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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, December 24, 2005

A misty mirror

Australians are increasingly not seeing themselves on screen:

"Local television drama is set for a lean year, with network belt-tightening and timid programming adding to instability created by expected changes to media ownership laws.

"Viewers are being let down, said the head of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, with only a "patchy" schedule of local drama production in 2006.

"'The trend of declining drama out of the networks and the desperate situation at the ABC means it's very difficult to sustain independent production,' Geoff Brown, said.

The three commercial networks are avoiding the risky returns on local dramas for a clear reason, he said, trying to clean up their books before changes to ownership laws.

"'Even though they all deny it, they're all up for sale,' he said."

It seems we can't rely on private investment or government support of SBS and ABC. But then - and although it's made in the UK - the League of Gentlemen might have to keep punters amused.


Blogger chscott said...

Why should we care if we don't see Australians on screen?

Why shouldn't we see the best from all around the world... or have you gone all insular on us?

Saturday, December 24, 2005 2:48:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

How about a combination of both, a shocking concept, i know.
Australians should be seen on screen because our stories are different to anybody else's in the world. Indeed, every country's yarns are different and should be celebrated.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 2:50:00 pm  
Blogger chscott said...

What is so special about "our stories" (whatever that means) that they need even more protection than they have now on commercial FTA networks?

A "combination" is a shocking concept if you make us watch second-rate Australian crap at the expense of what we may want to watch from elsewhere.

Also, if "our stories are different" and "every country's yarns are different and should be celebrated", what the hell are you saying?

Simply, can we watch what we want or do you want to tell us what to watch?

Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:13:00 pm  
Blogger chscott said...

As a follow up, do you undertake that at least 55% of your links will to be to "Australian" sources?

Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:26:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

At least the League of Gentlemen has characters that resemble real Australians. Take , John and Janet Howard for example.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 7:16:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I think the advent of FOX et all makes this issue pretty irrelevant.

Sunday, December 25, 2005 2:47:00 am  

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