The only "news" worth watching is SBS. Sadly, even ABC TV has been sucked into the tabloid vortex. ABC AM radio still has some credibility and JJJ is a shadow of what it should and could be to younger/alternative listeners - vacuous presenters as bad as anything on commercial radio and a relentless stream or tits and bums innuendo.

But is it any surprise after 11 years of John (Mr rugby jumper) Howard and sadly Kevin Rudd is not far behind him in terms of support or appreciation of arts. At least with leaders like Keating and Whitlam there was a sense the arts might get a look in on the national agenda. I can still remember the furore from "mainstream" Australia when Blue Poles was purchased. Now it is one of the most loved (and valuable) pieces in the national gallery. Leadership in this area is hard and a political no win in the short term. You can forget about any commercial media caring about it unless it's somehow driving advertising dollars.

I was thinking the other day about two events in Australia which attract people to something they are otherwise not normally interested in. The Melbourne Cup and the Archibald portrait prize. Both get people interested in horse racing and the arts for a few days every year. Both involve a contest and winners and losers. Maybe the secret's in there somewhere? There needs to be some form of competition but many artistic people find this objectionable. How about a new TV show called MasterBrush along the lines of Master Chef. Artists spend a week creating a piece and bring it into the studio to be assessed and critiqued by famous artists and the audience gets to vote on their favourite? Can we pitch that one to Jamie Packer? No?!

Anyway, good on you Nicole for taking the fight up.