Why on earth are we wasting all this money on the ABC’s Australia Network?Â Greg Sheridan:
The money for the Australia Network does not come from the ABC. It comes from [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade]. At the moment, DFAT’s global public diplomacy budget is about $5 million…
Founded by the Keating government, the Australia Network in all its guises has been a colossal waste of money and a complete, absolute failure as public policy…
I have been annoyed on occasion at what I see as an anti-Australian tic in much of the news and documentary stuff on the Australia Network, but that is merely its inevitable reflection of the political culture of its parent organisation, the ABC….
So long as Australia Network exists I don’t want it to become an organ of Australian state propaganda. But nor do I want it to make life harder for the Australian government by taking the ABC editorial line on asylum-seekers, climate change etc, which is opposed to the policies of the Australian government. There’s a simple solution. It doesn’t need to exist at all…
In all of my countless trips to Asia I have never met an Asian who watches Australia Network. But half an eye is cast on it in a desultory fashion by Asian governments and some Asian news organisations. So while it has almost no capacity to do good, it has a substantial capacity to do harm.
I would just query this assertion of Greg’s:
But in reality there is absolutely no reason to have it at all. Our highly competent but resource-starved professional diplomats could do much more, much better targeted, with a proper public diplomacy budget.Â
Lex Bartlem, Australian Ambassador to Lebanon:
Today is the last day ofÂ a tour that has taken you through the United Arab Emirates, SaudiArabia, Turkey and now to BeirutÂ in Lebanon. We are delighted that you came. In most of those countries I know that you have met with academics, clerics, students, members of parliament, government officials and ministers. You came to speak to them about Islam in Australiaâ€”about its diversity, and about the community’s successes and problems.
Firstly, let me say it has been a fantastic trip and a great opportunity, and I have to thank you for even thinking of inviting me…. What [people met on the trip] were trying to figure out, it seemed to me, was the relationship that Islam in Australia, or Muslims in Australia, or really anyone in Australia, has with the state…
I know that we are hoping to get you back to the region in January to visit Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.
The video DFAT posted of this interviewÂ had 30 views when I first linked to it this morning.
Charities accused of giving millions to left-wing campaigns as watchdog refuses to name causes under investigation
- Study examines activities of 25 charities that receive funding from taxpayer
- Includes those which aren’tÂ ‘priorities for electorate and often unpopular’
- Campaigns range from curbs on tobacco and alcohol and climate change
February 3.Â ABC head of editorial policy Alan SunderlandÂ defendsÂ the billion-dollar broadcaster’s navy torturer smears:
If we relied only on information from official channels then little or nothing would have been reported and the Australian public would have been left in the dark about the dramatic events unfolding on the high seas.
Â We regret if our reporting led anyone toÂ mistakenly assumeÂ that the ABC supported the asylum seekers’ claims.
So it’s the audience’s fault. Further on the ABC’s half-arsed regretÂ here.
Dumb question from the ABC’s Leigh Sales: