Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ABC News fails to deliver

COMMENT: The Australian's Janet Albrechtsen, a former ABC board member, pans ABC News' failures in covering recent events in Canberra in an opinion piece in today's Australian newspaper.
ABC News Watch have demonstrated ABC are doing less with more with their news division (just look at the graph on the right for the declining coverage). How they propose operating a 24 Hour news service that only runs from 9 to 5 is beyond us.

From The Australian...

Sky shames the ABC

AN agile commercial operator showed how it should be done.
The question is whether the ABC will look at its failings or focus only on its successes.
As a former director, I found it endlessly frustrating to hit the wall of ABC suspicion where legitimate, thoughtful criticism is invariably waved away as the ravings of ideological opponents. Yet, the ABC will grow stronger by responding to criticism that is aimed at making it better. It will cement its legitimacy if it can spot its own flaws rather than wait for others to point them out.
After Wednesday, is the ABC asking itself whether it has the energy and team spirit that kicks in so readily at its poor cable cousin at Sky? Does it understand the urgency of 24-hour news, where mistakes will be made and quickly corrected? Or will the monolithic ABC, even with a 24-hour news channel, fall victim to its culture of bureaucratic paralysis and infighting between fiefdoms?
Last weekend on SBS, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was asked what he did on Wednesday night. He recalled "getting all these phone calls from journalists asking 'What's happening? What are you doing?'." He replied: "Well, I'm sitting in my office all alone watching Sky News like you are." What a disgrace that the federal minister who funds the ABC could not get the story from our national broadcaster. for the complete article click HERE

Note also comments in The Australian's editorial...
"The ABC's flat-footedness on the biggest news night of the year provides little confidence that it is ready to use its forthcoming 24-hour news channel to break news. What the public does not need are more programs in which ABC journalists interview other ABC journalists or recycle stories from good programs such as Foreign Correspondent. Even Aunty's flagship current affairs radio program AM began yesterday by regurgitating the comments of politicians Bill Shorten, Barnaby Joyce and actress Magda Szubanski from Q and A 12 hours earlier. Nor do Australians need any more spurious analysis such as that of Barrie Cassidy and Fran Kelly on Insiders in February, claiming erroneously that Dennis Shanahan's interpretation of Newspoll results was unfair to Mr Rudd. It begs the question why the ABC should be allowed to take on another taxpayer-funded channel when the corporation plainly cannot manage the ones it already has."

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