Why is the ABC important?

Media is the gateway to information. It determines what the public will and will not know about all range of matters.

A healthy independent and comprehensive national public broadcaster is critical to Australian democracy and culture. The ABC’s independence – from political and commercial influence – enables it to report without fear or favour. The ABC’s responsibilities are to promote Australian culture and, as a comprehensive broadcaster, to cater for a diversity of interests in the community. Importantly, it delivers content to other countries that encourage awareness of Australia.

Only a public broadcaster can:

  • probe the powerful, critically analyse government, expose secret agendas
  • concentrate on quality, rather than deliver audiences to advertisers
  • create a sense of national culture
  • cater for the diversity of interests across the nation
  • foster creative endeavour in the community.

An effective public broadcaster must have:

  • independence from political and commercial influences - freedom to broadcast comprehensive and accessible information so citizens can scrutinise the actions of the powerful and participate in decision-making
  • accountability to the public ultimately, via parliament, but also through accessible and transparent reporting and complaints procedures
  • distinctiveness in creating high quality programming which caters for both minorities and the mainstream
  • market share - sufficient users to justify public expenditure and to exert pressure on other broadcasters

Credible investigative journalism, imaginative and creative programming take time. They require diligence, courage, integrity and independence, and adequate funding.