ABC Friends is welcoming efforts by The Greens to make sure the ABC is not left out of a deal that could otherwise see money flow, once again, to Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers and other commercial news organisations.
The Guardian Australia online newspaper is reporting that Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has indicated her party could support a new law that would force Google and Facebook to pay for the news that they distribute on their sites, but only if the ABC and SBS are included.
At the moment, the legislation locks the ABC out of any compensation from the internet giants.
The Greens also want the government to come up with a scheme that would rescue the news wire service AAP, which is otherwise likely to close.
Senator Hanson-Young, who is The Greens’ communications spokeswoman, is reported to have said:
“If the government wants to save journalism in Australia, then they need to deliver more than a sugar hit to Murdoch.”
“The code as it is is incomplete, and it needs to be fixed if it is to pass the parliament and save public interest journalism.
“The ABC is Australia’s most trusted news source and there is no excuse for locking them out of any arrangements that force the tech giants to pay their fair share.”
“The ABC has been a punching bag of this government for too long. Fixing this code, including the public broadcasters and saving AAP, is what Australia’s news landscape requires.”
ABC Friends Victoria President Peter Monie says ABC Friends is very grateful to The Greens, and Senator Hanson-Young in particular, for their ongoing support of our national public broadcaster.
Peter Monie said:
“To try to pass legislation that would see money going to News Limited and other commercial operations and not the ABC is entirely consistent with this government’s ideological attacks on the popular public broadcaster.”
“The Coalition wants to prop-up biased commercial media companies and diminish the ABC because only the public broadcaster fearlessly holds the government to account, and is entirely free of commercial and political influence.”
“We would like to thank Senator Hanson-Young for her unwavering support for our ABC, and wish her and The Greens success in their efforts to stop this unfair legislation in its current form.”
(ABC Friends VIC President Peter Monie)