Balance at the ABC

Gerard Henderson notes that

Number of weeks since Mark Scott promised greater diversity on ABC:  317

Number of conservative presenters/producers/editors on prominent ABC Radio/ABC TV/ABC Online outlets: Zip

Here is a pictorial of balance at the ABC (the 3320 content makers and senior executives comes from the 2011-12 ABC annual report)

 

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J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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32 Responses to Balance at the ABC

  1. pete m

    I think the zero figure is wrong, but they do hide themselves well.

  2. jumpnmcar

    Yeh pete m, QLD country hour ( Australia s longest running radio programe ) on the ABC has some conservatives in it.
    Some folk call em rednecks or bumpking that interrupt the cricket commentary, not me, I like em.
    .
    Night all :)

  3. catnip

    The ABC’s standing, popularity and attractiveness to employees and listeners alike has never been greater. It must be doing something indeed a lot right.

  4. Scapula

    The research shows that, for example, the Drum is dominated by conservative think tanks, the IPA in particular.

  5. Jim Rose

    Leigh and Gans in How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant, ECONOMIC RECORD, 2012 employed several different approaches to find that the Australian media are quite centrist, with very few outlets being statistically distinguishable from the middle of politics.

    The minor exceptions were the ABC channel 2 and perhaps the Melbourne Age in its news slant in the 2004 election. Their media slants were small.

  6. maurie

    catnip, you are right, they are simply parroting the lefties socialist’s line & anyone with knowledge of history will be well aware (just as the labor/union crowd is) that people just can’t wait to re-elect the party that offers free stuff for votes. Currently we are on the verge of
    seeing our nation becoming a socialist country, but I wouldn’t worry if I were you because you probably don’t agree with me.Maybe you have noticed the surge of future labor voters paddling lately? A bit of fast tracking will see thousands of people who will vote labor for the rest of their lives – but that shouldn’t really be a problem!

  7. entropy

    Jump, the conservatives at ABC country hour all left and took up positions in Ministers’ offices for the Newman Government.

    But even the ones left are no doubt treated with suspicion, and outright condescension from their urban betters in South Brisbane.

  8. entropy

    Ohh, JIm. I have been waiting for the day that embarrassing paper was used in this context, and you take the prize.

  9. papachango

    yet there are still loonies out there who think the ABC is ‘rightwing’

  10. Scapula

    Thanks for that it was amusing:

    Headlines from Murdoch dailies are frequently regurgitated on radio news bulletins, despite the fact that News Corporation newspapers have long been discredited as reliable news sources. This means that if the Australian is pursuing one of its relentless campaigns against the government or the Greens, there’s a fair chance that one of its headlines will feature on ABC radio news bulletins.

    And this gem:

    A fascinating example of a good journalist gone bad is Tony Jones. He presides over Q&A, a program originally intended as a platform for the public to ask questions of an informed panel and thus help influence national discussions. Sadly, its choice of guests has the twin aims of providing entertainment and keeping the politicians on side in the ABC’s parliamentary PR role. Q&A has become a platform for right-wing think-tanks, Murdoch trolls, front bench politicians toeing the party line and staying ‘on message’, former politicians suffering relevance deprivation, professional stirrers, and generally ill-informed celebrities who fawn all over the opinion makers.

  11. Abu Chowdah

    Leigh and Gans in How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant, ECONOMIC RECORD, 2012 employed several different approaches to find that the Australian media are quite centrist, with very few outlets being statistically distinguishable from the middle of politics.
    The minor exceptions were the ABC channel 2 and perhaps the Melbourne Age in its news slant in the 2004 election. Their media slants were small.

    A risible conclusion to anyone who isn’t a fucking cretin.

  12. Scapula

    Research is hard to accept when it goes against one’s personal prejudices.

  13. Andrew Reynolds

    Still – the ABC is a little more balanced in its coverage than MSNBC. We must be pleased with small mercies – except that we have no choice but to pay for the ABC.

  14. Abu Chowdah

    Research is hard to accept when it goes against one’s personal prejudices.

    Easy to dismiss when the methodologies are dubious. Try the Groseclose book for the world best practice in this area, my microcephalic friend.

  15. Scapula

    Propaganda is not world’s best practice, vodoo child.

  16. Abu Chowdah

    This must be q very painful time for you Crapula. Your flailing has been a highlight of the Cat in recent times.

  17. Scapula

    It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

  18. Abu Chowdah

    Once upon a time you dressed so fine…

  19. manalive

    Employees of a Government-funded media organisation are, by definition, going to be confirmed statists.

  20. dd

    The research shows that, for example, the Drum is dominated by conservative think tanks, the IPA in particular.

    Yes, it’s true that the Drum has a good mix of points of view.
    Yes, Radio National has a conservative radio show called Counterpoint.

    However these things don’t address the fundamental point about radio and TV. Not to take away from the excellent work of Vanstone or her predecessors, but Counterpoint has been accused by some commentators of being a Potemkin Village – a much-vaunted but lone conservative show that deflects criticism.

    Similarly, uploading opinion pieces from Sinclair Davidson and others onto a website is not the same thing as broadcasting their views on National TV.

  21. Jim Rose

    Abu Chowdah, There is no best practice on measuring media bias. The literature is too young.

    Milton Friedman put up robustness as his test. Hit the hypothesis with as many tests as possible with many different data sets. He learnt this lesson when a best practice test literally exploded in his face. He was testing an alloy’s durability in wartime.

    Most other studies using many different data sets and methodologies suggest that the media reflects the politics of the local market they serve.

    Newspapers and TV stations are big businesses, and they increased readership and revenue by presenting factual and informative news. Competition forces news outlets to cater to their customer’s preferences.

    I think the best of the measures of media bias used endorsements of state-level initiatives and referendums and found that newspapers are located almost exactly at the median voter in their home states.

  22. papachango

    Counterpoint has been accused by some commentators of being a Potemkin Village – a much-vaunted but lone conservative show that deflects criticism

    the mere fact that the only vaguely centre right program is called ‘counterpoint’ suggests that leftism is the prevailing viewpoint at the ABC

  23. entropy

    and when is it broadcast again? Seriously, I have never had the radio on when Counterpoint is broadcast.

  24. JC

    yet there are still loonies out there who think the ABC is ‘rightwing’

    Andrew Leigh the member for Canberra public servants wrote a research some propaganda paper on it.

  25. Pingback: the one side … | pindanpost

  26. Jim Rose

    Jc, how do biased news outlets survive in competition?

    A supply-side model of media ownership suggesting that media outlets weigh the rewards of bias — political influence or personal pleasure — against the cost of bias: lost circulation from providing faulty news.

    the charge of liberal bias in the USA requires the existence of a news cartel in the biggest, most competitive media market in the world. What protects the news cartel against defectors and entrants?

  27. Jim Rose

    abu, see http://www.voxeu.org/article/fair-and-balanced-after-all-bias-us-press

    Groseclose-Milyo’s findings based on congressmen citing think-tanks are sensitive to influential observations and the exact years studied. the liberal bias essentially disappears if the National Taxpayers Union is excluded from their analysis.

  28. Zatara

    What protects the news cartel against defectors and entrants?

    In the US? Govt licensing of the airwaves is the first major obstacle. Financing is likley the next. Newspapers are dinosaurs and new ones seldom survive.

    However, one notes that Fox News mantains consistently large leads in market share ever since it snuck in the back door.

  29. Scapula

    Fox News also shows that entrants must be multi-billion dollar companies, so one pays high price for a seat almost at the table.

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