Thursday, February 14, 2013

ABC's ratings drop due to rise of the right-wing blogosphere?

Just on this recent plunge in the ratings of several ABC shows -- most notably Insiders, which lost 14% of its viewers recently:  It's a pretty noteworthy drop, which makes me wonder what the main cause is. Of course the luvvies are saying that it's got a lot to do with the fact that people are preferring to watch the content on the ABC's other channels or iView. But I think it's much more than that.

It seems to me that even the ABC's traditional audience is starting to tire of the obvious and relentless bias in so many of its shows. And that's because they're finally considering other points of view.

In the past, there was a real lack of outlets with views different to the left-leaning ABC. Sure, the commercial mainstream media organizations were a bit closer to the centre, but they were still "soft left". Even the papers that the Left loves to demonize as conservative, like The Australian, included a range of opinions, much as they do now. The only overtly conservative, right-wing opinions could be found on commercial talkback radio (which was, and remains, concentrated in Sydney) and a few small circulation magazines, the most notable being Quadrant. 

In the last ten years or so we've had the rise of the blogosphere, where anyone who wanted to have a growl about politics was able to do so. While blogs are written from all perspectives, those from the right of the political spectrum have done extremely well. Part of the reason for that was because they were the most passionate and rebellious.

So the dreary PC perspective of the ABC has really had a shake up. Countless people who hadn't considered conservative viewpoints, or were just too scared to express them, were invigorated by the rise of the blogosphere. And this new found irreverence has bled into the wider culture, so that even tragic ABC-watching luvvies have started to think in new ways about the issues of the day.

This process has been magnified by the huge explosion in social media use. While Twitter is dominated by lefties in this country, RWDB tweeps are slowly gaining on them. And I think that on Facebook they actually have the upper hand over the Left. Just type the word Gillard into the Facebook search box and you'll see just how many pages there are devoted to sledging our PM.

Basically, all these factors are combining to increase conservative "mind share" in Australia. As a result, the relentless narrow-mindedness of those behind ABC shows like Insiders is now obvious to a greater number of viewers than ever before. And that's why so many of them are switching off.

What do you think? Is this the main cause or are other factors involved?


  1. ABC, Melbourne Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Pravda - watch or read they all have/had the same message, "Believe whatever your Glorious Leader or the Party tell you. Whatever the conservatives say is EVIL". The so called directors/editors of these outlets do not know the meaning of balance in reporting. Only the rusted on Labor Luvvies rely on these propaganda sheets to prop up a misconception that our current Federal Government is doing a good job and has some moral compass. The rest of us want a bit of balance. The other issue is that the social networks are becoming the only places where there is really freedom of speach. Look at the recent exchange between Senator Brandis and Professor "What's Her Name" from the quaintly labelled "Human Rights Commission" to see what I mean - she and her organisation are more concerned with pandering to the perpetually offended than with the right to express an opinion no matter how whacky it is. I don't tweet or do facebook but obviously look at blogs and the reason is that I can see a range of views on various subjects and even the Trolls are worth reading if only to feel exasperation at the inability of some to see the bleeding obvious.


    Thanks for your thoughts and observations Matt and David.

    I first found Merv via "Newsweekly" mag online and like his contribution on the "Quadrant online" link above read and enjoy.

    Deformation is par for ABC treatment if your in the out-crowd.
    I don't expect Media Watch was at all introspective in this case. A media ombudsman with some teeth is needed to restore balance to the force...

    1. Rolly even with the sincerest of hopes that a Lib/NP Government will dismanatle the failures of the current disastrous mob I don't see them tackling the ABC as they ought. Give it a set of instructions and criteria to meet where the failure to achieve will result in DCM's [Don't Come Monday] and we may see an improvement. Otherwise it will be the same old same o. I'd be more concerned with a new governmenet removing the rediculous legislation which curtails free speach. I maintain that your right to call me an idiot is more important than my confected "being offended" and seeking redress by stopping you arguing my deficiencies. Four generations of my family have "carried arms" in protecting that right and it underpins our whole society. The ABC? Just another arm of the Labor Propaganda machine badly in need of euthenasia.