The ABC, its easy access to money, its constant expansion and its excuses for failure
I've published below the briefing notes prepared for the ABC's Managing Director Mark Scott to prepare him for questions that might arise from the ABC's performance last year. The document I'll print here was released under FOI laws and it was prepared for Mark Scott's appearance at last October's Senate Estimates hearing into the ABC.
The ABC's television ratings are down. The numbers that watch Insiders are dwindling. The ABC Appreciation Survey found that the quality of ABC radio and television offerings has dropped.
Average audiences for 7.30 and Four Corners - down 3%
Foreign Correspondent - down 6%
7pm news - down 8%
Insiders - plummetted 14%
Meanwhile spending on consultants double from $1.9 to $3.8 million
Revenue fell from the ABC's commercial arm, the ABC shops and recordings so relentlessly promoted on TV and Radio - with profit down an alarming $2.4M to $5.5M
The ABC failed to meet its aboriginal reconciation targets and it failed in the EIEIO related sphere of activity (EIEIO relates to OH&S and LGBTI and diversity/equity/equality/discrimination and related industries)
But the government is actively supporting the expansion of the ABC as it finds new markets and products to distort.
The ABC just got $10 million for a new fact checking operation. It received money for its online opinion filtering website The Drum.
The ABC received an extra $165M in the last triennial funding allocation in the 09/10 budget. When things get tough noone puts the cap out like the ABC.
Christian Kerr of The Australian has a great synopsis of the briefing notes here.
The ABC distorts the free market for ideas. It purports to "compete' in the commercial market, but its access to capital and operational funding is not limited in the way that its commercial competitors' access is. We need to ask why we need to tax Andrew Bolt (The Bolt Report or his blog) or John Singleton (radio 2GB) so that they can fund a government-back direct competitor.