Media

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016' by Sonya Voumard

Carol Middleton

In 2009 Sonya Voumard read about a legal claim brought by Martin Bryant's mother, Carleen, against journalists Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, accusing them of using her personal manuscript, letters, and family photos without her permission in their book Born or Bred? Martin Bryant: The Making of a Mass Murderer. Struck by the complex ethics of the case ... More

Adrian Walsh reviews 'How Propaganda Works' by Jason Stanley

Adrian Walsh

Jason Stanley argues in his new book that propaganda is more prevalent within liberal democracies – and is of far greater concern – than is typically assumed. Indeed, Stanley suggests that the very idea that propaganda only proliferates within authoritarian regimes, which have ministries set aside for its production, is a central tenet of the propaganda of the W ... More

John Rickard reviews 'Hector' by Rozzi Bazzani

John Rickard

Hector Crawford is a unique figure in the history of Australian radio and television. The Australian Dictionary of Biography article (also by the author of this book) describes him as 'television producer, media lobbyist and musician', to which could be added radio producer, showman, and entrepreneur. Above all, he was a persistent and canny advocate of Aus ... More

Paul Morgan reviews 'Before Rupert' by Tom D.C. Roberts

Paul Morgan

Many public figures are fated to be remembered for a single incident rather than a lifetime's work (think of Gough Whitlam's ad-libbing outside Parliament house, or his nemesis's trousers, forever lost in Memphis). Often, almost perversely, it is one event that stays in the mind. For Keith Murdoch (1885–1952), that phenomenon was the so-called 'Gallipoli letter' o ... More

Susan Sheridan reviews 'Australian Women War Reporters' by Jeannine Baker

Susan Sheridan

In this meticulously researched and eminently readable history, Jeannine Baker presents a gallery of impressive women who reported war news despite the obstacles put in their way by military authorities and press traditions alike. Along the way she deftly fills in key information about the conflicts involved, from the Boer War to Vietnam – a disturbing reminder of ... More

Andy Lloyd James reviews 'This New Noise' by Charlotte Higgins

Andy Lloyd James

In 1922 John Reith was appointed general manager of the British Broadcasting Company. Reith was the son of a Glasgow Free Presbyterian Minister. Trained not at university but as an engineer and badly wounded during World War I, Reith was a virtual unknown, with no media experience. By his own admission he didn't even know what broadcasting was, but that was no probl ... More

John Henningham reviews 'That's The Way It Is' by Charles L. Ponce de Leon

John Henningham

The notion of a golden age of television news followed by a relentless decline in standards and values is challenged by Charles L. Ponce de Leon, who argues that television news has always catered to public preferences. Ponce de Leon gives a solid overview and interpretation of the half century or so in which television news was the dominant information medium for A ... More

Simon Tormey reviews 'To Save Everything, Click Here' by Evgeny Morozov

Simon Tormey

What are the implications of the ever-accelerating revolution in information communication technology on our lives? Is the Internet a force for good, for increased freedom and democracy? Or are we so in thrall to the prophets of Silicon Valley that we have lost sight of the perils that lie in ‘big data’, the extension of algorithms and quantification into every ... More

Michael Douglas reviews 'The New Censorship' by Joel Simon

Michael Douglas

Joel Simon has had more friends murdered than I have friends.Such is the burden of the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organisation that promotes press freedom worldwide. As recent events painfully illustrate, journalism can be a dangerous vocation. ‘Murder, after all,’ Simon writes, ‘is the ultimate form of censorship.’

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Joel Deane reviews 'Becoming Steve Jobs' by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Joel Deane

I was working as a technology journalist in San Francisco when Steve Jobs made his messianic return to Apple. It was September 1997, the height of the dotcom boom. In the city, the old industrial tracts between Market Street and China Basin were being transformed by start-ups. People were living on free pizza and hoping to strike it rich with stock options in an ini ... More

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