ABC responds to Sinclair Davidson in The Australian Financial Review

abc sinclair davidson

The ABC has called his column a basket case of inaccuracies about the role of the ABC and its value to Australians.

The ABC has responded to Sinclair Davidson writing in The Australian Financial Review on the weekend, calling his column a basket case of inaccuracies about the role of the ABC and its value to Australians.

Davidson, a professor of economics at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, is also listed as an adjunct fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and is the co-author of the publication “Against Public Broadcasting: why we should privatise the ABC and how to do it”.

His 15 January piece “The ABC no longer has a purpose” displays a lack of understanding of the critical role of public broadcasters such as the ABC in the modern media age.

And the main contention – that Australian audiences are not as reliant on ABC services as they once were – is blatantly wrong.

In 2020 Australians turned to the ABC in record numbers, highlighting its role as Australia’s most trusted and valued media organisation.

Among the audience data:

• ABC News was the nation’s #1 digital news brand every month for the past 12 months.
• ABC News’s average daily digital audience is up 79% on 2019 to 2.2 million people and its average monthly audience is 38% higher at 12.5 million.
• ABC TV was the #3 network in 2020, for the first time since 2013.
• The ABC News channel achieved its highest-ever monthly reach in March of 6.4 million viewers.
• ABC TV was the only free-to-air network to experience significant growth in reach in 2020 (up 1.4 percentage points on 2019 to 46.9%).
• ABC Kids is the #1 channel among children, achieving a share of 53% among 0-4 year olds. ABC Kids is also #1 among 5-12s during daytime, with ABC ME in 2nd place.
• ABC Radio was the nation’s #1 radio network in 2020 with a share of 25.3% (combined metro, regional and national). In total, our radio networks also reached 37.2% of listeners across the five major capitals.
• All ABC Radio networks increased their share and reach this year.

15 of the top 20 ABC TV programs in 2020, across broadcast and ABC iview, were Australian.

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