The Media & Communications in Australia

By Stuart Cunningham; Graeme Turner | Go to book overview

13
Magazines
Frances Bonner

In 1991, Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) ran an advertisement in the trade paper B&T announcing that 97 per cent, or 6 345 000, Australian women read their magazines. 1 This readership figure, from polling company Morgan, can be used to contest the argument that, because circulation figures for individual titles are falling, magazines are unimportant in the contemporary, highly diversified mass media world. Clearly, assuming the figures are accurate, this is not the case—at least for Australian women.

Indeed, Australians (and not just women) are renowned as the highest per capita consumers of magazines in the world. In the twelve months to the end of June 2000, 233 million magazines were sold in Australia (McIntyre 2000, p 13). So, far from being unimportant, magazines are both a core part of most people's media consumption practices and an integral part of the media industries in Australia. Both Kerry Packer (through ACP) and Rupert Murdoch (through Pacific) have large stables of magazines within their Australian media empires. Together they account for some 70 per cent of all Australian magazine circulation and 25 of the top 40 titles (see Table 13.1). The next largest owner of Australian magazines is Murdoch Magazines, a company owned by Rupert Murdoch's nephew Matt Handbury. This company is not part of News Limited, although they are linked through Handbury Holdings, the Murdoch family company which has the controlling interest in both. In the last five years there has been an increased presence of foreign companies: Time Inc. now has three high circulation magazines and European giant EMAP has started to operate here, most visibly with a local edition of FHM, while Reader's Digest continues to sell. A further significant part of the industry is the distributor, the intermediary between publisher and point of sale. One company dominates Australian magazine distribution—Gordon and Gotch, long owned by News Limited.

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The Media & Communications in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Contributors xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Part One - Introduction *
  • 1 - The Media and Communications in Australia Today 3
  • Part Two - Approaches *
  • 2 - Media and Communications: Theoretical Traditions 23
  • 3 - Political Economy and News 35
  • 4 - Policy 48
  • 5 - Textual Analysis 62
  • 6 - Representation 72
  • 7 - Audiences 85
  • Part Three - Industries *
  • 8 - The Press 101
  • Notes 115
  • 9 - Telecommunications and the New Economy 117
  • 10 - Radio 133
  • 11 - Film and Video 152
  • 12 - Television and Pay TV 173
  • Notes 186
  • 13 - Magazines 188
  • Notes 199
  • 14 - Advertising 200
  • 15 - Public Relations 217
  • 16 - Popular Music 226
  • 17 - The Internet and Online Communication 244
  • 18 - Video and Computer Gaming 258
  • Part Four - Issues *
  • 19 - Media Ethics After ‘Cash for Comment’ 277
  • 20 - New Media and New Audiences 293
  • 21 - Youth Media 304
  • 22 - The Future of Journalism 320
  • 23 - The Future of Public Broadcasting 330
  • Reference 344
  • Index 370
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