I am an emeritus professor in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where I spent the great majority of my working life. I joined as a lecturer in February 1979 and retired on my 60th birthday in March 2010, which has freed me to work full-time on my research and writing. My major research area has always been media and politics.

I did my undergraduate (1968-71) and PhD (1972-1976) study at Monash in sociology. Then I had a one year research fellowship in Australian-Southeast Asian Relations at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, where I did a study of western foreign correspondents in Southeast Asia. In 1977-8, I lectured in sociology at the Caulfield Institute of Technology.

Since 1979, Sydney University has been my institutional home, but I have had a few periods away and/or undertaken projects outside. From 1984-86, I was Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo. In 1989, 1994-5 and 1997, I undertook reviews of Radio Australia. In 1994, under the auspices of AusAid and the ABC, I worked with the NGO Media Monitoring Project as an observer during the first democratic South African election. In 2011-12, I worked with the independent Finkelstein inquiry into the media.

I live on the Central Coast of New South Wales, where my wife Kathryn works as a clinical psychologist. We have two adult children, Paul and Ruth, who live and work in Sydney.