Friday, 23 July 2010

ABC News 24

Yesterday the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) started its 24-hour television news service. ABC News 24, as this youngest branch of the non-commercial TV and radio broadcaster is called. ABC News 24 is supposed to “cover local and international news, current affairs, analysis of political, social and economic trends” as the advertising blitz knocked it into the audience in recent weeks.

Considering that the ABC missed out in the live coverage of the Fromelles ceremonies this week, its performance can only get better. The question the RadicalRoyalist puts forward is, will ABC News 24 also cover royal events? When the Queen of Australia last visited Melbourne in March 2006 ABC Victoria’s evening news covered the event in 13 seconds, of which half was dedicated to a small group of demonstrators. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Queen of Australia from 1936 to 1952, died in 2002, the lying in state was not broadcast live by the ABC, which prefered to show an old Cary Grant film instead.

No matter which figures you refer to, the 54.4 percent of the Australian people who said No to a republic in 1999 or the 39 percent who declare themselves as Monarchists in a more recent republican-paid opinion poll, there is a considerable section of the Australian community that is interested in royal events and which should be served by the ABC.

However, it is more likely that those who direct the ABC will not take this opportunity to satisfy the Monarchist spectators. The ABC bigwigs might be too afraid to “promote” the Monarchist cause or the sometimes nasty response by the republican minority in Australia. Since the 1999 referendum the ABC more or less gave up reporting on everything that is of any interest to Monarchists. There is, on the other hand, no shortage of negative reports. The latest was the ABC’s stunt on the costs of the British Monarchy.

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