Even Friends can disagree

I’ve been banging on about the ABC and its virtues in this newspaper for 10 years or more, but now I’m as mad as hell and I’m taking it all to the ears of our two local Labor pollies who will be present at the next Friends of ABC function at Bangalow in a couple of weeks.

Do you like me, wonder who on Earth watches ABC News 24, when Australians are supposed to work the longest hours in the OECD, and are you incredulous that our kids need three channels to choose from for their afternoon TV fare (and that’s just the ABC)?

Do you feel duped that visual arts coverage is no longer visual, that it is entirely dependent on the descriptive powers of journalists broadcasting about it on radio? Like many of my artist friends I grieve the axing of the low-budget Art Nation that gave us as regional viewers some sense of what is going on now in other parts of the country.

And don’t get me going on the structural stuff, the out -sourcing of TV program-making to the commercial sector with the subsequent bleeding of taxpayers’ dollars, and Labor’s failure as yet to change the process of appointment-making to the ABC Board, an election promise to ensure that appointments are made on merit.

That we love and value our ABC was clearly shown locally during the threat of the Jonathan Shier years, so if you still have the same regard for its independence and creativity, come along to the A&I Hall, Bangalow, Saturday February 18 at 2pm. Janelle Saffin MP for Page and Justine Elliott MP for Richmond will be there as well a fine line-up of  speakers, broken up by some songs from Sara Tindley.

You can have your say too!

Jill Keogh, Convenor, Byron Bay sub-branch FABC Northern Rivers

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