How would you spend the ABC’s budget?
ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman told Lateline last night he would expect an Abbott government to deliver a range of cuts to the ABC budget.
“Obviously the alternative government of Australia is committed to significant public spending cuts. The ABC cannot be insulated from that process,” he said.
This is not a new idea for a coalition government, who generally take the axe to all manner of public institutions upon gaining power. So this piece is not to criticise the ABC or the coalition, but simply to encourage you to contribute to which bits of the ABC are worth fighting for and which are dispensable.
The ABC has funded a range of pretty exciting new projects over the last couple of years, it’s got energy and great ideas. With this in mind, here’s how I’d divvy up programming changes.
Start by cutting ABC 24. We only need one round the clock news broadcaster in this country and Sky News has got it covered.
How many people really need to watch rolling coverage on the television throughout the night anyway? Surely not enough to justify the great cost of making it available.
Why not encourage viewers to log onto the website, or tune into the radio. Or roll real time news coverage from the BBC or CNN in these hard to cover timeslots.
Then pour that money back into radio, it’s an ABC stalwart and the finest product they continue to offer.
Next, pump up iView: this product has changed people’s lives. Thanks to all the extra great content on ABC 1 and ABC 2 these days it’s nearly impossible to watch everything that takes your fancy. Access to iView means you can watch what you want, when you want and the ABC need to make more of it.
Last but not least, make more of the great children’s programming and Landline.
ABC kids television offers a refreshing and necessary alternative to the not always age appropriate children’s programming on the commercial stations. As parents tell me you can leave your kids unsupervised in front of the ABC and not worry about them.
While Landline fills a massive and important gap in keeping up with rural issues. In fact, there should be at least one of those programs per day, with a corresponding radio broadcast.
What would you change?
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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