Community TV deserves government support

Community television stations should be receiving government assistance to go digital. Small TV stations are needed to give some balance and an alternative to the big TV conglomerates. Funding is needed to enable community TV to be received by more Australians.

There are a large number of worthwhile programmes available on community TV, such as River To Reef (fishing), The Garden Tap, Deaf TV, Nu Country TV, 4WD TV, and even The Shambles (comedy). Notwithstanding some criticisms (such as some air-time is wasted on shows based upon non-mainstream sexually-focused lifestyles, as well as on ethnic TV shows – usually without sub-titles – that discourage assimilation into the mainstream Australian culture; and no doubt more air-time could instead be given to shows from regional and country areas), community TV is well worthwhile and should be supported.

Community television is one of the few places where regional news and sport get a showing. Also, although pay-TV has taken away a lot of the old favourites (like Get Smart) from free-to-air TV, at least some older black-and-white favourites can now be seen on community TV. And who can forget the sometime brilliance of Champagne Comedy, with great local stand-up comedians like Brad Oakes?

Some well-known media personalities got their start in community TV, such as Channel 10’s Rove McManus (hosting The Loft Live) and SBS’s Vasili Kanidiadis (hosting Vasili’s Garden). Community TV has also been a great training ground for many technical staff.

Whilst community television is not perfect, it does fill a gap that is missing from the big TV networks. With more Australians moving over to digital TV, the government need to prioritise the digitalisation of community TV, to ensure that it does not lose its audience share, and to adequately support its survival.

See:
Melbourne Channel 31’s campaign to go digital
Community TV stations: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne & Geelong, Perth
Channel 31”, Wikipedia
Note: Channel 31 is the frequency allocated to Australian community TV stations.

Comments

  1. Terrence Odgers says:

    Community TV, if presented on a fair and balanced platform could be beneficial in educating the viewer as to what is really going on out there in real time life!

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