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Social, Cultural and Political Change

Media history

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A history of free-to-air commercial television in Sydney since 1956

Researcher: Madeleine Hastie
Supervisors: A/Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley, Professor Murray Goot 

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A Girdle Round About the Earth: A biographical reappraisal of the life and career of Sir Keith Murdoch

Researcher: Tom Roberts
Supervisors: A/Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley, Professor Murray Goot 

Summary:
The project focuses particularly on the relatively neglected areas of
the media mogul's international outlook and activities. It also looks at his related attempts to encourage Australia's cultural engagement with
the rest of the world through his support and patronage of the arts.

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A media reception database and facility

Researchers: Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Bridget Griffen-Foley, Michelle Arrow

Summary

This grant provided funds to develop a media reception database and to purchase laptops and digital sound recorders for the collection, management, and collaborative analysis of oral data concerned with media history.

Principal outcome: Database to be made available on the Centre for Media History's website.

Grant details

Funding: Strategic Infrastructure Grant, Macquarie University 
Ended: 2008

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A study of Australian journalists on Fleet Street

Chief researcher: Bridget Griffen-Foley

Summary

This project explored the experiences of Australian journalists who worked on Fleet Street between 1900 and the outbreak of the Second World War. Concentrating on several individuals, it considered the powerful lure of Fleet Street, the reasons for departure from Australia, first impressions of London, the opportunities provided by being abroad, experiences of success and failure, working and social life, and the particular challenges and opportunities facing women journalists. It examined the theme of education in the public writings and private reflections of Australians who worked on Fleet Street, and reflected on the circularity and complexity of the imperial journalistic experience.

Principal outcome: (2002) '"The Crumbs are Better than a Feast Elsewhere": Australian Journalists on Fleet Street', Journalism History (USA), 28(1), 26-37.

Grant details

Funding: Sesqui R&D Grant, University of Sydney

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Australia, the United States and the war in Iraq: public opinion, political rhetoric and public policy

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Beyond the bakelite box: a history of commercial radio in Australia

Researcher: Bridget Griffen-Foley

Summary

This project explored the history of commercial radio in Australia, from the experiments and schemes of the 1920s through to the eve of the introduction of digital radio in 2009. In tracing the often contentious evolution of regulation, ownership and networking from the amateur experiments of the 1920s to podcasting in the 2000s, it considered producing and listening, the national and the local, the mass and the personal, 'payola' and 'cash for comment'. The iconic names of commercial radio, including George Edwards, Grace Gibson, Jack Davey, Bob Dyer, Bob Rogers, Norman Banks, Andrea, Brian White, John Laws and Alan Jones, were covered, together with lesser known figures, such as the first woman cricket broadcaster in Australia and the station manager who privately dismissed listeners as 'morons'.

Principal outcome: Changing Stations: The Story of Australian Commercial Radio (UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009).

Grant details

Funding: ARC Discovery Grant and Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship
Ended: 2007

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From print to the internet: the media in Australia since 1803

Researcher: Bridget Griffen-Foley

Summary

In 1987, for a bicentennial project on Australian history, Henry Mayer noted grimly that 'the literature on our media is scanty'. Since this lament by the pioneer of Australian media studies, many studies of aspects of the history and practice of the Australian media have appeared: from institutional histories to regional histories, from individual to collective biographies, from Australia's role in the imperial press to the Asian media, and from print technologies to the rise of the digital world. This literature has been accompanied by a burgeoning of journalism, media and communications programs in Australian universities.

Yet until now there has been no one authoritative study of the media and communications in Australia. The centrepiece of this project, based at Macquarie University in Sydney, will be the publication of A Companion to the Australian Media.

Even though companions to Australian music, dance, film, literature, history, feminism, music, sport, politics, folklore, gardens, the High Court, and Aboriginal art have been published or are in press, there is no equivalent volume for the Australian news media. This book will cover the news media in Australia from the colonial era to the present day. It will consist of around 400,000 words, with articles ranging from 250 to 3500 words.

Grant details

Funding: Australian Research Council Discovery Grant and Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship
Current to: 2012

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Media Archives Project

Researchers: Bridget Griffen-Foley, Michelle Arrow, Kate Gleeson, Murray Goot

Summary

The Media Archives Project will be an online, searchable database of archival collections about the media held across Australia. It will offer academic, student and public access to hitherto unknown records relating to the Australian mass media and will assist in the preservation of at-risk collections.

Grant details

Research Infrastructure Block Grant, Macquarie University

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Open-line? A history of commercial talkback radio in Australia

Researcher: Liz Gould
Supervisors: Bridget Griffen-Foley, Professor Murray Goot A/Professor 

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The dissemination of New Idealist thought in Australian print and radio media from 1885 to 1945

Researcher: Margaret Van Keekeren
Supervisors: A/Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley

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The intersections between Australian media companies, their proprietors, and politicians and political parties between 1945 and 1975

Chief researcher: Bridget Griffen-Foley (CI), 2000-02

Summary

This project explored the nature of the relationship between Australia's four major media companies - John Fairfax & Sons, Australian Consolidated Press, the Herald & Weekly Times, and News Limited - and parliamentarians and party officials between 1945 and 1975. Although there had been much speculation about this relationship, particularly the role of the Murdoch and Packer families in influencing media policy in return for party political support, there had been no systematic and detailed study of it. The project was the first major consideration of the evolution of the relationship between the news media and the political arena in Australia.

Principal outcome: Party Games: Australian Politicians and the Media from War to Dismissal (Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2003).

Grant details

Funding: ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship
Ended: 2002

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Remaking Australian politics: electioneering from the 19th century to the 21st

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