In Australia we have the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC if you like. Government funded, just like the BBC in the UK, and it does radio including shortwave radio and a television service to our near neighbours, even as far as China, normal television including digital and online. What it does with its small amount of funding compared to what the BBC gets, is extraordinary. I would go so far as to say it does some things better than the Beeb.
It has changed a lot over the years that I have been a consumer of our ABC. Some areas for better, some for worse. For local people, I go back to the days of Evans the Wireless.
It was probably eight years or so ago and on a Sunday and I was sitting in the car waiting for someone or something, and I thought I would tune into the radio news. It was supposed to be a national news service, but all I heard was about Sydney. Car crashes, delays on roads, punch up at the Coogee Bay Hotel (ok, I am exaggerating there). I got a bit annoyed. This is supposed to be National news for all states, not just for Sydney.
I had heard people refer to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as the Sydney Broadcasting Corporation, and know I knew why.
Alerted to it on that day, I have always kept it in the back of my mind, ever watchful for signs of emergence of the Sydney Broadcasting Corporation. I got a lay down misere tonight.
While your eyes are already glazing over and you have noticed a cobweb in the corner that needs removing, it is my blog and I will proceed. You foreign types need some background. Even local folks probably do.
Christmas and New Year and much of January is our hot summer. There aren't any radio ratings and our ABC takes the chance to save money and networks right across Australia. That means we all lose local content. I am fine with the theory of this, no matter how crappy the programs are.
While they keep saying that we are listening to ABC local radio, it could be coming from any of our states and it has a national flavour. Saves our ABC heaps of money. I fully understand why they do it.
But if they are pretending that a nation wide broadcast is local radio, they really need to get it right.
Alan Brough, broadcasting from Melbourne, went national. He did ok and sounded inclusive.
I cannot say the same for Rhys Muldoon who was supposed to be broadcasting nationally, at least he was to where I am in Victoria, and during his quite boring quiz, he asked the question, 'Who on ABC Local Radio, hosts the Conversation Hour?' He went on to confirm the bias by adding, 'There is only one Conversation Hour Host'. I am happy to get this self confirmed religious Tory type that he is into trouble when this lands on Sue's desk.
Now in Sydney, the ever so book/film/celeb Conversation Hour is hosted by an ex comedian from The Doug Anthony All Stars. In Melbourne, it is hosted by a high rating and very respected radio current affairs broadcaster by the name of Jon Faine. In fact Monsieur Faine (he is presently in Paris) goes Victoria wide and even into southern NSW and Tasmania, the latter two by default of a powerful transmitter. In fact I have been amused by Melbourne to London dot com.
So, there are at least two Conversation Hours in Australia on ABC Local Radio, possibly more. Rhys assumed there was only the one that he as a Sydneysider knows about. Bad karma Rhys and what ammo you give to those who want to refer to our national broadcaster, the ABC, as the Sydney Broadcasting Corporation.
Rhys, if you want to know how to do it, listen to some old tapes of your boss Sue when she was on the wireless. I could never work out where she was. I think Melbourne, but not really sure. She presented nationally, so there was never any state bias.
Gee, how hard is it to check facts for a quiz???