[I haven’t been completely idle, just focussing on other things. This article hasn’t been placed yet, but here it is for now.]
Whenever it is proposed to enforce the most minimal standards on commercial media, they erupt in righteous indignation at the supposed threat to free speech, and the need to preserve “independent” and “quality” media. The recent screening of First Contact by SBS and NITV, and the proposed cuts to ABC and SBS funding, bring the issues of quality and independence into sharp relief.
If the commercial media’s offerings had some serious quality, then shows like First Contact would not be so remarkable, and so much remarked. Many more of us would already know the gist of what the five participants learnt, in the course of a month’s immersion in Aboriginal Australia.