There are multiple narratives of technological and organisational change for making sense of the news media industry since the turn of the century. In Australia, the Andrew Olle and AN Smith lectures have served as key sites whereby leading members of the journalistic field have articulated narratives of change. Drawing on Bourdieu’s concept of ‘field’ and using Foucault’s notion of ‘commentary’ as a method, we begin by analysing all Andrew Olle and AN Smith lectures from 1997 to 2015 and selected those that substantially discuss journalism and the media industry more broadly. Our analysis develops an account of the narratives of change to better understand the different negotiations and translations of the journalistic field. We found three key narratives: (1) commercial performance and concerns over the decline of ‘quality journalism’, (2) the role of technology in surviving industrial change and (3) fundamental change to journalistic practice.