ABC Alumni rallying 'those who care about public broadcasting' | radioinfo

ABC Alumni rallying 'those who care about public broadcasting'

Thursday 28 February, 2019

The newly formed ABC Alumni group met this evening in a gathering scheduled some weeks ago.

The timing of the meeting coincided with the news of Ita Buttrose’s appointment as ABC board chair.
While many of the gathered alumni were in agreement that Buttrose is a suitably  experienced Australian media executive, they also made the point that she was not appointed through the proper process.
She has “credentials aplenty but there are concerns about process,” in the opinion of the Alumni group.

They are also asking the question, “where will Ita stand on funding and independence?”
The group is building its support base as the ABC approaches the election period.
“We’ve had 1000 staff leave the ABC in the last few years, they all care deeply about public broadcasting. The Alumni is about rallying those who care so their voice can be  heard,” said Alumni convener Matt Peacock.
The future of public broadcasting has become a political question in the lead up to the federal election.  Next week the Alumni will front the senate enquiry into the ABC’s independence, which was triggered by the sacking of Michelle Guthrie and the resignation of former chair Justin Milne.
In a formal submission to the Inquiry, the ABC Alumni group said:
“In our view there is a need for amendments to the ABC Act and for changes to existing processes for the appointment of the Chair and Board directors. We urge senators to put political prejudices aside and recommend changes to legislation governing the ABC to ensure that the corporation is, and is seen to be, free from political harassment and interference.
“The owners of the ABC are the taxpayers of Australia, not the government. They pay for it and according to all research are happy to do so. They need to have confidence that governments respect the statutory independence of the ABC.”
The Alumni’s full submission is one of thirteen papers put to the Inquiry
More details at the ABC Alumni website here.

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