Friday, March 2, 2012

The Finko & Rickety Show

THE FINKO & Rickety Review has has weighed in with lots of observations about Australia's press. At a glance, and reading between the lines, it comes to this:

1/ The ABC will need to get bigger, especially its budget.

2/ Julian Disney would look very nice atop a Press Council-type whopper of an oversight agency

3/ Fairfax should be hooked onto the public teat:
Subsidies to investigative and public interest journalism. Subsidies are commonly used to provide transparent targeted assistance to produce a specific output. For example, subsidies are currently provided to the production of Australian films. In that instance producers obtain a tax rebate equal to 40 per cent of eligible production expenditure. Although there would be problems which the Productivity Commission would have to address, a similar approach could be adopted for investigative and public service journalism. The government could establish a specific fund for the purpose and allocate an annual sum for distribution to eligible news organisations. The subsidy could be defined as a percentage of the wage bill of dedicated investigative journalism units established by publishers. It would be paid annually on the basis of eligible payroll cost in the preceding year. All publishers with a dedicated investigative unit would be eligible to receive a subsidy. The rate of subsidy would be determined by dividing the allocated amount of funding received from the government by the total eligible payroll expenditure of recipients. The rate paid is thus inversely proportional to the level of activity. In other words, the greater the gap (and thus the greater the need), the larger is the incentive for news producers to engage in investigative journalism. The subsidy could be in the form of an actual payment to publishers or in the form of a tax rebate of the same value.
Oh, and universities need more money to train a better sort of journalist. Margaret Simons must be delighted.

UPDATE: In other media news, MTR went off the air this afternoon, apparently for good. You can hear its last, sad seconds here.


  1. Subsidies have not helped the film industry produce a better product. How are they going to improve journalism?
    And government hand outs are what fuels the global warming industry. So the journalistic recipients are hardly likely to bite the hand that feeds them -- which is exactly why we need a strong, independent, subsidy-free, free press.

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Absolutely correct, Prof. This is a template for a conga line of the usual suspects to team up for a handout. It certainly will not provide money to investigations on the 'non-progressive' (i.e. non-Labor and non-Green) side of politics. It is a set-up for a blatant rort. In fact, it needs a good invetisgation by an investigative journalist. Too much to hope for though?

  3. The Old and Unimproved DaveMarch 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    "The Finko & Rickety Show".....? That anything like Rocky and Bullwinkle ? They had a Fractured Fairy Tales segment, as I remember.

  4. What does Wayne Swan think of paying subsidies to a business 10% owned by Gina Rinehardt?

    Irish Lion

  5. Preliminary reaction (there'll be much more to come):
    1. The Finkelstein inquiry is a brazen attempt by the extreme left of Australian politics (there is no "centre" any more, just conservatives versus the loonies) to protect leftwing publishing/broadcasting propaganda from market forces through subsidies.
    2. The proposed subsidy for "investigative" journalism is a recipe for state-sponsored fascism and the further debasing of news.
    3. Thank god for the internet; most of my my work mornings from now (in country Victoria) will be spent with in the background providing respite from Victoria's dominant Marxist zombie political culture.
    Steve Price convinced Singo he could make a fast buck in Melbourne radio. It required a slow buck. Not many of them around.
    Small-boned cider-sipping delinquent Victorian males with high-pitched voices squeal about "shock jocks". Sadly their econazi Woodstock will soon end when the adults arrive home. For the real world, it can't come soon enough.

  6. I see the shadow of GetUp standing in line there.

    Surely a commercial enterprise, successful or not--er think Fewfax-- isn't going to get a govt subsidy?

  7. "All publishers with a dedicated investigative unit would be eligible to receive a subsidy."
    Provided they only investigate prescribed matters, and cease to investigate other matters, as directed. All matters are, in a sense, equal, but some matters ....

  8. Those letters are too hard, as someone has already commented.

    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 3, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      A tip. Keep hitting 'preview' until you get a set of them you can manage to work out (with fingers crossed).

      Wot happened to the old easy kindy stuff, Prof?

  9. An approximation of them would be beyond a robot!

  10. Oh, and universities need more money to train a better sort of journalist.

    By a better sort of journalist I assume they mean a more reliably left-wing sort of journalist.

  11. I'm pretty sure the government subsidy thing for newspapers is already happening in Sweden. That might explain why that country has been turned into such a socialist s*&t hole over the last 20 years.

    1. The French government subsidizes the print media to the tune of around $55 m. per annum. Say no more.

  12. Subsidies only encourage mediocrity. One can only imagine what the Fairfax Press will be like when they're getting government grants.

  13. The govt will fund it but exercise no control. What a naive or disingenuous man

    I have read the first 30 pages and it is clearly the most moronic document of its type I have seen. And slapdash - many bits make no sense at all.

  14. Going by this subsidy recommendation quoted here, this is the worst of all outcomes and nothing in line with ANY major submission. It is as if the handful of stooges and left-wing rent-seekers got their private enquiry and the money to match. Unheard of in the Anglo-American tradition, specifically excluded y a far more comprehensive study by the US FCC, it is to be condemned. Along with the MSM-published attempts to control online media, this is truly a Goebbels-like intrusion to a formerly-free press country .

    This has to be fought. If only there was a Breitbart here!

    M Ryutin Sydney

  15. They've finally woken up to the fact that the Silly and the Phage are failing, and a rescue package has to be organised if they are to continue extruding Government pap.