The Role and Future of Radio Australia and Australia Television




3.1 In the first part of this chapter, we describe proposals to restructure the BBC World Service and close Radio Canada International (RCI), which arose out of funding stringencies, and their outcomes. It is interesting to note that these two international broadcasters and Radio Australia were all subject to serious cuts in service or closure at about the same time. With respect to the BBC World Service and RCI, their governments accepted the foreign policy imperatives for maintaining their services.

3.2 We then describe the history of the main inquiries to which RA and ATV have been subjected. This history helps to put the current predicament of RA and ATV into context.

Overseas Restructuring

BBC World Service

3.3 In June 1996, the BBC announced a package of restructuring measures for the World Service. In July 1996, a joint Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Office/World Service Working Group was set up to consider the detail and implications of proposed restructuring and review of funding arrangements for BBC World Service. The report of the Working Group, however, was not final, with criticism of the proposed changes prompting further discussion. Finally, a funding shortfall was averted which could have involved the closure of up to six language services. In fact, funding was increased by 3.1 per cent over the previous year, which also represented an increase in real terms.

3.4 The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which monitored the restructuring and funding processes, commented:

3.5 The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee argued strongly against any diminution of the World Service:

Radio Canada International (RCI)

3.6 During the same period, Radio Canada International (RCI) was experiencing serious financial shortfalls. In 1995, its parent organisation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was to have its operating budget reduced by A$394 million over three years, a reduction of 33 per cent resulting in a 50 per cent loss of staff. [3] At the same time as these substantial cuts were made, an emphasis was placed on improving CBC's domestic broadcasting services. It was decided that RCI's 51 year broadcasting life would come to an end on 31 March 1997. The Government was also considering possible participation of the private sector in delivering international broadcasting services. [4]

3.7 On 14 December 1996, Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy announced a plan in the Canadian House of Commons that would keep Radio Canada International afloat for one year: the Departments of Heritage Canada and of Foreign Affairs and international Trade would contribute $6 million each and additional money would come from the Department of Defence and the Canadian International Development Agency. [5]

3.8 The RCI submission to this inquiry reports that RCI now has a commitment from the Government for long-term separate funding. No longer part of CBC, RCI stated that the organisation will retain its 'traditional journalistic independence' operating at 'arms length' from Government as before, but now as part of a Crown Corporation. At the same time, it will be taking a prominent role in 'Canada's diplomatic effort through an "International Information Strategy" or "softpower" projection of information in the national interest'. [6]

3.9 On 12 December 1996, the Hon Sheila Copps, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Cultural Heritage, announced that RCI would be funded as a 'long term service which is part and parcel of the Government's foreign policy thrust … [as] a key cornerstone in foreign policy information'. [7] Official ties between Government foreign policy and the organisation's operations were therefore explicitly made, moving RCI's operations into line with the British system.

Relationship between international broadcasters and their governments

3.10 International broadcasting services operated by Britain and the USA are, to varying degrees, officially tied to the foreign policy objectives of the Governments of those countries. American international information services are under direct control of the US State Department while the BBC World Service, established by Royal Charter, operates with funding received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The BBC World Service is thus required by that Office to broadcast:

3.11 It should be emphasised, however, that the BBC World Service maintains complete editorial control over programming.

3.12 By contrast, Radio Canada International, prior to the implementation of the new arrangements had, like Radio Australia, a history as part of an independent statutory broadcasting authority, established as such by an Act of Parliament to provide national broadcasting services. [9] Funding for international broadcasting services were drawn from within the overall budget of the parent organisation. When that funding was cut, support for international services came under scrutiny with resultant pressure to either privatise or find other means of funding.

3.13 The Canadian example has resonances for the future structure of Australian international broadcasting services. [10] Canada's international radio services now follow the British model, offering on the one hand a 'guaranteed editorial freedom' and, on the other, the requirement that it follows the broad policy directives of its funding agents, the departments responsible for foreign affairs and Canadian heritage.

Responsibility for and Funding of Radio Australia

3.14 Debate over the proper sources of funding and allocation of responsibility for Radio Australia has been a feature of its operational history. The close relationship which international broadcasting services have had with departments responsible for international relations has been a source of considerable tension in the Australian debate and has given rise to a series of reviews and government inquiries.

3.15 During the Second World War, a notable conflict between the objectives of the Department of Information and the Australian Broadcasting Commission occurred over a joint Department/ABC series about the Japanese broadcast in March 1942. While collaborating extensively in its programming at home and overseas, the ABC in its 1942-43 report referred to its 'difference of opinion' with certain Government departments on the manner in which some types of propaganda should be handled. Using that series as example it opined that: '... serious loss to the war-time effectiveness of our national stations would result from any undermining ... [of public confidence in the ABC's] impartiality and integrity.' [11]

3.16 The degree of interaction between the desire to maintain journalistic 'impartiality and integrity' and the need to respond to foreign policy objectives, was an explicit or implicit component in the debate over the following decades.

3.17 In 1964 and 1965 the possibility of Radio Australia being a separate statutory authority, as a variant on the British model, was considered by the Department of External Affairs. But this proposal was called into question in a draft paper 'Location of Radio Australia', prepared by a senior departmental officer, who 'said it might "take some time to achieve the desirable end of a separate institution"'. He indicated that time would be needed for Radio Australia to accept the Department of External Affairs' uncompromising views on the fundamental difference between the requirements for external and internal broadcasting: 'that the considerations which govern the presentation of programmes of the news on one are not necessarily valid for the other'. [12]

3.18 In 1973, Mr Peter Homfray, then head of Radio Australia and increasingly frustrated by a perceived unwillingness on the part of the ABC to fund the service adequately, proposed to the Minister for the Media, Senator Douglas McClelland, that RA could become a separate statutory authority under his Department. [13]

3.19 Accordingly, in April 1973, Senator Douglas McClelland wrote to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam suggesting that Radio Australia should be put directly under his ministerial responsibility and be attached to the Department of the Media. The Prime Minister rejected the American model option saying that Radio Australia must be able to demonstrate its 'comparative freedom from direct Government control'. [14]

3.20 Over time, consideration of the cost factors involved in maintaining international broadcasting services, either as part of the ABC, affiliated with another department, or as a separate entity, increasingly dominated discussion of the role and functions of RA.

3.21 In February 1975, the Public Service Board/ABC Inquiry into Radio Australia again considered the option of placing Radio Australia with the Department of Media (but as an autonomous unit). It was concluded, however, that this would incur the same administrative and cost obstacles involved in establishing complete independence. This latter option was regarded by the inquiry as 'a last resort'. [15] Later, in December 1975, the ABC submission to the Waller Inquiry also rejected the possibility of RA becoming a separate statutory authority. It suggested that although an independent board of directors would be desirable, the establishment costs would be 'exceedingly high'. [16]

3.22 During the 1980s, a number of experienced commentators, all former diplomats and former high ranking Defence and/or Foreign Affairs officers, expressed severe criticisms of Radio Australia. Sir Arthur Tange, Mr William Pritchett and Mr Malcolm Booker all considered the idea of an international radio service operating on the premise of journalistic freedom was extremely questionable. [17]

3.23 In 1988, all three made explicit statements to that effect, also querying the cost effectiveness of RA's operations. Australian taxpayers, in their view, were being tricked into supporting, as Mr Pritchett put it, 'a small independent bureaucracy of journalists'. [18] For Mr Booker, it was this group who, by their naive insistence on a 'warts and all' approach to overseas reporting, caused regional disharmony and embarrassment to Australia. At interview he later concluded: 'You can't engender good will by exposing the deficiencies of your neighbours and their governments. If you want to engender goodwill, it's a highly expert propaganda exercise.' [19]

3.24 Sir Arthur Tange saw that a possible, but qualified, reason for continued Radio Australia services could lie:

3.25 He, nevertheless, concluded:

Major Inquiries of the 1980s and 1990s

3.26 In the 1980s and early 1990s, a number of major inquiries were conducted into Australia's international broadcasting services and their parent organisation, the ABC.

The Dix Report (1981)

3.27 In 1979, the then Government established a committee to conduct a major review of the ABC. The committee, which was chaired by businessmen Mr Alexander Dix, presented its report, The ABC in Review: National Broadcasting in the 1980s, to the Minister for Communications, Mr Sinclair in May 1981. The recommendations of the report, known as the Dix Report, were largely implemented and resulted in the organisation which we know today. [21]

3.28 After receiving over 2,200 submissions and conducting hearings in all states, the Dix inquiry noted that the organisation must respond to the changed demography of Australian society. He emphasised the need to move from an English bias in programming towards a model reflecting the diversity of Australian society, including rural and remote, multicultural and Aboriginal content. He rated the importance of news and current affairs programming very highly and noted that restrictions on revenue coincided with increased costs for program production. He thus recommended: broad management restructuring (a corporate structure and outlook); an emphasis on regionalism; greater commitment to Australian content (with an emphasis on complementarity [22]); and, funding support from program-related merchandising (resulting in the ABC shops etc) and possibly from limited sponsorship. Dix also suggested that the ABC should be relieved of its responsibility for orchestras and that the states should fund educational programs. [23]

3.29 The Dix Report was convinced of the value of Radio Australia as Australia's international presence and recommended that its status be enhanced. One aspect of this was the upgrade which would result from the ABC having control of its radio transmission facilities (still under control of the National Transmission Agency). The clause for provision of international services was to be included in the ABC's charter (within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983) and the service would be operated by the ABC with separate funding. The report had rejected the possibility that Radio Australia be incorporated within a government department saying:

Radio Australia Review [The Revill Review], (1989)

3.30 In response to a discussion paper, Policy Discussion Paper No 1 issued in early 1988 by the Minister for Transport and Communications, Senator Gareth Evans, a major review of Radio Australia was announced in November 1988.

3.31 The ABC Committee of Review, convened by Mr Stuart Revill and assisted by Dr Rodney Tiffen as consultant, was appointed to inquire into the role of Radio Australia within the ABC and to evaluate its general performance in serving its target audience. It produced its report, the Radio Australia Review, in August 1989.

3.32 The report found that Radio Australia services should continue, and as part of the ABC. [25] It noted that Radio Australia had been severely disadvantaged by lack of control of its transmission facilities and, therefore, by its inability to upgrade facilities in line with its competitors and by prohibitions on transmitting off-shore and on contracting sharing of transmission time (as prescribed by the National Transmission Authority Act). The report noted that figures of comparative investment by governments were striking: over the preceding five years, the BBC spent approximately $A120 million on its Audibility Program, Voice of America spent roughly $A490 million, while less than $3 million had been spent on RA's transmission from 1984-85 to 1988-89. [26] Relative investment in transmission facilities was, therefore, enormously disparate. [27]

3.33 The report stated that Federal Government funding was urgently needed to upgrade RA's transmission facilities and that the ABC should have ownership and control of RA's transmitters. At the same time, it noted that these same problems had thwarted RA for years, as a 'parade of official reports' had concluded. The Revill Review recommended 'urgent remedial action' so that Radio Australia could be restored to a competitive position in its target regions. [28]

3.34 As part of this enhanced profile, RA was also to advance its impact on the Asia Pacific region, with the South West Pacific a priority. This was in part because of growing instability in the region. As advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs submission to the inquiry, there were 'internal tensions (eg. Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu) and an increased external interest that in some circumstances, could potentially destabilise the region in ways inimical to Australian interests'. [29] The report also referred to the South Pacific region's reliance on RA for 'consistently reliable information on Pacific and international affairs', the former not being offered by other main international broadcasters. [30] For this focus to evolve, however, the report recommended that restructuring, management and transmission commitment to broadcasting in the region was vitally necessary. [31] It noted that despite the ABC Board's directive of 1988 that the South West Pacific should be given priority ahead of South East Asia, such commitment had not yet been evinced by the organisation. [32]

3.35 Despite certain operational weaknesses the overall profile of Radio Australia presented by the report was, however, strongly positive. Audience response had shown that RA had continued to attract large audiences who were satisfied with its services. Although some decline in audiences was noted, short-wave was confirmed as an appropriate broadcasting medium for its majority target areas, particularly the Pacific, while recommendations were made for more advanced technologies for audiences in, for example, Japan. [33] The report thus directed that the organisation must see itself as an 'international communicator, rather than as an international short-wave broadcaster alone' and recommended regular review of programming schedules to keep focus on developments in the targeted regions.

3.36 Finally, Radio Australia's independence from direct control of the Department of Foreign Affairs was seen as crucial. The report noted that insistence on this was echoed broadly by the submissions received. [34] The review committee's conclusion, too, was that Radio Australia's independent broadcasting status, as part of an independent Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was a demonstration to its audience that Australia was the democratic nation it projected itself to be: 'a nation which allows an open flow of information, which nurtures debate on policy and holds its government accountable through close critical examination of its actions.' [35]

Radio Australia Review 1994-95

3.37 In 1995, Radio Australia was revisited by Dr Rod Tiffen in an independent review resulting in the Radio Australia Review 1994/95. The review aimed to assess broadly what were the implications of changes in the broadcasting environment for RA's services and to evaluate RA's response to the recommendations made in the 1989 review. For the first time, the desirability of RA providing television services was seriously canvassed. [36]

3.38 In his review, Dr Tiffen attempted to ascertain whether the audiences for short-wave services, particularly in RA's targeted areas, had been maintained. Acknowledging the unreliability of surveys conducted over the last couple of decades with their wildly divergent assessments, [37] he noted that audience reception was down in Indonesia and that RA's relative position had declined, especially as compared with the BBC. [38] He remarked, however, that the opposite was true for the Pacific, an area to which RA had applied itself in accordance with recommendations made in the 1989 Revill review. [39] In particular, Dr Tiffen reported that audiences in Papua New Guinea had dramatically increased, so much so that RA's regular listenership there was substantially ahead of both the BBC and VOA. [40]

3.39 Dr Tiffen's overall judgement about the future of short-wave radio was positive. Despite evident developments in communication and reception technologies in the Asian region, he speculated that this development was likely to be a metropolitan one only, with correspondingly increased short-wave reception in provincial and rural areas not surveyed. [41] He also observed that new developments did not mean that older technologies disappeared, rather that total media consumption increased. [42] The direction was thus for an increase rather than winding down of RA's services. Short-wave radio was a cost effective medium for reaching the largest audiences, and its potential during political crises, as illustrated during the coups in Fiji and the protests in China, was an important factor when considering future directions for RA. [43]

3.40 Dr Tiffen raised the question of whether RA should diversify its operations by moving into television but not, however, in direct competition with ATV. Should such a move be made, Dr Tiffen considered that it should be in indigenous languages, not in English. He also warned that it be conducted in a measured way which did not endanger the value of its current operations.

3.41 A major consideration for RA, as ever, remained the 'institutional absurdity' of RA's transmission arrangements. [44] Despite the directives made in the 1983 ABC Charter, and the repeated recommendations made in following reviews, Dr Tiffen reported that RA remained locked into a triangular arrangement with Telecom Australia and the National Transmission Authority, and was denied funds and control over its transmission. The review noted, once again, that this had to end, emphasising that 'this is the single most important objective in changing government policy towards RA'. [45]

3.42 Related to this were other budgetary considerations; the organisation had experienced disproportionate cuts to its budget relative to other ABC functions. [46] At the same time, it had moved to new ABC premises at Southbank incurring large re-establishment costs.

Our ABC: Report of the Senate Select Committee on ABC Management and Operations (1995)

3.43 During 1994-95, a Senate Select Committee conducted an inquiry into a number of areas of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including Australia Television. The original terms of the inquiry were agreed to by the Senate on 21 September 1994 but were amended and expanded on 13 October 1994. The Committee was chaired by then Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston. Its report, Our ABC: Report of the Senate Select Committee on ABC Management and Operations was released in March 1995.

3.44 The terms of reference for the inquiry encompassed a wide range of issues, including the performance of ATV in gaining an audience in Asia, whether sponsorship undermined ATV's integrity and the financial future of ATV.

3.45 The Select Committee reported that it:

3.46 However, the Select Committee concluded that the ABC was not realistic in its initial revenue projections and that, had it accepted a longer lead time for the establishment of the service, ATV would not have been put in a position where unrealistic forecasts were inevitably unfulfilled and the viability of the service questioned. [48]

3.47 The Select Committee reported that the Government's Hutchinson and Barrett review [49] had concluded that the extension of the line of credit to ATV had not represented diversion of funds for other services and that as long as they were repaid with interest, it would not do so. [50] This accorded with the statement of the Chief Executive of ATV, Mr Michael Mann, who told the Committee that 'Based on our current conservative 10 per cent increase in sponsorship, we will break even in 1999. Repayment of the line of credit would not occur till some years later.' [51]

3.48 In conclusion, the ABC conceded that, if appropriation funds were not to be used after June 1995, 'additional sources of bridging finance may be necessary'. [52] This, however, was not seen to be inappropriate by the ABC, as the Chairman of the ABC Board, Professor Mark Armstrong, confirmed to the Minister for Communications and Arts, Mr Michael Lee. In a letter responding to the Minister, Professor Armstrong emphasised that ATV was 'an important activity in the context of [the ABC's] Charter' and that the 'ABC Board has never implied it was a marginal activity'. He further stated:

3.49 The Select Committee considered 'allegations that the editorial independence of the ABC is threatened by the requirements of BNA, ATV and Pay TV to satisfy commercial sponsors, investors or clients'. [54] No evidence was found that any editorial compromise had occurred as a result of existing arrangements. However, the Select Committee stipulated that, as a preventive measure, funding guarantees should be approved by Parliament so that 'ATV will be eligible to make use of ABC's budget funds [and] will be able to afford to lose a sponsor who makes the provision of sponsorship funds subject to unacceptable conditions.' [55] The Select Committee supported the principle of adequate funding for ATV:

3.50 With regard to general ABC funding, the Select Committee supported the continued exemption of the two per cent efficiency dividend on the grounds that it helped to 'provide greater planning certainty for the ABC's capital works program'. [57] The Select Committee also supported the maintenance of ABC funding at least at its current level. [58]

Review of the Status and Funding of the ABC's International Broadcasting Services (1995)

3.51 This review was conducted by an interdepartmental group consisting of representatives of the Department of Communications and the Arts, the Department of Finance and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the ABC. In the course of its inquiry it considered 60 written submissions from interested individuals and organisations and submitted its report in October 1995. [59] The impetus for the review was the Government's continuing concern over the funding of the ATV service. Despite the evidence and conclusions of the Barrett and Hutchinson review, commissioned on 10 June 1994, recent revenue forecasts for ATV suggested that the planned 1996-97 review of international broadcasting services should urgently be brought forward. [60] On 6 June 1995, the Minister for Communications and the Arts informed Parliament of the revised schedule. At the same time, he advised that the Government 'entered the review as a strong supporter of the contribution which ATV has made in raising Australia's profile in the region'. [61]Timing was also significant for other reasons. On 30 June 1995, the conditions of the Government establishment grant of $5.4 million to ATV, as accepted by ABC, were to lapse. These included clauses referring to the need for the service to be self-funding in years subsequent to the grant period, to run on sponsorship and promotional programming and to enter into consultative arrangements with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. [62]In supporting ATV, the Government had emphasised the need for the service to operate on a commercial basis as soon as possible and to allow for the show-casing of Australian trade, industry and tourism. [63] Now that the conditional period had expired, the ABC could exercise its option to close the service. The ABC decided to continue operation stating that it saw the ATV as 'a valued and valuable part of the ABC, making an important and valued and valuable contribution to the Australia's profile in the important Asian region'. However, it also advised that it would not continue the service at the expense of Radio Australia or other budget-funded activities. [64]The Government therefore had to consider overall cost considerations and other operational aspects of the continuation of ATV services relative to ABC's other international broadcasting service, Radio Australia. [65] These were to be considered in the light of the functions of international broadcasting services as contained in s.6(1)(b) of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act which specified assessment of the importance of the foreign relations dimension of the services. [66]The review's conclusion was that ATV was not a viable satellite broadcaster without additional resources [67] and yet could not apparently deliver programming in the region other than as a satellite broadcaster in its own right. [68] The reviewers reported that, in mediation of this dilemma, both ABC and DFAT saw potential for ATV in equity partnerships with investors (such as other broadcasters, newspapers or newspaper organisations). [69] However, DFAT was concerned that ATV should retain identity as 'a distinctly Australian service'. [70] The ABC also expressed reservations in regard to the sale of ATV news services because of: 'risks to the integrity of ATV news should buyers seek to alter news feeds to avoid adverse criticism from governments where buyers have strong commercial interests'. [71] The ABC further cautioned that even if guarantees were secured that ATV news would be broadcast complete, 'such a guarantee would be impossible to monitor'. [72]With regard to Radio Australia, the report noted that while substantial investment in short-wave delivery by other major international broadcasters had occurred over the last decade, the predicted decline in short-wave use suggested that investment on that scale in short-wave infrastructure could not be justified by an Australian Government. [73] It thus recommended that RA needed to 'develop further its role as an international communicator and exploit alternative means of delivery to target regions' [74] and to do so, the ABC was 'open' to pursue funding from Government in the next budget triennium, commencing late 1996-97. [75] Again, the organisation's need to control its transmission facilities and transmission budget, so that it could use related contemporary broadcasting mediums such as AM/FM rebroadcasting and satellite broadcasting, was pivotal to RA's effectiveness. Accordingly, it was recommended that transmission funding should be made over to the ABC. This time, however, the recommendation was qualified by the Department of Foreign Affairs' suggestion that the transaction should occur only with the proviso that the ABC should continue its ATV service. [76]Specifically, the Department of Foreign Affairs saw television as the major new medium for reaching opinion makers in what it considered the priority regions of Australian interest; East Asia followed by the South Pacific. [77] It therefore favoured investment in ATV over Radio Australia. The ABC, meanwhile, argued for a balance between television and radio services which it believed should and would change over time. [78] In defence of Radio Australia, ABC cited audience research which showed that short-wave radio, including local language services, had enormous impact in Asia and the Pacific. [79]Another significant factor contributing to the report's assessment of the foreign relations implications was that of the ABC international services' independent status as guaranteed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act. This enshrined the consultative relationship between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the ABC, whereby the ABC Board has independence from the Government of the day in determining policies relative to the organisation's function. The report concluded that 'A potential tension exists, therefore, between the public diplomacy objectives of government and the ABC's editorial independence'. [80]The Department of Finance considered the fact that the 'ABC would continue to retain discretion to depart from the Government's objectives' was a major flaw in the 'structural arrangements' of Australia's delivery of international services. [81] Further, the Department believed that the review had failed to assess the effectiveness of the services in advancing Australia's international objectives relative to the expense already committed in DFAT's diplomatic effort, some $750 million in 1995-96. The Department of Finance therefore determined that the Government needed advice on the best way of achieving its objectives in the provision of international services and recommended that a Cabinet Memorandum be commissioned for consideration by the Expenditure Review Committee in the 1996-97 Budget.In consideration of all the evidence, the report concluded that 'Australia's diplomacy objectives are best served through the provision of independent broadcasting services as provided by the ABC'. It stressed the respective strengths of each service and cited future funding options for the services as follows:


3.62 The role and future of Australian international broadcasting services have been the subject of continual inquiry, review and debate. The same issues have tended to recur: the effectiveness or value of international services as Australia's voice to the world; the relative merits of an independent service versus one more closely tied to Australia's foreign affairs' objectives; the ethical and pecuniary factors which might direct the range and nature of services offered; the relative effects of modern communications developments, particularly in the targeted regions; and, whether Australia can afford to run, or can afford to lose, these services and, if they are to continue, how and by whom should the services be delivered.

3.63 These same issues are also in the forefront of the Committee's inquiry. However, before addressing these and other issues relevant to the terms of reference, the Committee examines, in Chapter 4, the relevant parts of the report of the most recent review of the ABC, that conducted between July and December 1996 by Mr Bob Mansfield. Whereas international broadcasting services had been key issues in most of the earlier inquiries, this area of the ABC's operations received scant attention by Mr Mansfield. Nevertheless, his conclusions and recommendations in relation to these services, if implemented, have dire consequences. It was these conclusions and recommendations, and Senator Alston's unquestioning support for them, which gave rise to the Committee's inquiry.


[1] British House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee Second Report, p. vi.

[2] British House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee Second Report, The Organisation and Funding of the BBC World Service (Follow-Up Evidence Sessions) 22 January 1997, p. vi.

[3] Karen Winton, 'CBC struggles to keep it local', Communications Update, November 1996, p. 12.

[4] 'Radio Canada International: Broadcaster wins second reprieve', Ottawa Citizen, 13 December 1996.

[5] 'Radio Canada International: Broadcaster wins second reprieve', Ottawa Citizen, 13 December 1996.

[6] Radio Canada International submission, p. 4.

[7] Radio Canada International submission, p. 4.

[8] Quoted in Bob Mansfield, The Challenge of a Better ABC, Volume 1: A Review of the Role and Functions of the ABC, p. 41.

[9] The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was created by an Act of Parliament on 2 November 1936 and now broadcasts under the 1991 Broadcasting Act. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was established in 1932 under the Australian Broadcasting Act , with Act amended in 1983 to incorporate the new ABC charter.

[10] Derek White, submission no. 400.

[11] Sixty Years Our ABC: Celebrating Australia's 60th, Anniversary 1932-92, ABC Corporate Relations and ABC Document Archives [1992], p. 9.

[12] Errol Hodge, Radio Wars, Truth Propaganda and the Struggle for Radio Australia, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, Chap. 12, p. 257.

[13] Reported in Hodge, Radio Wars, Truth Propaganda and the Struggle for Radio Australia, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, Chap. 12, p. 257.

[14] Sir Keith Shann to Acting Foreign Affairs Minister, 6 August 1993, DFATA 570/1/6 part 2.

[15] Management Consultancy Division, Public Service Board, Review of Radio Australia, Feb. 1975, p. 4.

[16] ABC Submission to the Waller inquiry, 28 July 1975. The conclusions reached by the inquiry were released as Radio Australia, Independent Inquiry Report (the Waller report) in December 1975.

[17] Tange was former Secretary of both the Defence department and the Department of External Affairs, Pritchett was a Secretary of the Defence department and Booker First Assistant Secretary under Tange and his successor; as reported in Hodge, Radio Wars, Chapter 12, passim .

[18] W. B. Prichett, letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 August 1988.

[19] Recorded interview with Booker, Canberra , 20 March 1989.

[20] Recorded interview with Tange, reported in Hodge, Radio Wars, Chap. 12, p. 252.

[21] All but nine of the report's 273 recommendations were implemented.

[22] Providing , for example, coverage of high profile events that did not attract commercial media interest, such as women's sport.

[23] This summary of the report is drawn from 'Dix and the ABC', Communications Update, September 1996.

[24] Dix Report (1981), p. 31.

[25] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, pp 35-36.

[26] Expenditure for both BBC and VOA figured as part of longer term commitments. From 1981, BBC proceeded with a decade long Audibility program (approved by the Callaghan government and implemented by the Thatcher government) costing 100 million pounds in new capital expenditure. Meanwhile the Reagan government announced an US $1.3 billion modernisation program for Voice of America. Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, pp 24-25.

[27] See Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 25 for details.

[28] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 28.

[29] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 13.

[30] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 14.

[31] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 2.

[32] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 14.

[33] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, passim.

[34] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 9.

[35] Radio Australia Review, ABC, August 1989, p. 9.

[36] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 1.

[37] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 8.

[38] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 4.

[39] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 41.

[40] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, pp. 6-7.

[41] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 10.

[42] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 25.

[43] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 10-11.

[44] See Radio Australia Review 1994/95, pp 61-66.

[45] See Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 1.

[46] Radio Australia Review 1994/95, p. 52.

[47] Our ABC: Report, March 1995, pp 68-69.

[48] Our ABC: Report, March 1995, p. 69 and at Evidence note 80.

[49] The review of the management and financial arrangements of ATV was requested by the Minister for Communications and the Arts in 1994 and was conducted by the Deputy Secretaries of the Department of Communications and the Arts and the Department of Finance, Mr Michael Hutchinson and Mr Pat Barret. The Our ABC report notes that the major impetus for the Government's review of ATV was the 'prior failure of ATV to meet its revenue targets, its recourse to an internal line of credit for funding and the consequent concern at the potential negative impact of ATV on the free-to-air domestic service'. See Our ABC Report, March 1995, pp 67-8.

[50] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 71.

[51] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 71.

[52] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 71.

[53] Letter to Minister for Communications & Arts, Mr M Hutchinson, Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 60.

[54] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 75.

[55] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 77.

[56] Our ABC: Report, March 1995, p. 75.

[57] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 96.

[58] Our ABC Report, March 1995, p. 99.

[59] Australian Broadcasting Corporation Annual Report 1995-96, p. 67.

[60] Review of the Status and Funding of the ABC's International Broadcasting Services, October 1995, p. 3.

[61] Review, October 1995, p.3.

[62] Review, October 1995, p. 7.

[63] Review, October 1995, p. 7.

[64] Review, October 1995, p. 7-8.

[65] General issues for ATV were the necessity of upgrading and replacing satellite services, the need to maximise and assess audience reach so as to attract sponsorship and the need to produce regionally-focussed programs with the possible assistance of RA's language services. For RA, the range of considerations were as reviewed in the sequence of previous reports, with the impetus ever stronger to assert that short wave had had its day, particularly in Asia, relative to television broadcasting. Again, and pivotal to RA's effectiveness, was its lack of control of its transmission facilities and transmission budget, a situation which ensured that it could not advance into related contemporary broadcasting mediums such as AM/FM rebroadcasting and satellite broadcasting.

[66] Specifically introduced by reference 2 (b) which called for assessment of 'the effectiveness of the ABC's international services and the manner in which they complement the Government's foreign and trade policy objectives'. See Review, October 1995, p. 70.

[67] Review, October 1995, p. iv.

[68] Review, October 1995, p. 43.

[69] Review, October 1995, pp 41-2.

[70] Review, October 1995, p. 42.

[71] Review, October 1995, p. 40.

[72] Review, October 1995, p. 40.

[73] Review, October 1995, p. 36.

[74] Review, October 1995, p. 43.

[75] Review, October 1995, p. iv.

[76] Review, October 1995, pp vi & 43.

[77] Review, October 1995, p. iv.

[78] Review, October 1995, p. 17.

[79] Review, October 1995, p. vi.

[80] Review, October 1995, p. 9.

[81] Review, October 1995, p. vi.