Murdoch’s maddies at Sky News and The Australian have been banging on, more shrilly than ever, about privatising the ABC. What’s the scam?
The scam is they have no idea what they are talking about. Nor apparently do they want to know what they are talking about. The latest set of ABC financial statements show an enterprise which costs $1bn to fund each year and ABC itself recorded income of just $65m last year.
In the event of a sale therefore, the buyer would have to come up with a cool $900 odd million to fund the ABC. A privatised ABC would then burst into the advertising market and crush the commercial networks which are already financially stressed. It would cost thousands of jobs and send the networks bust. They can ill afford to lose $100m in ad revenue to the ABC, let alone $900m.
The only positive outcome would be that Sky News’ own tiny ad revenue would also be walloped.
Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.