Shooting the Messenger

Writing for The Guardian, Andrew Fowler looks at the recently announced cuts to funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in light of what he identifies as ongoing efforts in Australia to suborn the role of journalists, particularly those who engage in investigative or public interest journalism. It is a scary picture that Fowler sketches and one dreads to think what would happen if the sketch is turned into a full-blown portrait.

As Fowler notes at the end of the piece:

… there’s an eerie similarity in Australia to Trump’s America, where the president described journalists as the “enemy of the American people”. What is different here is that unlike many other western nations, journalists in Australia have scant legal protection for the jobs that they do. They are vulnerable, and none so more than those who work at the ABC.

Under repeated attack, ABC journalists must hold the federal government to account and at the same time rely on the protection of a weak and jumpy executive. If this budget has taught the ABC anything it is that the bully can never be appeased.