A loyal friend of the ABC argues that Radio National is the essence of the ABC and the ABC is the essence of our democracy.

For a democracy to flourish, quality journalism from an independent source is essential, and this is what Radio National has provided for decades.

As we move into a media age with an over abundance of poorly documented or misleading information from a variety of sources, the task of finding reliable information becomes more and more difficult.

The best source of quality journalism in Australia is ABC RN, as part of the ABC umbrella

ABC RN is different to all other sources, free to air or on digital

It is an enormous cultural and intellectual resource in our society that is over looked and undervalued, but worth more than can be easily measured.

All done on a decreasing budget.

Radio National presents interviews with people who speak with lived experience from many parts of the world, using accents that are not smoothed out for easy listening.

They inform about life, science, history politics, culture, philosophy and everything in between. Divergent views are presented at depth way beyond the headlines.

Programs, such as Late Night Live give access to world events and influential thinkers from an Australian point of view. It is never second hand or from another source.

Phillip Adams and his producers have contributed so much to the curious listener who wants to be critical of what is provided on the surface. His retirement is a great loss.

LNL is one of many ABC RN weekly programs such as the Science Show, The Health Report, The Money, The Law Report, The Book Show, Conversations , Stop Everything, Blueprint for Living, Global Roaming – the list goes on.

Their level of journalism is unmatched in any other source. They enrich life.

ABC RN is world class.

The Future Of ABC RN

Underfunding of the ABC is a given.

It is easy for those with vested interests in creating a more limited commercial source of information, to claim the ABC is not needed and doesn’t provide the quality it should.

This can only come from those who don’t listen. And who claim that only ratings matter. ABC RN will never top the ratings, and there are plenty of media outlets trying to serve their own interests through higher ratings.

But we are at a dangerous tipping point where there is greater instability in all aspects of society, and particularly in access to trusted media.

The ABC provides a point of stability that we undervalue at our potential cost.

The media landscape is fragile. Skillfully researched , well resourced, quality journalism and its producers, are cultural .assets, performing difficult jobs in hostile times , with too little recognition.

Producers, researchers, journalists such as those on ABC RN do not suddenly appear, but need to nurtured, protected and properly funded.

Australia is a respected democracy and democracy is founded on access to quality information, fair and independent, fully researched and skillfully presented.

The ABC has demonstrated that it is the best source for providing that.

It must not be allowed to wither on the vine through a death by annual cuts because of inadequate indexation.

If we allow a major achievement like an independent quality media source to fail, we are lessening the heritage we give to the future.

In summary, ABC needs better funding because

  • It provides a window onto the world and important voices from every part of the world and from within our own society through an Australian lens
  • It is an intellectual capital that need to be nurtured and protected
  • It provides an Australia wide voice that is an element of unity within a vast country
  • It has no equivalent in other media sources

Our national government needs to demonstrate they have a commitment to the wellbeing of Australia with a commitment to increased funding of the ABC and particularly ABC RN.

The courage to stand up for a true independent media is vital.