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A Companion to the Australian Media
Bridget Griffen-Foley, Editor
(Status : Public)


    In editing a volume of this magnitude, I have incurred innumerable debts. The project was underwritten by a Discovery Grant and Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (2008–12) from the Australian Research Council. Macquarie University generously provided a publication subvention.

    A Companion to the Australian Media was guided by an Editorial Advisory Board drawn from industry and academe. I am grateful to my eleven colleagues for their expertise and support as I chose headwords, allocated word lengths and authors, and edited entries; most of them also acted as referees and, of course, contributors. I must express particular thanks to Dr Rod Kirkpatrick, the country’s foremost newspaper historian, who was an extraordinarily generous board member and referee, as well as the most prolific Companion author, writing some twenty-eight entries.

    My principal debt is to the many authors, all of them unpaid, whose entries constitute the Companion. A remarkably small number of individuals declined invitations to write for it. The commitment from media practitioners, academics, independent scholars and postgraduate students, from around Australia and from overseas, has been extraordinary. Contributors, in turn, have individual debts to libraries, archives, colleagues, research assistants, and students. Sadly, five contributors—Keith Dunstan, Lloyd Harris, Barbara James, Bill Peach and Chris Watson—died before the book went to press; it is an honour to publish their last works here.

    I am indebted to my research assistants Dr Matthew Bailey, who helped to lay the foundations of the project, and Dr Michael Austin, who then established the vital Companion database and dispatched nearly all invitations to contributors. Dr Kyle Harvey, who joined me in early 2012, has worked on almost every aspect of the enterprise; he has been a superb project manager, demonstrating calmness and good humour at every turn. Sue Jarvis, who worked with me in 2013–14, has been more than my copy editor. Her knowledge of the field (drawn from her long association with Media International Australia as production editor), combined with her editorial care and flair, have contributed immeasurably to this manuscript. Although we have operated, at times, under considerable pressure, working with Sue and Kyle has never been anything but a pleasure.

    I am grateful to my colleagues at Macquarie University, particularly in the Centre for Media History and the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, for their interest and support. I extend my thanks to Nick Walker, the director of Australian Scholarly Publishing, for embracing immediately the concept of the Companion, and for his continuing faith in print. Thanks, too, to designer Art Rowlands, and to Diane Carlyle for her extraordinary indexing effort.

    My family—including my mother Helen, Luke and Edel, and Tim, Simon and Bruce—has been endlessly encouraging and patient. I am only sorry to have disappointed my eight-year-old niece, Aoife, by not writing a children’s book. Rather than wait for my next book, she is writing one herself. In the course of undertaking this Leviathan, I acquired not just 300 contributors, but a husband. Dr Craig Munro is the most precious companion of all, personally and professionally.

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