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Bruce

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 #16 
I  think a hub for ABC viewers is a good idea.  I DO think it is time we raised the profile of these discussions about the ABC so we come up with some ideas on how the ABC should behave/react/promote/opine etc.  This discussion forum on the ABC has been going on so long now and has involved quite a few of us so that it is obviously a festering sore that needs attention.
I would first like to address the anti-government bias issue and get it off my chest;  The Government of the day eventually has to make the decisions, and because they make decisions they are open to more criticisms than those in the opposition who can only put forward ideas.  Hence, the ABC will always be seen to be anti-government, whatever the 'colour' of that Government. [remember also that the public are only attracted to controversy so agreeing with decisions is a public bore]  Those of what we call the far right wing who are anti-anything paid for from the public purse use this perceived anti-liberal party bias as an argument to get rid of it, while everyone else simply wants to see improvements.  I would personally hate to see us go without an ABC which in general is unbiased politically one way or the other.  Commercial broadcasters are beholden to their sponsors who in the end pay their wages:  community run broadcasters are beholden to community benefactors and those who have a particular wheelbarrow to push:  state sponsored broadcasters are dependant on political manoeuvering and so are subject to the whims of our politicians.  Thus the general public can only have  some influence on the state sponsored media, and this can only be done by people like us who are prepared to talk to and influence our democratic representatives. 
Let's give it a go. 
I am happy to let politicians pick the ABC board members, but it should be done by a small parliamentary committee, not the Government.  A job for the senate perhaps?

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Greg

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 #17 
Let's translate our enjoyment of the ABC into serious political action without any party bias. Let us form an ABC viewers hub to put our views and let's rate our MPs according to how well they fund the ABC.
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Greg

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 #18 
I agree with Tania2. I rarely watch any channel other than ABC but am appalled by the anti-government bias which then results in government action against ABC.
 I agree with Barbara about the bias of government appointments aimed by the government of the day trying to get a pro-government bias.
I am not impressed by friends of ABC taking electoral action against government MPs, as I think that is just another bit of inappropriate bias.
Would it help if one quarter of the ABC directors were up for re-appointment each year and appointed for 4 years? That would give differing political parties who were in power from time to time the chance to appoint a director supportive of their philosophies.
Might it be good if ABC was persuaded to  (perhaps they already do) have a general or program specific feedback going directly to the CEO so that viewers can point out party political bias? A heavier  vehicle would be a Votergram to federal MPs re the bias but I think going to the ABC first is a nicer way of dealing with it. If it happened often one could advise that unless rectified it would be raised in parliament.
ABC and politicians are both to blame so maybe if we raise it with both we might return to neutrality. What do you think?
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Barbara1

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 #19 
The ABC NEEDS to be funded to serve ALL Australians as in the Charter and this can be enshrined by the Board of Directors BUT those appointed to that Board must be from ALL sides of politics so that it can be BALANCED (unlike the current Board). BUT appointments are made by the Govt so can be biased.
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Tania2

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 #20 
While I support the general idea of a national broadcaster that presents current affairs in an unbiased way, I don't think the ABC achieves this. It is biased and doesn't respond to complaints.
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Barbara1

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 #21 
Very sensible comments Greg.  Seems that journalists show their true colours in their approaches to interviewing pollies,  whether it be Leftwing or Rightwing and whether on radio, TV, internet etc. 
Very rare to see a really neutral interview anywhere.

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Greg

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Posts: 156
 #22 
Some funding in the federal budget but not really enough. I cannot understand why ABC interviewers take such an aggressive stance in relation to government ministers who come on the show. They just get crucified. Hardly a compliment or recognition of anything good. It is exactly the opposite of "How to win friends and influence people". It is a recipe for fund cutting. interviewers do not have to pander to politicians but it is possible to be polite and at least say some nice things. Even I who battle politicians all day every day get tired of seeing them torn to pieces whenever they come on the ABC show. If we elect politicians to run government we should try hard to work with and guide them. We do not want to constantly pick a fight with them. That never produces good results.
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Greg

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 #23 
I believe that the same applies in major banks. When I was a Fellow of The Institute of Directors  in my early 20s, we learend the importance of directorship responsibilities. Time we ramped up our expectations of people on company boards. One cannot direct what one has not done. There is a role for those with directorial skills and management skills on company boards but most directors do need to know the business they are directing. I suspect that political parties appoint "faithful friends" to the ABC board to ensure good media treatment. It comes unstuck when the government changes. I believe the same applies to appointment of judges. Corruption comes in all shapes and sizes. Voters can fix all this with a tiny bit of involvement.
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Angus1

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 #24 
Without going into any real detail or comment on the issue, or on the players involved, I believe that Barbara 1's comments on 25/9 summarise the case for the ABC very well.
A couple of lines . . . . and she has covered the issue beautifully.
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Greg

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 #25 
What rules need to be put in place so that we know who is being appointed to the ABC board and what they are deciding? What level of funding can we insist on for the ABC and how can we ensure it is being spent wisely? How can we as voters or viewers provide feedback to the ABC and government on the ABC's performance as a whole and in individual respects? If ABC and government know what the viewers think would that help produce good results? How can we help the ABC ensure that all politicians are treated fairly? For 30 years we have found that frank and fearless communications with politicians have mostly produced very good policies, as long as it is continuous. Constant change needs constant communications. Would that help with ABC? 
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Barbara1

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 #26 
I heard the Federal President of the MEAA state on ABC radio that only one person on the board (how many are there?) has ANY knowledge of the media industry and that is the staff representative! 
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Margaret

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Posts: 12
 #27 
We need to be ever vigilant against those who would close down media presenting vital independent information to us, the public.

Murdoch has illustrated how this can be done.

Watch for signs of political pressure to censor  opinion. We seem to have it here. Act now and keep our wits about us
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Pat1

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 #28 
Who elects the board in the first place?
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Fenella1

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 #29 
The entire board needs to go.

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Greg

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 #30 
Your idea of an action plan is a good one Bruce. I am not sure about the ABC Act and any other requirements on independence. To me that seems to be fundamental to our action plan.We really need three things in my mind 1. Proper, regular funding, 2 exclusion of politicians or bureaucrats putting their mates on the board (to get favourable treatment or just to give them a job). Do you knnow anything about the Acts Bruce, being a very experienced lawyer and 3. assurance that ABC will be retained in government hands and not privatised like the banks, insurance companies and power suppliers to eliminate honest competition from government owned entities service the people.
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