Dick Smith justifies funding 10% of TV documentary
Dick Smith has a bee in his bonnet about population growth.
DICK Smith has defended his role in part-funding an ABC documentary, in which he also stars, against claims that the arrangement threatens to undermine the independence of the national broadcaster.
Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle, which airs on ABC1 on Thursday night, was produced by independent production company Real Pictures, with Mr Smith contributing up to 10 per cent of the roughly $500,000 budget. In addition, he gave his time to the production free of charge.
The ABC approved the funding arrangement on condition that it had final editorial approval.
Glenys Stradijot, a spokeswoman for Friends of the ABC, said the case raised ”serious concerns. It gives the perception that people can fund programs to get their views on to the ABC”.
Mr Smith argued that the ABC ought to be applauded for airing the program. ”I think the ABC has been very brave and very responsible in purchasing this documentary because no commercial channel would,” Mr Smith said.
He said media companies were pro-growth because they had a responsibility to increase profits.