My earliest interests were in international news. The empirical work for my PhD at Monash was on Australian news coverage and public opinion towards the Third World.
The Australian Council for Overseas Aid funded some of it, and this publication, published as part of their development education program, was one result. It is in magazine format, but is well over 50,000 words, and reports a lot of research.
One highlight is the cartoons, done by a young Architecture student in one of my classes – Terry Denton.
Some of the results were reported in this journal article of the time:
‘Australian Press Coverage of the Third World’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology Vol 12, No 1, 1976.
Australian Press Coverage of the Third World 1976
After completing my PhD I had a one year research fellowship at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, where I did a study of Western correspondents covering the region, interviewing almost 80 of them, resulting in this book.
‘Truth Begins at Home’ in Keith and Elizabeth Windschuttle (eds) Fixing the News (Sydney, Cassell, 1982) p.67-78
- One of the major controversies of the time involved proposals for a non-aligned news agency and is discussed in this article.
When I was doing my research in 1976, a major concern of the Australian media was the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and its aftermath. This long-running sore in Australian-Indonesia relations erupted again in 1999, the climactic events resulting in East Timor’s independence. This book traces the way the issue figure on the Australian political and media agendas.
Australian Media and Southeast Asia during the Suharto Era
‘The Australian Media and Australian-ASEAN relations’ in Alison Broinowski (ed) ASEAN into the Nineties (London, Macmillan, 1990) p.200-218
‘International News and Political Agendas in the Asia Pacific Region’ in Peter King and Yoichi Kibata (eds) Peace Building in the Asia-Pacific Region (Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1996) p.98-113
‘New Order Regime Style and the Australian Media – The Cultural Contributions to Political Conflict’ in Damien Kingsbury, Patricia Payne and Eric Loo (eds) Foreign Devils and Other Journalists (Monash Asia Institute, 2000) p.39-50
‘Australian Press Coverage of Non-Alignment – Bnadung 1955 and Kuala Lumpur 2003′ Presented to One Day symposium on W. MacMahon Ball, Political Communicator and Diplomat, University of Melbourne, October 2003.
Australian Media and Non-Alignment – Two summits
I conducted three reviews of the ABC’s international broadcaster, Radio Australia. The first two were for the ABC. In 1989, I worked for four months with a committee consisting of Stuart Revill (chair), David Hill and Malcolm Long, and produced a 75 page report. In 1994-95, I wrote a 15,000 word report, titled Review of future directions and strategies for Radio Australia, which focused especially on the future for short-wave services and other means for international broadcasting in the emerging era of satellite television.
In 1997, Stuart Revill and I wrote a report on the changes to Radio Australia, as a result of the cutbacks to the service under the Howard Government, following the Mansfield Review into the ABC.
RA Report 1997