Congratulations, Mr Baldrick! Something of a triumph, I think -- you must be the first person ever to spell 'Christmas' without getting any of the letters right at all.
- Ebenezer Blackadder, Blackadder's Christmas Carol.
I've just noticed something on tonight's episode of Media Watch. News Corp journalist Andrew Bolt, made a comment on 2GB in Sydney in which is successfully managed to get every single detail completely wrong.
Via ABC Media Watch:
ANDREW BOLT: The ABC is just too big for a state-funded, government-beholden, media outlet. It runs an empire so vast, across so many platforms, that no private media operator is even allowed to do that.
— 2GB, Nights with Steve Price, 29th January, 2014
I don't honestly expect Andrew Bolt to let fact and or research get in the way of a good stouch. This is the man after all who thinks that racially vilifying someone is perfectly acceptable. Nevertheless, on 2GB's show with Steve Price he's made a comment which is worth investigating.
For the year 2012/13 the total net budget of the ABC was $1.009bn¹. For 23 million people, the ABC actually costs you a shade over 12 cents a day. Is 12 cents a day "just too big"? Apparently Mr Bolt thinks so.
If we were to do a small comparison we find:
The BBC costs £4.896bn or AUD 9.088bn. For the 64 million people of the UK it costs them 38 cents a day (A$).
Germany's ARD costs €6.302bn or AUD 9.666bn. For the 80 million people of Germany it costs them 33 cents a day (A$).
Japan's NHK costs ¥647.9bn or AUD 7.231bn. For the 128 million people of Japan it costs them 15 cents a day (A$).
So the ABC compared to other state-funded, government-beholden, media outlets around the world, is actually very very good value for money. Australia is vast compared to the UK and Germany and even with the sheer number of people in Japan, they still do not have as frugally run public broadcaster on a per person per day basis as Australia's ABC.
If Mr Bolt has a problem with the ABC, then I wonder what he would think of the BBC, ARD or NHK. How small is a national broadcaster supposed to be?
If you do an examination of how the ABC uses those 12 cents a day per person, we find that the ABC does quite a remarkable number of things. The ABC holds and operates:
- 60 ABC Local Radio stations, ABC Radio National, ABC News Radio, Triple J, ABC CLassic, ABC Dig, ABC Jazz, ABC Country and ABC Grandstand.
- Four national television stations; which are: ABC 1, ABC 2, ABC 3, ABC News 24
- and it operates the website www.abc.com.au which integrates it all.
In comparison, Andrew Bolt's employers at News Corp, hold and operate:
- Daily Newspapers across the country and in some markets, the only physical daily newspaper.
- 14 Magazine titles
- Several websites including: news.com.au, theaustralian.com.au, businessspectator.com.au and thepunch.com.au
- 50% of Foxtel including, Sky News Local, Sky News Australia, Sky News Business and Fox News, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 3, Fox Footy
- and it regularly slots its journalists like Andrew Bolt and Joe Hildebrand, into shows on Channel 10 and on radio.
Arguably News Corp Australia already does runs an empire which is quite vast and across more platforms. To be honest I don't know how far Mr Bolt is allowed to stray from his offices at The Herald and Weekly Times but I imagine that it isn't far. Maybe they don't let him walk around the building as he seems to be unaware of what else News Corp Australia runs.
Even if that's not true (which it probably isn't) it proves that you should never let the facts get in the way of a good stouch; especially when the rest of your mates are fighting with you.
¹pg 186 http://about.abc.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ABC-Annual-Report-2013-lo-res.pdf