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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

ripping into the ABC « Previous | |Next »
July 7, 2008

Via Trevor Cook, the people at ABC Digital Futures have understood the changing relationships between media producers and consumers, where they're reimagining the ABC as a facilitator of participation rather than just a broadcaster. I guess QandA is an attempt to put this into practice with questions from the public via email and the website incorporated into the show.

Cook comments:

The ABC should be congratulated for examining these issues, and examining them, and examining…it’s like you’re in some krudd process… but not much in the way of blurring of consumer and producer around the ABC where the empire remains in firm control

Yeah, what he said. The empire and that notorious board with it's requirement for 'balance', apparently justified on the grounds that the ABC is public media funded by taxpayers.

According to that logic all taxpayers are entitled to see their views reflected in content, so we get Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt. I wonder where they'll get their balancing panellists when they run out of News Ltd columnists? And when, in the name of fairness, will taxpaying neo-Nazis and serial killers get a say?

The ABC has plenty of other uses beyond letting us know what's going on in the world and what we, the taxpaying public, think is going on in the world. It can also be used as a weapon of empire members - ammunition against diverse enemies.

Mercurius describes the curious case of a board member utilising the privilege of a platform in one media outlet to take a shot at another. After declaring the media to be the natural owners of all debates climate change, the author proceeds to denigrate one commentator and praise another in the organisation of which she is a board member. The empire being in firm control in the context of participatory media is the least of its problems.

Commenter Adrian at LP quotes from the ABC Board Protocol:

“1.5 Unless individual Directors receive specific delegations from the Board they must refrain from participating in the day-to-day management of the organisation, making representations or agreements on its behalf, or influencing management as individuals.

2.3 No Director should act in a way likely to bring discredit to the organisation.”

Two clauses of the ABC Board Protocol that make interesting reading in light of the above.

Perhaps Ms Albrechtsen is daring the government to dismiss her?

She won't be dismissed. The political ramifications of that are way too predictable. Perhaps instead she is pointing out that protocols are for lesser mortals - the kind of lumpen proles you find thinking they're entitled to participate in public debate beyond the News Ltd stratosphere.

| Posted by Lyn at 3:30 PM | | Comments (6)


the Insiders presumes that the journos or columnists have an expert opinion on the issues of politics because they report political news. Their opinions matter more than those of bloggers who comment on politics as opposed to reporting.

I've given up watching Question and Answer. I got bored with those on the panel, even though I was interested in the issues.

Insiders explains why political journalists are now as trusted as used car salesmen. It's a showcase for partisanship among those whose job is nominally the objective reporting of political affairs. I don't see expertise there at all.

As to their opinions mattering, to whom do their opinions matter? It's not as though any of their opinions are going to persuade anybody to think differently.

I'm still watching it, but not so much for the issues. It's kind of like sticking with a soap opera in case something exciting happens. For an experiment with participatory media it's pathetic. Debates with the worm are way more interesting in a TV entertainment kind of way.

the title "Insiders" says it all. They are inside the magic media/politics circle. We are outside looking in.

Hence Janet's logic; that the public should stand aside while the media debate climate change.

nope. She welcomed the intervention of the social conservative public in the Art Monthly event:

If the aim of Art Monthly - and Olympia's parents - was to take the fight up to a PM and a society whose social conservatism leaves them cold, they lost. Sure they made some headlines across the globe. But they failed to grasp the difference between pornography and poor taste. They failed to understand that adults are the grown-ups. They are on the outer, exposed by society as exploiters of a naked child for political ends. A job well done by civil society.

The target of the conservative attacks is liberals, their values and policies. They have to be rolled back. So any tactic can be used.