25 September 2006

Regional media

After bagging it in my preceding post, I was pleasantly surprised to see ABC TV moving back into my good books with tonight's Media Watch which discussed our regional media's trend to fob off local communities with news plucked at random from all over the place.

I raised an eyebrow when Monica Attard used Wollongong as her principal example of "regional" media: I thought it was part of the greater Sydney conurbation. That said, the program provided a considerable amount of information, some of which is expanded in the program website. For example, check out Minister Coonan's answers to the questions submitted to her for confirmation (if you needed it) that doublespeak still flourishes.

If the program had a shortcoming it was that it concentrated on the commercial electronic media, and didn't balance this perspective by referring to the ABC. The fact is, as I can attest from my recent travels in the interior, that the ABC is the only substantial source of local news in regional areas. Newspapers aren't available in the morning (though some may be accessed via the web) and when they do arrive they cost much more than in the southern capitals: the weekday Australian sells for $3.00 in Darwin and $2.20 in Alice Springs. ABC local radio is a valuable source of local and other news (and the various websites are an archive of information for tourists and others - for an example which I've used see ABC Kimberley) .

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