Malcolm Turnbull should be Prime Minister of Australia. Seriously, if he was in charge in the last election, I’d have voted for his party. He brings a moderate, common sense approach to public debate and actually seems to have intelligence to back it up. The current controversy over the editorial freedom of the government funded ABC from various members of the government, including our Prime Minister seems laughable if it weren’t so wrong on so many levels.
Yes, there are many state owned and state controlled media organisations in the world. The ones with renown, credibility and more importantly the trust of the people throughout the world are the ones who should be able to report the facts whether they’re politically convenient or not. The good ones, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, RT and Radio Canada, have earned their reputation through honesty with the public. Well, the ABC has been honest with the public. It breaks stories that are inconvenient for both sides of politics in order to keep the public aware and to hold the actions of those with power to account.
If Tony Abbott wants the ABC to be more government friendly, there are certain government controlled media organisations that he can model the new ABC on. Our best friend in Asia, the People’s Republic of China’s China Central Television (CCTV) is especially proficient at promoting the good works of the government and bringing completely balanced experts on air to discuss major issues (end sarcasm). What about that aptly named Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (hah!), which has the wonderfully prolific and sometimes comical Korean Central News Agency with the remarkable ability, in one broadcast, to spout as much gibberish as the Murdoch press in Australia does in a day. They must be awesome at their jobs. Yes, more sarcasm.
Australia is a strong, multicultural democracy. The key to maintaining a strong democracy in a country as diverse as Australia is the freedom of press and it holding to account the government of the day as well as corporate bodies or other interests, whether they be community or otherwise. More than that, Australians need to be honest with themselves. We believe that we live in the world’s greatest country, but in order to do that, we can’t be happy to just have faith that it’s true, sometimes ugliness comes out about the place because something can be improved. Perhaps one thing that can be improved is the government, by getting their heads down and running the country without added distractions.