Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, May 26, 2003
SPEAKING OF MIXED MESSAGES, a further statement from Auntie spinner, Shane Wells, announcing the end of the friendless Fly and Kids channels, has this to say:

This is the first of several hard decisions the ABC will make over the coming months concerning its output. Maintaining the comprehensiveness of ABC broadcasting is becoming increasingly difficult. ABC funding from Government today, on a true comparative basis, is some 30 per cent less in real terms than what it was in 1985/86.

It is now important for the ABC to concentrate on its core broadcasting output, and thus minimise impact on its main audiences. Our audiences have never been stronger and we will continue to offer our audiences a quality public broadcasting service.

Shane leaves it open for us to believe that Auntie's public funding is, at least, no more reduced over the period than other public spenders'.

It is reassuring to know that Auntie is able to maintain her core programming at undiminished quality, and her audiences, at the existing level of funding. Just what Richard Alston wants to hear.