Failing the Public: The Media Marketplace

  • Julianne Schultz


The nature of the Australian media, particularly the oligopolistic pattern of ownership, has never really made it onto the public agenda as a big issue in the national political debate. When the Minister for Communications, Michael Duffy, announced plans in November 1986 which would lead to ten months of frantic commercial activity and the fundamental reshaping of the country’s television, radio, newspaper and magazine industries, there was a possibility that this would change. Many hoped that Michael Duffy’s statement would force the issue to be addressed as one of central importance to the functioning of a liberal democracy. Instead the issues were obscured in the minutae of Cabinet brawls, share price movements, takeover hype and accusations of deals for mates. The changing details of who owned the media were canvassed exhaustively, but the corresponding question of why it mattered was left almost undiscussed. Many journalists complained that they felt constrained in their reporting of the takeovers by the commercial interests of their employers as they shuffled their assets, while others fell back on the rationalisation that their role was to report events, not to provide comment or context.1


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Copyright information

© Helen Wilson and Contributors 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julianne Schultz

There are no affiliations available

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