commercial network, the ABC does not necessarily go for high-rating programs but concentrates much of its air time on news and current affairs programs such as 7:30, Four Corners, Lateline and the ABC News as well as many local programs, such as children's programs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. 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 overrepresents leftist issues in Australia such as immigration, republicanism, multiculturalism, reconciliation and its support for the centre-left Australian Labor Party over the conservative Liberal Party of Australia.[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]