Andrew Dodd

Upheaval: Disrupted lives in journalism edited by Andrew Dodd and Matthew Ricketson

by
November 2021, no. 437

If you have even a passing interest in the state of the Australian media, you may have come across the estimate that between four and five thousand journalism jobs were lost nationally in the past decade. This estimate suggests the scale of an industry-wide crisis in which successive rounds of redundancies became a feature of life in many newsrooms as media organisations turned to cost-cutting in their struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. The figure, which originated from the journalists’ union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, also points, albeit more obliquely, to the human impact of such cultural changes and the thousands of distinctive individual experiences that such numbers can elide.

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Architectural distinction was conferred upon most Australian towns and cities in the nineteenth century. This was achieved largely through the construction of public buildings designed by architects employed within colonial works departments – a practice that regrettably does not exist anymore. Town halls, post offices, courthouses, hospitals, lunatic asylums, and jails were the product of highly skilled public servants who shared a common view that civic decorum was best expressed through the architecture of the Classical Tradition. Within the pantheon of these government architects, there are famous names of Australian architecture. Francis Greenway, Mortimer Lewis, James Barnet, William Wardell, Charles Tiffin, F.D.G. Stanley, and Walter Liberty Vernon are the best known among a host of others. All in some way bequeathed a certain seriousness to the endeavour of building in a place where such structures had never before stood, and in doing so contributed to defining the future mood and character of that place.

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