28 May 2020

Will Neighbours promote Australia in the Pacific?

From , 5:00 am on 28 May 2020

A $17 million Australian TV package for the Pacific has been criticised from some quarters as being too low brow, and not doing much to counter China.

It's part of Canberra's efforts to promote Australia's relationship with the region, and to counter Chinese influence.

FreeTV Australia will offer 3,000 hours of content over the next three years to Pacific broadcasters free of charge.

It will include news, drama and sport from Australian broadcasters.

But, controversially, it will also include reality TV and soaps.

Some are asking: Are soaps like Neighbours really going to build relations and counter Chinese influence?

One of those asking is Sue Ahearn, from Australia Asia Pacific Media Initiative, and a former journalist at the ABC's Radio Australia, which suffered massive cuts a few years back.

She told Don Wiseman the move could be counter-productive.

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