The Coalition-Newscorp campaign to muzzle the ABC seems to be gathering force with proposals to cut the ABC’s Asian news services. As a means of promoting Australia in Asia I think this news service is very good and not expensive – far better than the BBC. The premise that pursuing “soft diplomacy” by means of a news service is sound but that can be advanced by identifying poor reports and working with the ABC to correct them. I do not believe for a minute that the Australian military tortured “asylum seekers” (and apparently now neither does the ABC) but hammering the ABC’s foreign news services into oblivion is a short-sighted way of dealing with such problems. People in Asia like the ABC because it has credibility. This means believing that the ABC will tell the truth about issues and not just provide propaganda. The “torture” story did have serious adverse implications for Australia and seems to be both incorrect and based on sloppy journalism. It is this incorrectness that should be the target of policy not shortsighted actions that disadvantage Australia and promote the interests of the Newscorp propaganda machine.