Little joy as Malcolm Turnbull sends community television
to the internet
- 18th October 2014
Hruby, 87-year-old chat show host on TVS Joy's World,
shot in her garage at Botany. Photo: Brendan Esposito
channel surfing can take you to the most extraordinary
in the more obscure regions of your television's EPG
exists a world of weird and wonderful creations otherwise
known as community television ... but not for much
month Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced
community television operators around the country,
including TVS here in Sydney, will be booted off the
free-to-air television spectrum at end of 2015, left
to fend for themselves in the virtual wilderness of
it is all about freeing up the free-to-air broadcast
spectrum for commercial television networks, though
given the number of home-shopping channels that have
popped up under the guise of new TV offerings, I have
Turnbull thinks the world wide web will be a better
"fit" for community television.
be happy to go to the internet ... when the Seven,
Nine and Ten Networks do too," TVS station manager
Henri de Gorter told PS before citing the case in
Britain where research has indicated internet-based
television channels won't survive for at least another
15 years, and only then if the infrastructure, such
as a very fast broadband network penetrating the majority
of homes, comes to fruition.
stage left: Joy Hruby, an 87-year-old showgirl who
has been broadcasting her own chat show out of her
Botany garage for nearly 30 years.
think Mr Turnbull is making a terrible decision ...
what commercial television network is going to give
an 87-year-old woman her own chat show? If I were
on one of the commerical networks I would have been
put off to pasture years ago," Hruby fumed to
PS this week, in the midst of baking a batch of biscuits
for her crew, a collection of volunteers who have
helped put Joy to air for years.
show, Joy's World, airs weekly and has a collection
of guests ranging from local cabaret performers to
social workers, while she often reflects on her career,
which included her stint as one of the Dubbo Dazzler
showgirls entertaining troops in World War II.
commitment to community TV saw her awarded with a
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the general
division back in 2007.
will destroy community TV ... this is about people
wanting to be involvedin television on a community
level, why should it only be the big corporations
who have access to television?"
there is an audience for community TV's fare, with
OzTam figures indicating at least 500,000 viewers
dip into the channel each week.
famous faces have been given their start thanks to
Joy's World, including Channel Seven presenters Sally
Obermeder and James Tobin, along with Gold Logie winners
Rove McManus and Hamish Blake, comic Corinne Grant,
Dave Thornton, Tommy Little and Waleed Aly.
course there is no denying there are some truly obscure
programs that end up on community television screens,
like the bearded drag queen belly dancer named Essan
Laurant. His kooky variety show was screening years
before Conchita Wurst dared show her shadow at Eurovision.
how many pretty landscape paintings are hanging on
the walls of Australian homes albeit all identical
thanks to the tuition of Ken Harris and his
Masterclass in Oils show?
strongly doubt the audience of the exercise program
Move It Or Lose It would be inclined to log on to
a website with or without the NBN each
day to do their routine. The show is produced by Arthritis
Victoria, but rather than perma-tanned fitness instructors
wearing skimpy leotards and toothy grins, this show
has sweet little silver-haired grannies in floral
appliqueusing tins of baked beans as hand weights.
there is clearly a much larger commerical imperative
behind freeing up the "spectrum", one has
to ask if Mr Turnbull and Co have really thought about
the transition to the internet for shows like Joy's
World, which tend to attract a much older audience,
who are not that tech-savvy.
many of these viewersare far more likely to have a
TV in the corner of their living room rather than
Gorter used a recent Andre Rieu concert screened on
TVS as an example. Pulling in an audience of 31,000
people across Sydney on a Saturday night, TVS' online
streaming of the concert registered just five people.
TV is like a family ... it's for people who would
never normally get on commercial television ... community
television should be just that: television for the
community," says Hruby.
advice Turnbull, but are you listening?
Sydney Morning Herald)