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ABC must follow its charter

Article’s tags: Media imbalance, Australian Issues

Enough is enough. The ABC and SBS are misusing their hefty taxpayer subsidies ($1 billion plus for the ABC, $280 million for SBS) to compete for programs against commercial broadcasters. In doing so, they are straying further from their charters, which require them to provide content not offered by other media. And by distorting the market and driving up prices, they are undermining the public interest, reducing the ability of commercial broadcasters to employ journalists to cover news and provide in-depth investigative reporting.

As media editor Darren Davidson writes today, the status quo is untenable at a difficult time in the industry. The Senate, unfortunately, is yet to pass reforms to bring Australia’s media laws into the 21st century. Network Ten is in receivership. And tech giants Google and Facebook, which disseminate news content produced by others, are taking advertising from traditional media. In May, The Australian revealed that the ABC was supporting Google, by spending taxpayers’ money on a nationwide online marketing campaign with the tech giant to push commercial media outlets out of search results during federal budget week. If Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is unable to persuade the national broadcasters to stick to their charter and desist in their commercial gaming, the Turnbull government should give them a level playing field on which to compete by saving taxpayers more than $1.2 billion in subsidies. As well as relieving budgetary pressures, placing the ABC and SBS on a commercial footing would force them to pay tax like other media companies.

Nor is this the ABC’s first infraction. It routinely uses its budget to replicate commercial online news services. And in April, Davidson revealed it used its resources to “undercut” commercial rivals to supply news to outdoor advertising company oOh! Media — a commercial role it should not occupy.

As News Corp executive chairman Michel Miller said yesterday, the ABC and SBS are determined to join the ranks of digital streaming services rather than cater to the unmet needs of regional Australia. It takes a serious issue to unite media chief executives to demand government action. Their call extends far beyond self-interest and is justified in the public interest.


# reads: 194

Original piece is http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/abc-must-follow-its-charter/news-story/4ba215036279e58719a078c4febd65d9


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News

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Eight people have been killed and at least 11 injured in an "act of terror" after a man drove a pick-up truck onto a path for cyclists in New York city.

The 29-year-old driver of the truck was shot by police in the abdomen and taken into custody after he crashed the truck into a school bus and fled his vehicle, according to New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill.

Speaking at a press conference, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the attack was "a particularly cowardly act of terror". 

The mayor said: "It's a very painful day in our city. Horrible tragedy on the West Side.

"Let me be clear, based on the information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror. Aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.

"We at this moment based on the information we have, we know of eight innocent people who have lost their lives. And over a dozen more injured."

Mr O'Neill said the driver was armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun.

The driver hit a school bus, injuring two children and two adults on board before exiting the pick-up truck.

The man was shot in the abdomen by a uniformed officer before being taken into custody.

The commissioner said a statement made by the suspect when he exited the vehicle was "consistent" with a terrorist attack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence to suggest a wider plot or wider scheme.

US President Donald Trump said the attacker was "very sick" and a "deranged person".

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: "Appalled by this cowardly attack, my thoughts are with all affected. Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC."

A police spokesman posted a photo showing a white pick-up truck on the bike path with its front end mangled and the hood crumpled.

The rented truck had logos of the Home Depot hardware store chain.

Mangled and flattened bicycles littered the bike path, which runs parallel to the West Side Highway on the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River.

One witness told reporters at the scene that he heard about five gunshots before seeing a large man being taken into custody.

"He seemed very calm," the witness said. "He was not putting up a fight."

A witness told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck drive south on the bike path at full speed and hit several people.

A video apparently filmed at the scene and circulated online showed scattered bikes on the bike path and at least two people lying on the ground.

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Not to speak of their extreme bias in reporting...entertaining only a left wing agenda!

Posted by Ronit on 2017-07-31 01:45:27 GMT