A premature obituary?: review of Graeme Turner (2005), Ending the affair: the decline of television current affairs in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


It so happened that on the day I finished reading this book massive and highly organised protests over proposed industrial relations legislation, incorporating sophisticated multimedia techniques, were held across Australia. Attending the Melbourne event, I was struck by two aspects that connected with Turner’s arguments regarding the state of Australian current affairs television. First, it was clear that one of the key elements of these public events was to use televisual media to both inform a public about the details of proposed change and engage them in national politics. Turner argues that it is in these tasks, which define the key social role it is beholden on television current affairs to perform, that contemporary formats are failing their audiences. The second striking parallel emerged as speakers suggested that the proposed IR laws constituted an attack on the fabric of Australian society. Such arguments involved an assertion that the qualities of social life are defined by their material underpinnings. Such a view also informs Turner’s focus on shifts in Australia’s current affairs landscape which, he suggests, have had negative implications for the quality of national
public life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


Cite this