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Bridget Griffen-Foley

Bridget Griffen-Foley

Bridget Griffen-Foley is a Professor of Media at Macquarie University, where she founded the Centre for Media History. She is the author of The House of Packer (1999), Sir Frank Packer: A biography (2000, 2014), Party Games: Australian politicians and the media from war to Dismissal (2003), Changing Stations: The story of Australian commercial radio (2009) and Australian Radio Listeners and Television Viewers: Historical perspectives (2020). She edited A Companion to the Australian Media (2014), now available on AustLit.

'Ming’s Legacy' by Bridget Griffen-Foley

August 2006, no. 283 01 August 2006
Australian historians admire Robert Menzies. Pardon? Aren’t historians, like the rest of the Australian academy, left-wing propagandists? Don’t they all loathe the prime minister’s political role model? Regardless of how historians view Menzies’ attitudes to the monarchy, appeasement, the middle class and the Communist Party, they have reached a consensus on one point: Menzies played a sig ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews ‘Tabloid Man: The Life and Times of Ezra Norton’ by Sandra Hall

November 2008, no. 306 01 November 2008
Phillip Knightley, Murray Sayle and other authors of the Daily Mirror’s historical feature used to relish their days sitting in the Sydney ‘public library’ researching and writing pieces on rape, pillage, sexual betrayal and murder most foul. Decades later, in the early 1990s, I began spending days sitting in what had become the State Library of New South Wales wading through yellowing copie ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews 'Ray: Stories of My Life: The Autobiography' by Ray Martin

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
Beginning as a voice on ABC radio, Ray Martin became a face familiar to most Australians. He reported from the United States for Four Corners in the 1960s and 1970s, was one of the original reporters on 60 Minutes from 1978, presented the Midday show from 1984 to 1993, and twice hosted A Current Affair (ACA). As he notes, he was the face of Channel 9 in the 1990s, also hosting Carols by Candleligh ... (read more)

'Bring on Warnie' by Bridget Griffen-Foley

October 2005, no. 275 01 October 2005
An Indian fast-food outlet has named itself after Mahatma Gandhi and features a caricature of his face in neon lights. Tacky? Certainly. Only in America? Only in Australia, actually, or at least that’s what a major cable television channel would like to suggest. I saw this story about nefarious goings-on in Melbourne, and the indignation of a Gandhi family member, while sitting in a Singapore h ... (read more)

'The small picture' by Bridget Griffen-Foley

May 2006, no. 281 01 May 2006
The Sydney Morning Herald has been ‘Celebrating 175 Years’ all year. The words adorn every front page; the Herald ran a number of commemorative features to mark the actual anniversary on April 18; and The Big Picture: Diary of a Nation, consisting of essays by journalists and photographs from the Herald’s magnificent photographic library, has been published (see John Thompson’s review in t ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews 'Bold Types: How Australia’s first women journalists blazed a trail' by Patricia Clarke

January-February 2023, no. 450 28 December 2022
After she left journalism, Patricia Clarke turned to researching and writing books, beginning with The Governesses in 1985. Bold Types is her fourteenth book. The Canberra writer was a familiar figure at media history and other conferences, and in the National Library of Australia reading rooms, until Covid-19 at least. Her books, augmented by dozens of articles and conference papers, focus mainly ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley on 'The Gabblings of Gabba'

March 2007, no. 289 09 September 2022
‘Who has not heard of “Yabba”, Sydney’s greatest barracker?’, asked the Listener In in February 1937. The Listener In was not the only radio magazine intrigued by a new Australian cricketing identity. Two identities, in fact: Myra Dempsey, who was covering the 1936–37 Ashes series for 3BO Bendigo; and Dempsey’s discovery, ‘Gabba’, a female counterpart to ‘Yabba’. A fixture at ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews 'Doc Evatt: Patriot, Internationalist, Fighter and Scholar' by Ken Buckley, Barbara Dale and Wayne Reynolds

July 1994, no. 162 01 July 1994
In his foreword to Doc Evatt, Jim Hagan claims that this is the fourth full-length biography of Dr. H.V. Evatt and suggests that only one other Australian politician has scored as many. Leaving aside the fact that Allan Dalziel never pretended that his book, Evatt the Enigma, was anything more than a profile of the man he worked with for twenty years, these assertions create the misleading impress ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews '"Red Ted": The Life of E.G. Theodore' by Ross Fitzgerald

November 1994, no. 166 01 November 1994
On the day of the last Federal election, I became engaged in an unlikely conversation with a helper for the ‘Call-to-Australia’ cause at my local polling booth. When I revealed that I had recently completed a research project on Dr H.V. Evatt, my elderly companion asserted that Evatt should not be hailed as the hero of the labour movement. Australia’s greatest politician, this former member ... (read more)

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews 'Compulsive Viewing' by Gerald Stone

October 2000, no. 225 01 October 2000
If Gerald Stone had gone to a publisher with a proposal for a book about Channel Seven or Channel Ten, it is doubtful whether it would ever have seen the light of day. But Stone – who would have endured more than a few pitches in his time as a television executive – had the sense to propose a book about his former employer, Channel Nine, and Compulsive Viewing is the result. The Nine Network ... (read more)
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