Four Corners: Twenty-five years
ABC Enterprises, 162 pp, $24.95 hb
When Four Corners began on ABC television in 1961 there was little to break what Humphrey McQueen, following Manning Clark, has called the ‘Great Australian Silence’. True, the Sydney fortnightly magazine Nation had started in 1958; but there was little else to offer a toughminded or oppositional outlook on the orthodoxies and consensus that was Australia. So Four Corners was badly needed. In turn it and Nation were joined by others: Oz magazine and the televised Mavis Bramston Show in 1963; The Australian in 1964 and This Day Tonight.
Donald Horne in Years of Hope sees the retirement of Robert Menzies in 1966 as the signal for profound social and political changes to begin in Australia. Yet the Advent of Nation, Four Corners, and the others surely suggests the process began earlier.