As if appointment of longtime ABC-hater Janet Albrechtson to the ABC board wasn’t enough to convince you that the government wants to take political control of your ABC, Communications Minister Helen Coonan has announced that the staff-elected position on the ABC board is to be abolished.
The staff-elected ABC board position has been around since 1983. Elections are already in progress for the appointment of the next staff-elected ABC board member. The government cannot interfere while the election is in process, but plans are in place to abolish the position as soon as the election is completed.
Funding for your ABC has been systematically decimated in every Howard budget since 1996. Why? Because if your ABC isn’t bent in Howard’s direction, he figures it’s bent against him. Howard doesn’t believe in journalistic independence of our national broadcaster.
If Howard gets total control of your ABC, you’ll never know what you don’t know about Howard government abuses of power- and the Howard government has committed plenty of abuses of power which they would prefer they got away with- very quietly.
The most visible result of ABC funding cuts has been in original programming, most notably in production of drama programs.
John Howard wants your ABC to be his party’s mouthpiece.
GetUp Australia is running a petition calling for the government to restore proper funding to your ABC. While online petitions are well meaning, this one deserves some paper letters to MPs, particularly Peter Costello and Nick Minchin.
The Howard Government’s systematic destruction of our national broadcaster is completely unacceptable.
From drastic funding cuts to the abolition of the staff-elected ABC board position, John Howard wants to destroy our ABC and its journalistic independence. If our ABC will not be John Howard’s personal cheerleader, he will see it in ruins.
Few nations have an independent national broadcaster. The ABC is of primary importance in holding our politicians to account when they behave in a self-serving manner. We can not permit the Howard Government to destroy this vital national resource.
Please vote against John Howard’s defunding and attempt at political control of our ABC.
It’s time to put a stop to the Howard bastardisation and destruction of your ABC!
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