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This is what I would like to see from "my" ABC - Radio as well as TV. I spend more time listening to Radio National than watching television, so keeping the essence of the way this station delivers its programs is essential.
I want my ABC to be Australian. As Mark Scott has said "It is (where)Australians turn to in order to find quality Australian content - drama and documentaries, music, news and information - an Australian take on the world". He did say it is a "brand", I am sick to death of everything having to be branded. I would like the content to be a reflection of the country in which I live, which is why I watch and listen to the ABC.
I think the ABC should encourage and foster emerging local talent. How bereft we would be if the Chaser boys or Chris Lillee had not been provided with an opportunity to showcase their talents.
The ABC should be "free to all Australians, regardless of economic or geographic circumstances". We contribute though our taxes to the ABC and I would like to see it funded appropriately to eliminate the necessity of subjecting the viewing or listening audience to advertising, which is one reason why those of us who watch or listen to the ABC do so. People in rural or remote areas should have access to quality programming, without having to pay for it, other than through their taxes. Please keep the Australian content, the more the better.
I don't know that the proposed 6 channels are a good idea, too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. I do think the idea of having a dedicated children's channel is a good idea though, especially if it has quality programs. Many families cannot afford pay TV, and the option of letting kids watch TV sometime after 4.00 p.m. when children's programs cease is a good idea, preferably after they have had the opportunity to play outside or participate in sport and other leisure activities. By that time their choice is the News, not a good thing for children to be watching.
I love so many programs on Radio National, and would not like to see the demise of even the ones which aren't my favourites, as sometimes I just listen to them because they are on, and they are the source of a new interest, or learning. I love LNL, the daily Media, Law, Health, Religion and Sports reports. AM, PM and if I have the luxury of not being at work "The World Today" are essential for keeping up to date with news and current affairs. I like the analysis of the news rather than 1 minute "sound bites" which pass for news on other stations.
Where else would we get quality investigative journalism like Background Briefing or Four Corners? These are essential programs for opening our eyes to important issues. It is important also to maintain programs such as Bush Telegraph and Awaye so that we are hearing a range of perspectives and not just the voices of the dominant group. It is important to maintain diversity in Television, Radio and increasingly in on line content.
The main point is that the ABC should receive an appropriate level of funding, to ensure quality programming.