The media and communications
in Australia today
Graeme Turner and Stuart Cunningham
This is the third edition of a book previously titled The Media in Australia. It has been significantly remodelled to take account of the changing needs of students studying media and communications. These industry sectors and their products have changed in so many ways that we have been tempted to ask what are the media today? To think of the media through the traditional distinction between the electronic (television and radio) and print media (newspapers and magazines) is no longer sufficient. The spread of information-based systems of delivery such as the home PC; the introduction of digital technologies in broadcasting and the cinema; the globalisation of media and communications markets; the convergence of aspects of broadcasting, information services and telecommunications; and the international tendency towards an unregulated commercial market for media and communications have all contributed to the formation of a highly volatile and altered media landscape. This book is aimed at helping students understand this landscape, and the broadening of our sphere of interest is intended to better recognise the significant changes to its topography.
Of course, there is still much for media and communications studies to understand about even the traditional or established media forms. In Australia, the cinema, the press and television continue to attract strong academic interest, but there are significant gaps in our history and understanding of radio, advertising, music and magazines and little sustained academic attention has been paid to them. Until recently, areas like public relations, ‘spin doctoring’ or information management had received almost no rigorous analysis or research (recent publications in this area include Johnston and Zawawi (2000) and Turner, Bonner and Marshall (2000)). New sectors of media and communications that are already major forces, such as video and computer gaming, are not strongly represented