Production sector opposes local content quotas with cartoon campaign
A cartoon of the ghost of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo interviewing Senator Stephen Conroy is part of a new campaign from the production sector to oppose changes to the local content sub-quotas that governs Australian TV stations.
The cartoon is drawn by Crikey’s First Dog on the Moon and sees Skippy grilling Conroy over the amount of American television on Australian screens and what the production sector calls Conroy’s ‘sweeping regressive changes to local content sub-quotas’ to the TV network’s multi-channels.
The campaign called Australian Screens Australian Stories urges citizens wanting to protect Australian stories – through local TV drama, children’s and documentary programming – to mail postcards to their local members of parliament.
Accompanying the cartoon is the text:
As a member of your electorate, I appeal to you to:
- Oppose Senator Conroy’s proposed reforms to the commercial television
broadcasters license conditions;
- Urge the Government for meaningful implementation of Recommendation 18 of its
own independent Convergence Review; and
- Protect our access to quality Australian stories.
A petition on website communityrun.org also lets people sign against the changes. Within the page is an additional booklet on voicing the sector’s cause.
The production sector claims the Australian public are being duped by new requirements that state each multi-channel of the major TV networks must air at least 12 percent of Australian television, but is not specific to increasing of drama, children’s or documentary production.
The sector believes this will mean more cheaply produced news, sport, and reality programs as well as ‘endless repeats of aged sitcoms’.
Kingston Anderson, the Australian Directors Guild’s executive director said: “This is approximately half the amount of Australian content they currently show on their multi-channels.”
“Critically, there is no requirement to screen any first run content so the quota can be filled by repeats of programs from the main channel.”
The back and forth arguments between the production sector and the networks represented by body FreeTV kicked off after what the production sector argues was ignored recommendations by the Government’s convergence review.