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triple j – Don’t Forget Who Beats the Drum

The triple j radio — and now online — network has been supporting the Australian contemporary music industry for more than 40 years, but many in its audience have no idea it is a division of our ABC.

And even fewer know that it was the brainchild of the Whitlam government, which was sacked before it got around to setting up a national youth radio network that would protect the Australian music industry from overseas competition, as well as preserve ongoing audiences for the national public broadcaster.

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The radio network, which now broadcasts across Australia and online everywhere, is widely credited with having fulfilled its promise of protecting Australia’s contemporary music industry from American and British juggernauts and changes in technology that pushed many local record labels into oblivion.

Subsequently, and quite rightly, it has become a fixture of Australian culture.

Although its playlist certainly includes overseas music, triple j makes a point of supporting Australian artists, and runs a series of initiatives to make sure new Australian music finds a voice.

The most renowned is “triple j unearthed” which identifies and promotes new Australian bands.

In addition to its radio output, which now includes modern classics station “double j,” triple j also provides the best live performances in its “Live at The Wireless” showcase, as well as inviting artists into the studio to perform covers for “Like a Version.”

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The national youth broadcaster is also, for instance, widely attributed with having helped keep the famous Brisbane live music scene pumping.

Whenever you get the chance, please inform anyone you know who listens to triple j that it is the ABC that “beats the drum” for Australian music, and that without the ABC, there would be no triple j.