You would think, with some $1.2 billion per year to spend, the ABC might be able to afford a decent search engine to help taxpayers satisfy their curiosity about what it is they are obliged to fund. Alas, no, as Quadrant reader JQC alerts us after going here and searching on “Australia Day.” What came up was a slather of recipes for Australia Day fruit bars, Australia Day BBQ mixed grills and Australia Day lamingtons, plus a random jumble of the digital detritus our national broadcaster puts to air in the apparent belief that commercial operators do not devote sufficient attention to the insubstantial.
“It was no better when I instructed the search function to look only at the most recent ‘Australia Day’ reports and editorials … more Australia Day recipes,” JQC writes, “this time including ‘Australia Day casserole’, ‘Australia Day nutty lamb cutlets’ and ‘Australia Day yeast extract damper’.”
These search results left JQC more than somewhat peeved, as he wished to confirm his impression that the ABC has been pushing the cause of moving the celebration of Australia’s birth from January 26 with rather more enthusiasm than listeners and viewers might expect from a broadcaster pledged by its charter to impartial reporting.
“Yes, I’m aware that Triple-J dropped its hot 100, or whatever it is called, and there was an explanation of that available in the search results. What I couldn’t obtain was a ledger of further ABC efforts to promote this cause.”
Rest easy, JQC. An external google search on “ABC” + “Australia Day” confirms your suspicions. Here for the record are some recent entries capturing the broadcaster’s monocular view of the issue:
- Australia Day dividing Australians and excluding Indigenous people, says Professor Chris Sarra
- Australia Day: Five years ago, Flinders Island community quietly axed celebrations
- Sydney’s Australia Day celebrations should be moved, says independent MP Alex Greenwich
- Australia Day: Greens to use local council numbers to lead #changethedate push
- Facebook page ‘Blackfulla Revolution’ hacked ahead of Australia Day, say admins
Plus some older entries
- We should celebrate Australia Day, just not on January 26
- Why January 26 is a hard day for our mob
- Band A.B. Original want their song ‘January 26’, about changing the date of Australia Day, to make people ‘uncomfortable’.
- Australia Day: Invasion Day rallies held across nation
- Invasion Day ad compares Australia Day to tragic events in history
- Australia Day: Hobart City Council gets behind campaign for date change
- Invasion Day rally in Melbourne – ABC News
Apparently, or so it said, there is a cabinet member in the Senate by name of Mitch Fifield, one of whose responsibilities it is to oversee the national broadcaster. Unlike flagrant breaches of the ABC’s Charter, he is very hard to find (although quite easy to contact).
For more on the Charter and the ABC’s contempt for its requirements follow this link or the one below.