The Media & Communications in Australia

By Stuart Cunningham; Graeme Turner | Go to book overview

22
The future of journalism
Catharine Lumby

If you were to ask a journalist what makes a good news story, you'd probably be told: ‘It's a gut feeling. You just know.’ Until recently, journalism was considered a trade rather than a profession. Many Australian journalists entered the media without having studied journalism at tertiary level. They learnt to become journalists on the job, by trial and error. They learnt by taking advice from senior reporters and by discovering which of their stories made the front page or the nightly news bulletin and which ones were spiked. Except when they were faced with serious ethical conflicts, journalists were not expected to reflect on their practice or to interrogate the values underpinning judgments about how stories should be sourced, crafted and placed.

This chapter is concerned with the future of journalism. But before we can ask where journalism is going, we need to ask where it has come from. We need to examine briefly the principles which have conventionally underpinned journalistic practice. In doing so, it is important to bear in mind that journalism has always been continually evolving and that the field of journalism is marked by many different approaches at any given time. But despite this fluidity and diversity, there are key conventions which shaped Australian journalism in the twentieth century and it is the departure from these conventions which is defining the shape of journalism in this century.


OBJECTIVITY AND THE NEWS

In his influential history of the Australian print media, Henry Mayer notes that many indictments of the popular press start with a myth:

-320-

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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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