What to do with the public broadcasters? ABC BBC CBC (Can anyone explain public media in NZ?)
Big-government fans forcibly take funds from all citizens to support big-government propaganda by journalists who predominantly vote left or very-left (see here or here). The question is not whether or not they should do this but whether to privatize the public broadcasters, or to split them in two. I say, let’s forget the submissive plea to get one conservative commentator among a monoculture of “progressives”. Chop the current one in half and call it what it is: pro big-government. Then set up a new counter half to match — the pro-small-government broadcaster with the same funds but new staff. (Game on — let the best team win that ratings war.) Abbott could keep ABC funding promises. ABC-L plus ABC-R equals current ABC-LL+ funding.
Obviously, true free-market libertarians want public broadcasters 100% sold — their incentives are always going to run counter to unbiased reporting and the hunt for the truth. On the other hand, among the populace, the ground is not remotely laid for a big-sell. Many voters remain blind to the bias, and have no idea how filtered the half-truths are: [...]
People are bored of the sermons, the half-truths, and carefully filtered messages. Who wants to be told what to think?
The ABC lost nearly 4% of its audience last year. Australians are tuning out the $1.1 billion ABC public broadcaster, and it has nothing to do with the small 5% efficiency cuts. The fall in popularity occured before the cuts. The three commercial TV channels in Australia all did much better at maintaining their popularity — despite suffering larger cuts to their budgets.
The ABC share is down to 10.08 per cent of 16 – 54 year olds. Nearly 90% of working age Australians are paying for the ABC but not watching much. The losses in the over-55 age group, traditionally the ABC stronghold, were almost as large as the younger groups.
Is the ABC biased towards Green politics?
Christine Milne leader of The Greens, at a rally outside Parliament House. Photo: Daily Telegraph.
“Only” 40% of ABC journalists vote Green.
The Australian, last week: Older viewers abandon the ABC
THE ABC was the worst performing television broadcaster last year, losing 3.95 per cent of group audience across all the channels before the government announced budget [...]
How much does the BOM care about misleading Australians? Not much apparently, unless they are caught doing it. Everyone makes mistakes, but what matters is what they do to correct it.
The BOM claimed (and the ABC broadcast) that this Queensland drought is the worst in 80 years, but Ken Stewart showed with their own graphs that it was only the worst for 9 years. Stewart politely informed both groups two weeks ago. The ABC excused themselves immediately because they always believe the BOM no matter what it says and never ask any hard questions (it’s not like they are paid to make sure Australians get the right information is it? what do you expect for $1bn?). The BOM took five days to fob the error off even though the “mistake” was obvious against the BOM’s own graphs.
But yesterday Maurice Newman mentioned the mythical 80 year drought in The Australian, lo, suddenly the BOM feel the urge to send another email to Ken and the ABC.
Dear Ken, Further to our correspondence we can confirm that media statements made to the ABC by a Bureau employee on 6 January 2014 did not accurately reflect the relative severity [...]
In a followup to the post If the BOM was incompetent, the ABC would be the last to find out, Ken Stewart has a reply from the BOM.
The news story run by the ABC said the current Queensland drought was the worst in 80 years. When Ken pointed out that the BOM’s own graphs showed that the drought in 2003 was even worse, and the conditions were not that unusual, the ABC effectively said they were parroting BOM statements which, ahem, is all any public broadcaster could be expected to do, right? It’s not like we pay the 1.1 billion-dollar-ABC to ask our bureaucrats hard questions, is it?
Ken wrote to the BOM, who have now replied, and he’s posted it: “How not to admit a mistake”. The BOM blandly point him at their official drought statement which contradicts what their spokesman said:
The current drought in Queensland is comparable to the 2002–2003 drought, which was perhaps more severe in terms of rainfall deficiencies that occurred at times over a very large area. Historical data shows that the current drought is perhaps a one in ten or twenty year event over a significant part of inland eastern Australia [...]
According to the ABC the Bureau of Met tells us that Queensland has experienced “the worst drought in 80 years” and that “37.3% of the state was covered by the lowest rainfall on record”. (Watch it on iview if you can bear to).
These exacting facts are easy to check, and Ken Stewart did, but the 1.1-billion-dollar ABC did not.
Ken used the BOM’s own websites (Climate Maps and Climate Change and Variability) and shows that the current drought is the worst in 9 years, not 80, and even if it is very bad (heartbreaking for some) it’s not unusual.
Current low rain is not unusual.
The current drought is bad (see red blobs in Queensland):
NW Queensland has missed two wet seasons in a row
The Federation Drought, circa 1900, was much much worse:
(Federation Drought graphed only 1900 – 1902)
Ken wrote to the ABC, and Genevieve Hussey replied immediately — effectively saying the ABC repeat all BOM claims, no matter how hyperbolic, extraordinary, or repetitive they sound.
The information in our report was based on an interview with climatologist Mr Jeff Sabburg from the Bureau of Meteorology. He was also interviewed by [...]
What’s better than Pravda? When Pravda is controlled by big government but masquerades as “commercial” and, even better, when it competes with and sucks money from independent competitors–making it harder for journalists who do ask the government hard questions to be heard at all.
Who needs the ABC? The BBC has arrived to provide the propaganda for free and wants to compete with commercial news outlets. They’ve appointed the most gullible journalists they could find (who’ll believe any official edict). Their new Australian Editor, Wendy Frew, accidentally revealed that while she’s good at rearranging a press release and calling it news, she is not too good with numbers.
In a BBC article yesterday by Wendy Frew titled “Australia has hottest spring on record as temperatures soar” comes the extraordinary news that Australia has warmed by 90C since 1910.
“Australia has been warming up by about 0.9C [a year] since 1910,” Dr Braganza told the BBC.
The online article was fixed this morning (with no mention of the mistake), though copies of the error appear elsewhere. It says something that Frew went out of her way to add “[a year]“ into Braganza’s quote without doing the numbers and [...]
The ABC bias is now so obvious, everyone with an open mind and an Internet connection knows that the ABC report the parts that suit, and hide the rest. They even edit the words of skeptics to produce sentences that were never actually spoken. But what I saw last night was a flagrantly wrong statement, counter to the truth, reported as if it were so above question it did not even need explanation, qualification or substantiation. It’s time to squeeze the ABC for accuracy.
One of the Big-Myths in this debate is that the opinions of “climate scientists” equals the opinion of “scientists in general”. All over Australia last night hundreds of thousands of Australians heard this statement as narration in the main news bulletin:
“World’s scientists reckon the climates never felt anything like them in close to a million years…” – 4:40mins ABC News report Nov 3, 2014
Ignoring the point that the sentence is grammatically incoherent, it is misleading and demonstrably false. The “World’s Scientists” don’t reckon anything, they have never been surveyed, have not voted for a spokesperson, and inasmuch as anyone could estimate the “world’s scientists” opinions, actual surveys show that skeptics would outnumber and outrank [...]
The global warming segment on the ABC last night marks a new direction for the Catalyst ABC Science-unit. In the past, their method of dealing with skeptics was to pretend they didn’t exist (see the transcript of July 2013), but apparently they’ve realized they are losing the war. Is this the first time they’ve acknowledged that there is a skeptical view, and that there are questions to answer? Could be. Perhaps it does hurt when they are repeatedly caught putting forward a biased one-sided point of view. They even interviewed Garth Paltridge and Judith Curry, with a moment of Christopher Monckton and Maurice Newman, too. But don’t get too excited. While the shift is a slight win for skeptics, there is no sign that Catalyst are any less biased, better informed or more aware of what the scientific method is. It is just a shift in PR tactics.
Anja Taylor still didn’t ask hard questions or do her research properly. Catalyst viewers would be almost as much in the dark as they were before. It is as if the point of the show was training for the ABC faithful to answer the dreaded skeptics. Because even though skeptics were no [...]
Bronwen O’Shea, ABC
UPDATED: Correction. The interview was done by a fan of John Cook, not John Cook. Notes in the post and apologies. – Jo
Hm, curious event on the ABC today. Credit to Bronwen O’Shea, host of the ABC morning radio program for the Goulburn Murray, for asking both Jennifer Marohasy and the BOM to discuss the Rutherglen temperature adjustments. Good-o, I say – public debate and answers! (Note that link is just to their website, I have not found a copy of the interview or transcript).
But everything worked against the ABC. First the BOM chose not to even try to answer. (Hm?) Then not long after the interview started, the line suddenly went dead and Marohasy was abruptly cut off. She waited for the call back, but it never came. What bad luck eh? Even more unlucky – when the ABC tried to call her back they got a fan of John Cook on the phone instead*. Then, things got even worse for poor ABC listeners — because the fan of Cook mistakenly thought Rutherglen was different to the surrounding stations, but the BOM raw records say otherwise (see the graph below). UPDATED: Apologies to [...]
A new report shows ABC journalists are fond of renewables and overlook their dismal economic value, while putting out bad news on coal, and ignoring the benefits of vast cheap profitable energy. Who could have seen that coming: a large public funded institution attracts employees who like large public funding?
The IPA arranged for a media analysis firm to compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables.
ABC gives the green light to renewables, and the red light to Australia’s largest export industry and provider of 75% of our electricity.
ABC accused of bias against coalmining
Andrew Fraser, The Australian
The analysis of 2359 reports broadcast on the ABC over six months before March 15 this year found 15.9 per cent of stories on coalmining and 12.1 per cent of those about coal-seam gas mining were favourable, while 53 per cent of those on renewable energy were favourable.
It also found 31.6 per cent of stories on coal mining and 43.6 per cent of stories on coal-seam gas were unfavourable, while only 10.8 per cent of stories on renewable energy were unfavourable.
The ABC has become its own best case for privatizing the ABC. How much could we get? The [...]
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