News & Politics

News&PowerNews and Power (Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1989) (246 pages) (Reprinted 1991, 1994)

This book brought together almost a decade of thinking and researching on the news media and politics. It is based on interviews with 223 journalists around Australia, plus comparative case studies of the media’s role in various elections, party leadership struggles and leaks.

‘A Politician’s Experiences with the Press. Insights from the Howson Diaries’ Media Information Australia No 49, August 1988. p.25-29
A Politician’s Experiences with the News – Insights from the Howson Diaries

Media and Democracy

‘The Media and Democracy – Reclaiming an Intellectual Agenda’ in Julianne Schultz (ed) Business as Usual – The Media versus the People (Ideas for Australia, Melbourne, 1993) p.53-68

‘Australia’s Media 2004 – A Democratic Audit’ in C. Mar’iyah (ed) Indonesia-Australia: Challenges and Opportunities in the Bilateral Political Relationship (Jakarta, Indonesia University of Indonesia and Granit, 2005) p.87-111 (Published in Indonesian).
Australia’s Media 2004 – A democratic audit

MayerOnTheMedia‘Introduction’ to Henry Mayer Mayer on the Media. Issues and Arguments (Sydney, Allen & Unwin and Australian Film, Television and Radio School, 1994) p.viii-xxi

Henry Mayer was one of my most important mentors. He was a brilliant and iconoclastic thinker, and central to his concerns was always the quality of democracy, and the role of the media in enhancing that. This introduction to a collection of his writings seeks to present the major themes and principles in his work.

Media and Policy Agendas

‘Issue Agendas’ (Chapter 8 from News and Power)
Issue Agendas

‘Stampedes and Stalemates: Media Roles in Policy’ Presented to Workshop on Media and Policy, European Consortium for Political Research, Helsinki, May 2007.
Stampedes and Stalemates

‘Differential Visibility, Perverse Perceptions and the Bias Against Active Government’ Presented to International Communications Association conference, Seoul, 2004.

‘The Sources, Nature and Limits of the Apparent Resurgence of Anti-Asian Sentiment in Australia’ Paper presented to the University of Sydney- University of Tokyo second conference on peace building in the region, October 1998

‘We, the Populists’ in Julianne Schultz (ed) Ways of Seeing Griffith Review 31, autumn, 2011, p.90-101
We the populists

‘A Mess? A Shambles? A Disaster?’ Inside Story 26 March 2010
(on the ‘pink batts’ controversies)


‘Australia: Gladiatorial Parties and Volatile Media in a Stable Polity’ in Jesper Stromback and Lynda Lee Kaid (eds) The Handbook of Election News Coverage Around the World (London, Routledge, 2008) p.109-123

Stephen Mills and Rodney Tiffen ‘Opinion Polls and the Media in Australia’ in Christina Holtz-Bacha & Jesper Strömbäck (Eds) Opinion Polls and the Media. Reflecting and Shaping Public Opinion (London, Routledge, 2012)

‘The US Electoral College: the antiquated key to presidential success’ Australian Policy Online, October 2008 (

‘Polls and Elections – A Primer for the Perplexed’ Australian Policy Online October 16, 2007 (

‘The Aftermath. Must Labor Lose?’ in Peter Browne and Julian Thomas (eds) A win and a prayer. Scenes from the 2004 Australian election (UNSW Press, 2005) p.123-129

‘The Generational Warrior’ in Peter Browne and Julian Thomas (eds) A win and a prayer. Scenes from the 2004 Australian election (UNSW Press, 2005) p.84-87

‘Campaign tactics, media bias and the politics of explanations: Accounting for the Coalition’s Loss in 2007’ Communication, Politics and Culture V41, N2, 2008 p.8-29
Campaign Tactics Media Bias and the Politics of Explanations

‘Labor’s six (almost) fatal mistakes’ Inside Story 22 Sept 2010