At a time of rapid and even revolutionary change in modes of communication, A Companion to the Australian Media provides the first comprehensive, contemporary and historical account of our media. Accessible as well as authoritative, this is the guide for everything relating to the press, radio, television, advertising, public relations and new media. With its wide range of thoroughly researched entries, it is a ready reference for media practitioners and policy-makers as well as a source of in-depth information for scholars, students and general readers.
From the first Aboriginal newspaper in 1836 to the advent of social media, from Blue Hills to The Chaser, from astrology to women in the media, this is an essential Companion for everyone with a serious interest in those who decide what we read, hear and watch every day. Hundreds of interlinked narratives – from brief entries to essays – explore media organisations, genres and regions along with key players and significant issues.
The Companion’s 300 expert contributors include industry practitioners, academics from a range of disciplines, independent scholars and postgraduate researchers. Commissioned exclusively for this volume, they draw upon deep reserves of specialist scholarship and present much entirely new research showing how Australia’s media has been interpreted as well as how it has been made. With such unrivalled source material, I hope the Companion will inspire future research into the history and culture of our dynamic media.
More than a hundred entries are biographical, including those on families and ‘dynasties’. Individual biographies do not duplicate the contents of the landmark multi-volume Australian Dictionary of Biography but rather focus on each person’s contribution to the media. Unlike the ADB, the Companion also features entries on living Australians. Every effort has been made to include biographical subjects from around Australia, and to achieve as much gender balance as possible.
Entries are arranged in alphabetical order. A word in bold within the text indicates a cross-reference to another headword.
Since this book was first envisaged several years ago, the foundations of the Australian media have shifted substantially. Every effort therefore has been made to ensure that entries are both accurate and up-to-date. Circulation figures cited in most newspaper and magazine entries are based on Audit Bureau of Circulation results (print, not digital) for August 2013.
My aim has been to create, along with all my fellow contributors, a resource rich and user friendly Companion to the Australian Media. It is an extraordinary story of a fascinating industry, a vivid tapestry of past secrets and scandals, dreams and dynasties, and of the big challenges facing print on the little screens of the 21st century.