ABC Friends News

Ita Buttrose at the Ramsay Centre

Ita Buttrose, Chair of the ABC Board, has just made an important speech to The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Read Ita's speech on the ABC web site

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has warned against growing attempts of intimidation towards public broadcasters around the world, saying countries that have popular, well-funded public sector media encounter less extremism and corruption and have greater press freedom.

Ms Buttrose told the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation that national broadcasters around the world face similar lines of criticism and assaults on their existence by commercial enterprises that claim public broadcasting services are no longer necessary.

She challenged the government to create a media freedom act that would compel policy makers to take media freedom into account when drafting national security legislation and give the courts a benchmark when they are adjudicating cases that touch on press freedom.

Taking thinly veiled swipes at the Morrison government, commercial media rivals such as News Corp Australia and the Australian Federal Police, Ms Buttrose described the 2019 raids on the ABC’s Sydney offices as a “calculated move” that was “clearly designed to intimidate”.

And even Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper has acknowledged the speech, saying:

ABC chair Ita Buttrose has expressed alarm at a ‘more strident’ campaign against the public broadcaster, launching a major defence of the organisation and press freedom.

We urge you to listen to and read this important speech and to distribute it far and wide!