I think pressure for a review of the ABC is building and one will be called at some stage. Now there are good and bad reasons for having such a review. I’m not convinced that a review to ‘punish’ the ABC for reporting the Snowden leaks would be a good idea. But a review to examine whether the ABC is actually following its charter would be a good idea. Roger Franklin has a look and finds the ABC wanting.
I have an essay coming out at The Conversation in the next few days that looks at state intervention in the economy in general and the ABC in particular. (No link just yet).
The public interest argument for the ABC is those news and current affairs shows that it runs that the private sector wouldn’t run. The overwhelming majority of ABC activities are simply more-of-the-same activities that private sector does just as well, and probably better. The government simply has no business in providing entertainment to the masses (or tiny elites in the case of the ABC). A review of the ABC would have to ask the question as to what exactly the public interest argument for the ABC is, and is that worth $1.2 billion.
I suspect the ABC will struggle to explain why its unique contribution is worth $1.2 billion this year, and no doubt rising in future years.
Anyway the Review the ABC petition is here.