IPA Today

Episode 4: Their Inner City

Written by
15 November 2021

The fourth and penultimate episode of Their ABC entitled Their Inner City explores how the ABC is structurally and geographically biased against mainstream Australia, and why this is such a big problem.

The ABC should care about regional Australians. Not just in the sense its in the ABC’s charter to represent them, but because if there is one demographic in Australia that relies on the ABC for news – it’s regional Australia.

And yet this demographic that the ABC should be appealing to are constantly ignored. Instead the ABC only speaks to the concerns of inner-city Australians – which is not surprising when ABC journalists live, work and socialise in inner-city suburbs around Ultimo in Sydney or Southbank in Melbourne.

Featured in this episode: Bridget McKenzie, Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, Matt Canavan, George Christensen, Nicolle Flint, Chris Kenny, Dave Sharma and many more.

You can listen to episode 4 of Their ABC, ‘Their Inner City’on Soundcloud, SpotifyPodbean, Apple Podcast or YouTube 

An obsession with inner-city issues

Exclusive polling conducted for the Their ABC podcast finds that one-third of Australians believe the ABC is too focused on inner city issues.

As the Federal Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma MP put it:

“As you know with these issues about impartiality and independence, it’s as much the selection of news you run as it is the editorial content you put around it. And I think sometimes the ABC’s selection of stories betrays the concerns of a particular segment of Australia and doesn’t broadly represent all Australians concerns.”

It is an astute observation from Sharma, as the ABC has a particular obsession with the electorate of Wentworth, which is explored in this episode.

Can anything be done about the ABC’s inner-city obsession? Many of the speakers interviewed felt the answer lies in disbanding the ABC’s Ultimo and Southbank enclaves and placing the journalists in regional centres where they can get a better understanding of real Australia.

The issue is gaining ground in the Coalition Party Room, we reveal in this episode. As Minister for Regional Communications Senator Bridget McKenzie says:

“I think there needs to be a more longer-term focus of actually diversifying them from within and the management needs to be quite actively tasked with that… I’m actively talking with, not just with my regional colleagues, but also with the communications minister, Paul Fletcher to that end.”

These comments were also featured in The Australian.

You can join the stand against the ABC too. By becoming a member of the IPA you’ll be supporting more research like this podcast to hold the ABC accountable.

For $55 you can become a member of the IPA and receive exclusive subscriber only content, like early access to full episodes, special bonus episodes, extended full interviews with our high-profile guests, and an “It’s Their ABC” bundle including a bumper sticker, stubbie holder and tote bag.

All that plus the other benefits of IPA membership, including our quarterly magazine the IPA Review, priority and exclusive access to IPA events and regular email updates from the IPA team.

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Evan Mulholland

Evan Mulholland is the Director of Communications at the Institute of Public Affairs

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