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Senate questions ABC axing of Religion Report

Media Release
Bob Brown 16 Oct 2008

The Senate today supported a motion from Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown that calls on ABC management to reveal the criticisms and reasons behind the decision to axe the Religion Report, Media Report and other flagship Radio National programs.

"The Religion Report's insightful reporting and critical analysis has ruffled many feathers over the years - the sign of a highly successful program!" Senator Brown said.

"Radio National's flagship programs, whose specialist reporters have a great depth of knowledge, are what makes public broadcasting in this country so strong. These programs have a growing audience here in Australia, internationally, and online.

"The decision to cut these programs and dumb down Radio National needs to be explained so that the growing audience of these programs understands what ABC management is doing to their broadcaster."

The motion was agreed to by the Government and Opposition.

The text of the motion reads:
I move that the Senate:
(i) Notes ABC Radio National's decision to axe the Religion Report, Media Report and the Sports Factor;
(ii) Notes that the Religion Report is one of the most important programs on the ABC with a rapidly growing international audience;
(iii) Notes that this program broke the Peter Hollingworth scandal, has applied critical analysis of the Exclusive Brethren, Anglican, Catholic and Muslim religions amongst others and provided insightful commentary of various religions over many years;
(iv) Calls on ABC management to publicly reveal all formal and informal criticisms made against this program over recent years; and
(v) Calls on ABC management to immediately make public the reasons for this decision.

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

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