For the past nine years, the ABC has been besieged. Its funding has been slashed. It has been assailed by complaints from ministers and prime ministers. Its board has been stacked with political appointees. It has been relentlessly attacked by commercial media outlets. And it has endured crisis after crisis.
Who Needs the ABC? charts how, in its 90th year, the best-trusted news organisation in Australia arrived at its current plight: doing the most it ever has, with less than it needs, under a barrage of constant criticism.
This book examines the profound changes that have swept through the Australian media, technology, and political landscapes in the past decade, and explores the tense relationship between the ABC and governments of both stripes over the last 40 years. It dispels any complacency about the ABC’s future by charting the very real threat now posed by the Liberal– National Party coalition, and the damage that it has done to the ABC while in office.
Who Needs the ABC? identifies the vital role that the ABC plays in Australia today: in its award-winning journalism, in its vast array of cultural programming on television, on radio, and online, and in the comprehensive service it provides to people across the country.
At a time when the truth has to vie with obfuscation and misinformation, this book offers a rejoinder to the ABC’s critics, points to solutions that will see the ABC thrive, and answers the question posed here: Who Needs the ABC? We all do.
‘Amid a noisy, chaotic media landscape comes this clear-eyed analysis showing why a strong ABC is a priceless national asset, how it is under threat, and the need to defend and strengthen it.’
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‘A compelling explanation of the combination of ideology and commercial self-interest which threatens the ABC and why they must not succeed.’
‘The ABC is both a national success story and national asset, yet more than ever in the firing line of the ideologically and commercially motivated. Matthew Ricketson and Patrick Mullins in Who Needs the ABC? make an eloquent and spirited argument for why we need public broadcasting more than ever, why the ABC is ideally placed to play that role, and how it should be supported by government and citizenry so that it can do its job even better. An urgent and important book.’
‘This is the book our nation needs now. A critical, evidence-based account of who is attacking our public broadcaster, why they want to destroy it, and what this loss would mean for Australian culture and democracy. Read it and fight!’
‘Who Needs the ABC? charts how the best-trusted news organisation in Australia has become the subject of constant criticism and attack by other media outlets … This book is a comprehensive guide to the ABC and all it does.’
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