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ABC Arts Charter

Page history last edited by Alison Croggon 16 years, 2 months ago

Restore the ABC Arts Charter


This seems like a no-brainer.


As Martin Harrison says in "Our ABC": A Dying Culture?:


The ABC is not fulfilling its Charter obligations to the Australian arts. A long history of poor management appointments, poor policy decisions, government interference and a lacklustre board lies behind the declining significance of ABC television, radio and on-line services… But nowhere is the problem of decline more strongly felt than in the area of the arts...


Arts coverage has gone down markedly. Budgets have been slashed. New programming ideas are thin, and often confused. In the recently created administrative structure, derived from the happily brief, chaotic times of former managing director, Jonathan Shier, there are no substantial administrative positions tasked exclusively with a responsibility to the arts. In TV, the arts and entertainment are folded together. In radio, there are no overarching arts editorial positions. There are few pressures within management which might actively promote the Australian arts as an area of important creative debate or which might creatively enable access to environing art-practices as a major source of program ideas and commissioning in either radio or television.


Public television, radio and digital networks are crucial places for public access to the arts, through the commissioning and broadcasting of original works and through magazine coverage of current artistic events. The ABC should dedicate sufficient resources, human and material, to ensuring that the arts get the intelligent, informed and entertaining attention they deserve, which will expose them to the interested, entertained, informed audiences they deserve. A great deal of responsibility for educating audiences lies with the people who write or commentate on the arts. And the ABC is the obvious place where this crucial public service should take place.


We need the arts back on the ABC.


Moreover, the SBS charter ought to include a clear commitment to the arts that is then followed through in practice. Its charter at present commits it to "make use of Australia's diverse creative resources". A clearer understanding would situate artistic activity as one of the core activities that contribute to its stated aims of increasing the awareness of the diversity of Australia's cultural heritage.

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