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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Public broadcasting has legs

Editor and Publisher reports a (moderately) healthy trend:

"People trust newspapers like The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times more than commercial broadcast news but less than public broadcasting, according to a survey released Thursday and summarized by John Eggerton on the Broadcasting & Cable Web site.

"A Harris telephone survey, commissioned by the Public Relations Society of America, found that 61% of the sample generally trusted news on PBS and NPR, 56% trusted major newspapers, and 53% trusted commercial broadcasts and cable news. These "trust" percentages were created by combining "trust completely," "trust," and "trust somewhat" responses. Newspapers received the highest "trust completely" response, with 13%, versus 10% for noncommercial news and 4% for commercial news."

One would find similar results in Australia. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, with all its faults, is trusted and respected. Accusations of bias and prejudice may get the juices going of brave cultural warriors, but the general populace cares little about this faux battle.

The ABC, of course, is increasingly cowered in the face of government interference and takes fewer journalistic risks.


Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

I seem to recall a ratings survey somewhere that showed ABC TV's ratings went up (relative to commerical stations) when wars and such are on. The abductive inference by survey interpreters is invariably: when people want to REALLY know what is going on, they turn to the national broadcaster. When they want to know about shonky builders who are claiming child-care support while their illegitimate pregnant daughters try the latest fad diet, they turn to 9's ACA and 7's TTN.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 11:16:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

I find that PBS spends more time on a story. In contrast, I remeber when watching a local news broadcast story. The anchor introduced the story which took about 5 seconds and then handed it off to the reporter in the field. She took a minute at the most to report the story. The anchor then said "Thanks for that in depth comprehensive report".
The BBC(International and the German station(DRW?) spend much more time on a story than the major networks.
Most people still rely on the MSM and do not hunt and peck for info like we do. Us bloggers are making a differance. Just the outing Jeff Gannon(by americablog and the daily kos) as a prop for the far right is reward enough for a years worth of clicks.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 1:37:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Human, I find much the same thing with Deutche Welle, the BBC, and NPR, which the ABC broadcasts here at night. The stories are much more detailed, and longer. And the range of topics covered is much broader. And I believe that the BBC is actually a world-leader when it comes to online news delivery. Attacks on public broadcasting are despicable.

As an aside, and without any evidence to back me up, I think the erosion of public broadcasting will be met by a groundswell in community broadcasting. In Sydney, 2SER and FBi are going great guns at the moment. And from what I read this seems to be mirrored in the States and Europe.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 11:53:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Dirt, you're right. Public broadcasting is on the increase. In the US, independent media has never been stronger, mainly because people realised years ago that corporate media was never going to provide a community service.
Watch the same thing happen here in Australia.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Much of it starts with web sites like yours Ant.

Keep up the great work. We need you more than ever.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 3:33:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks, appreciated.
The audience is growing...and my upcoming books, and other projects, will increase the realisation that corporate media isn't the answer to our problems.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 3:42:00 pm  
Blogger Davo said...

It probably has a lot to do with the way that the ABC, Deutsche Welle and others take a more conservative approach to the news that is they report on what has actually been confirmed as true, rather than the sensatinal jumping to conclusions style of commercial media.

Friday, November 18, 2005 6:05:00 pm  

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