Yesterday it was revealed that a selection of ABC Television‘s Arts programming was getting axed, resulting in significant staff cuts for the public broadcasting division.
Yesterday the ABC Director of Television, Kim Dalton, wrote in an email to staff “…in the face of an increasingly competitive broadcasting environment and increasing financial pressures, ABC TV must ensure it uses its Government funding as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver maximum value to its audiences and the Australian taxpayer.”
The shows facing cancellation include New Inventors and Art Nation, both of which will complete their run before the end of 2011. Artscape, the First Tuesday Bookclub, and At The Movies will continue in 2012. Following that, who knows.
The Arts in general are virtually ignored by the commercial broadcasting outlets in favour for more homogenised, lowest common denominator programming like reality tv and Two And A Half Men. The decision by The ABC Board to make cuts to an already waning Arts sector will undoubtedly marginalise it even further.
From a viewers perspective, it feels that the Australian art scene in particular receives almost no media support whatsoever (with the exception of some major exhibitions and events) and Government-funded organisations like The ABC should be providing a platform for talented Australian folk working in the Arts and, in the case of New Inventors, creative entrepreneurs wanting to make a difference – not decreasing their coverage.