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What You Think

User Opinion Story
25 June 2019 - 12:16pm
Hi Peter. A thoughtful article but I must take issue with one part. Australian soldiers returning from Vietnam were never smuggled in in the dead of night to avoid protesters. This is one of the many myths around Australia's role in Vietnam that seem to have gathered currency over the years. Australian "atrocities" is another of those myths. I suggest anyone with an interest in this subject get a hold of Mark Dapin’s book "Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History". A free media vs national security. Is it either or?
7 June 2019 - 11:03am
I have tried, on a couple of occasions, to set up an online radio station. To be able to legally play music and broadcast to AUS/NZ IPs you have to pay APRA a nominal fee and then a significantly larger fee to the PPCA.

The problem for small businesses in this sense is that there are no options for small webcasters to grow. You really have to already be a major player with large market share and capital, due to the PPCA's fee structure (below).

For each Quarter, you must pay PPCA a Licence Fee (exclusive of GST) which is the greater of:

a. $0.0021 (exclusive of GST) per Stream (excluding Streams of less than 30 seconds in duration), per User (Stream Rate); or

b. a minimum fee which is determined according to the Total Revenue and the number of Channels offered as part of the Service (Minimum Fee) –

Total Revenue/Quarter (GST excl) - Minimum Fee/Quarter (GST excl)
$0 to $5,000 - $1,000
$5,001 to $10,000 $2,500
$10,001 + $5,000; or

c. 25% of Total Revenue (exclusive of GST).

The only way someone is paying $0.0021 per Stream per User is if they have huge Cume. For someone who wishes to start a small online radio station as a business, they would probably be earning under $5000 a quarter and also close to zero listeners, not until their branding starts to attract listeners.

If the ACCC wants to help small business, target the fee structure with the PPCA. I don't think any of us in radio wish artists to not get paid for their work, but this could open up more exposure to their music and perhaps increase jobs for radio people in general. We might even see a boom as we have with YouTube. Many of the big YouTubers are media businesses all with their own staff, like a typical media organisation.
ACCC is seeking to add conditions to APRA's licencing
Eugene Delargy
3 June 2019 - 1:34pm
In typical fashion of almost all Australian media outlets, you won't be 'brave' to say it was suicide.

Just like domestic violence, sexual harassment and the many other barbarities hushed up in the past, suicide will continue to be a problem whilst it is not talked about.

No problem in history has ever 'gone away' by ignoring it.
Vale Glen Hannah
Anthony The Koala
30 May 2019 - 1:46pm
I wish to make one point about merging the ABC and SBS and licensing IP streaming service.

First, it's overdue that the two public broadcasters owned by all of us be merged. Talks of merging both broadcasters have been mooted in the 1980s with no action taken by the government. It makes sense that both broadcasters owned by us be under one roof what is the point of having two separate entities.

While SBS radio caters for 68 language groups, it certainly has maintained catering for many language groups since its inception in 1975 as 2EA and 3EA.

The same could not be said for SBS TV. When it commenced broadcasting in 1980, it transmitted mainly subtitled overseas content from mainly Europe and occasionally the Middle East and South America, but very rarely from our Asian neighbours. BUT it has FAILED to expand its coverage of programs sourced from Africa, India, The Middle East and South America.

While I may sound hypocritical, I do enjoy consuming program material from SBS tv. But most of the programming are English-language and could well be on the ABC: Insight, Dateline, Michael Portillo's train documentaries, the PBS Newshour, documentaries in general including Hollywood movies. That is to name a few. Then we have the 'Food Channel' though entertaining, could well be covered by Network 7's Food Channel. The NITV channel should be left alone, but could well move to the ABC.

There may well be a case for SBS's World News, with more focus on international news, and less focus on local news. Though it must be said that SBS is looking to having more multi-skilled journalist in other states in order source, https://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/faqs/index/id/85/h/News

Nevertheless, with the exception of NITV, SBS tv appears to be lacking a multicultural focus and appears to be another version of ABC tv.

Second, on the issue of government licensing IP streams, the horse has bolted. How is the government going to licence streams sourced from other countries? One can buy a set-top box connected to the internet and obtain broadcasts from other countries, whether the streams are free of charge or by subscription. The government could well licence local radio streams and Foxtel and Stan.

But one of the ideas of broadcast licenses is that the electromagnetic spectrum is a 'scarce' resource. Compared to IP streams which can facilitate the broadcasting of many streams subject to the number of IP addresses, whether IPV4 or IPV6 (in the billions), cannot be said for potentially billions of channels in the electromagnetic spectrum for a particular broadcast zone. Instead a particular frequency for broadcast radio and tv can be reused in another location that is likely not to cause channel interference at another location.

In conclusion, the ABC and SBS could well be merged. In addition I have made my opinion on this site on how the ABC could save money without affecting program quality. However for the government to licence IP streaming may be complicated by streaming services being provided by overseas sources. It may be easier to 'tax'/licence local IP streams, BUT THEN the local IP streaming service may be at a competitive disadvantage especially for local subscription services compared to overseas services. For the FTA IP services, subject to number crunching, the broadcaster's economic model may want to abandon IP streaming. IP streams are international and any kind of blocking would be akin to censorship.

Anthony of downtown and exciting Belfield
Could streaming force the ABC and SBS to merge
30 May 2019 - 9:29am
Hi James
I agree that the ship has sailed but I think the reason it keeps coming up is that in the event of a natural disaster cell towers are more likely to be wiped out compared to FM transmission facilities.
Let’s stop deluding ourselves about the FM chip in phones
Anthony The Koala
26 May 2019 - 9:36am
My congratulations to the awardees. It is important that complex topics be explained to the 'reasonable intelligent listener'. There are many brilliant scholars who know their work but cannot communicate their ideas, not only to a radio audience but to the students at university who still feel perplexed at the topic.

It is also important for Australia and the world to know about cutting edge research. For those who missed out on an award, I hope that their specialty topic is covered in a future ABC program. But which ABC program, particularly which RN program will the cutting edge science be disseminated? We need more than "The Science Show" and the program on the natural sciences tx'ed on Sunday at 1300.

Should cutting edge research be limited the the sciences? Methinks not! Knowledge from non-science disciplines are used for the benefit of society too. For example, there was a PhD graduate in education from Macquarie University who was awarded a PhD (in the early 2000s, candidate lived in Summer Hill at the time of the award) for improvement in outcomes for primary school students with learning difficulties. Certainly not science-related but helps society. Disseminating such information brings awareness of issues to educators who may not be aware of such a technique. Education is an illustrative example. There may well be cutting edge research in law and international relations that we don't know about but the community could be aware. Science alone may not solve the world's problems.

If follows that RN could expand its programs about cutting edge research whether it is about a PhD or current research project conducted at a university, whether science or non-science. That is another program in addition to "The Science Show" could be dedicated to cutting edge research.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
ABC and UNSW reveal Australia’s Top 5 science scholars
24 May 2019 - 10:30am
At last - owners realise the absolute necessity for station staff to have immediate access to the best dining and drinking precincts. Where should a radio station be?
Radio Advocate
24 May 2019 - 8:59am
Congratulations on acknowledging some significant innovation by the sector!

CMAA winners are off to Radiodays Asia
20 May 2019 - 8:27am
I am not sure how he may have worked it, but advertising is usually a legitimate business expense. Could Clive's big spend have been at the expense of the taxpayer? Oh dear ...
Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat
Anthony The Koala
20 May 2019 - 3:29am
This issue raises issues about the influence of advertising and the ability of media organisations to influence opinion or be active.

One could see the UAP's advertising blitz as a proxy for voting for the Liberal/Coalition. This was especially so in the last week many of the messages (carts) were against the Labor party.

These advertisements were broadcast on 2GB amongst other media outlets.

Another issue is whether 'free' radio promotions of some members of parliament have an influence on the electorate?

For those listeners to 2GB's programs, the continuous promotion of Mr Tony Abbott did not seem to counteract the active 'grass roots' promotion of his rival Zali Steggall by her team and GetUp!. Perhaps Mr Abbott's strategy should have included more volunteers or more resources for a grass roots promotion. Since this is about broadcasting I won't comment on GetUp!'s failed campaign to oust other incumbent conservative Liberal/LNP candidates.

Nor did the constant promotion on several 2GB programs of asking listeners to vote for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan 'below the line' and numbering 11 other candidates seem to influence Sen. Gen. Jim Molan achieving a quota. According to the AEC, https://www.aec.gov.au/voting/counting/senate_count.htm one needs 625124 votes for a quota. Even if one hundred thousand listeners from 2GB voted below the line for Sen. Jim Molan, that would require 500000 plus other non-2GB voters.

We can also go back in history when 2SM had proportionally more listeners than Alan Jones. Two presenters from the breakfast program nominated for the senate and did not succeed.

Then the question arises does the media in general influence the vote. During Zali Steggall's victory speech, there was a heckler in the audience who uttered "....no 2GB or Murdoch press....." It may well be true for Tony Abbott as illustrated above since 2GB did not manage to get Tony Abbott re-elected.

On the other hand, in the 1950s a radio station was able to mobilise thousands of its listeners to the Sydney CBD as a grown man was pushed in a pram. Similarly a few years ago, 2GB's Chris Smith was able to mobilise thousands of listeners to rally in Canberra against the carbon dioxide tax.

In sum, it appears that advertising and the media in general do not seem to influence who could get voted. This is especially in the promotion of 'selected' candidates. It seems that on the ground active promotion in an electorate works. Unfortunately for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan, it may require extra resources since voting in the senate is a state-wide issue. But then, that is about non-media promotion which is outside the scope of this website.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat


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