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I write in support of the development of the ABC as a taxpayer funded national service, in accordance with its present aims and objectives, and to appeal for the removal of advertising from SBS.
- I was once an avid listener to 3MBS FM. After they introduced 'sponsorship' and their announcers started urging me to buy a particular fountain pen, stay at a particular boutique hotel, or eat at particular restaurant, I stopped listening. After a break of several years I decided to give them another chance. Despite paying $85 per year (23 cents per day) I still found I was unable to put up with the adverts , so have decided to stop contributing.
- After ABC TV news was dumbed down to near-commercial standards early in the Howard years, I depended on SBS TV News as the only remaining TV news service for grown-ups. Now that SBS has been invaded by commercial interests keen to take advantage of its taxpayer-funded base, I depend on ABC radio and overseas sources.
- If advertising is forced upon the ABC, I shall turn to the internet or buy a satellite disk in order to receive programmes from overseas.
- Sectional interests argue that so-called 'free-to-air' stations provide 'freedom and choice' for viewers and listeners. Commercial stations are not free. They are financed by a tax applied to the goods and services they advertise. The only way people can evade this tax is to tune in and make a list of which products to steer clear of, thus subjecting themselves to quarter-hourly persuasion sessions. People who prefer ABC quality are forced to subsidise the production and transmission of rubbish such as the so-called reality shows. To make matters worse, the commercial stations are grossly inefficient, each TV channel costing us much more than the entire ABC radio and television operation. The money thus extracted from our pockets is used to buy exclusive rights to major sporting events, including even the Olympic Games, which are then broadcast in an incompetent and partisan manner and interrupted by inane advertisements. The commercial TV stations are barely distinguishable as regards content. The commercial sector is thus characterised by coercion and manipulation rather than freedom and choice.
- I would gladly pay for ABC radio and TV reception by cable or internet - preferably by cable - if that is the only way to maintain an advertisement-free service for myself. However, I think that, just as we all pay for the army, police, roads, etc it is to be expected in a civilised developed country that we pay for an independent service offering quality news and entertainment to those able to appreciate it.
- The fact that both Tony Blair and Kevin Rudd felt it necessary to visit Rupert Murdoch prior to their respective national elections shows how desperately important it is to democracy, to preserve a small section of the airwaves for the national interest.