Every organisation has a scam.It sits at the base of every hierarchy, every place there is a discrepancy between cost and value, every level where there is access to ex gratia payment or manipulation of contract or even the transfer of benefits to someone inside or outside the organisation.Media organisations are not exempt from this, in fact because of their very nature they are very much at the heart of it.
I sense there are two types of the scam in organisations – the internal shift of services , that helps achieve power and control and the external transfer of money, goods and also favours that helps smooth the process of transferring information from the inside to the outside. So, down to the brass tacks of this post;
My first exposure to the scam in the broadcaster was in the mid 1980’s when I became aware of a police scam within the organisation. I discovered that there had been police spies (both federal and Local) within the organisations for the past 20 years. I had been told that one of them was providing information for local police within the Local radio branch. And the other was providing technical information from within the technical departments of the organisation. I must admit in researching this I discovered that it wasnt necessarily money changing hands but more like a small group of favours was presented over a long time. By the mid 1980’s I believe that both police forces had begun to be indifferent towards the broadcaster and probably disbanded their connection over this period of time. However, political influence has always been at the management level because as a broadcaster we were treated in a particularly shabby way by all sides of politics, particularly at the state level, but the interaction at management level has always been part of a schema of manoeuvering and persuasion – from the top-level right down to the managers.The scam is letting all parties believe that on one level we will be impartial to all persuasion but on another there will be a constant “radar” of influence, searching for the politician that will resonate with your budget (!) and your sphere of influence.
At a lesser level there are many many scams that resonate inside the organisation, particularly where spheres of influence are concerned and in my next blog post I will look back on the famous “breakfast” scam on the national network