I was able to stomach just 10 minutes and that included the three minute introduction.
Turns out that the ABC is protecting us from right-wing extremism. Taxpayers they used to be called. Also turns out that public-service broadcasting promotes democratic values according to research presented to the United Nations and the European Union. Well-known paragons of democracy the both of them.
Anyway – I just couldn’t take it anymore. A precis from the Australian is here:
“Lately the campaign against the ABC has become more strident. It appears to have gone up a notch this year. And this development concerns me,” she said.
“Recently one of our detractors said there was a need to curb the spread of public broadcasters into every technological and programming niche. ‘They should be ring-fenced into set stations, networks and roles, lest they crowd out a thousand flowers in a thousand digital niches.’
“I thought: my goodness, is the ABC being equated to a weed?
Not just a weed. A $1 billion parasite. A cancer that is metastasising and destroying local private media and public trust.
If anyone wants to read exactly what is wrong with public broadcasting read Chris Berg and my book on this very topic.
Finally, the argument that public broadcasting promotes democracy might be a good story being peddled by the enemies of western civilisation but unfortunately is not supported by the peer-reviewed literature.
We examine the patterns of media ownership in 97 countries around the world. We find that almost universally the largest media firms are owned by the government or by private families. Government ownership is more pervasive in broadcasting than in the printed media. We then examine two theories of government ownership of the media: the public interest (Pigouvian) theory, according to which government ownership cures market failures, and the public choice theory, according to which government ownership undermines political and economic freedom. The data support the second theory.
Just to repeat: Government media ownership undermines political and economic freedom.
It also crowds out private media and private enterprise.