Published: March 2019
`A tour de force.' - Professor Rodney Tiffen
newspapers were ravaged by the digital age, they were a powerful force,
especially in Australia - a country of newspaper giants and kingmakers.
magisterial book reveals
who owned Australia's newspapers and how they used them to wield political
power. A corporate
and political history of Australian newspapers spanning 140 years, it explains
how Australia's media system came to be dominated by a handful of empires and
powerful family dynasties. Many are household names, even now: Murdoch,
Fairfax, Syme, Packer. Written with verve and insight and showing unparalleled
command of a vast range of sources, Sally Young shows how newspaper owners
influenced policy-making, lobbied and bullied politicians, and shaped internal
book begins in 1803 with Australia's first newspaper owner - a convict who
became a wealthy bank owner - giving the industry a blend of notoriety, power
and wealth from the start.
Throughout the twentieth century, Australians were unaware that they were
reading newspapers owned by secret bankrupts and failed land boomers, powerful
mining magnates, Underbelly-style gangsters, bankers, and corporate titans. It
ends with the downfall of Menzies in 1941 and his conviction that a handful of
press barons brought him down. The intervening years are packed with political
drama, business machinations and a struggle for readers, all while the newspaper barons are peddling power and influence.
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