Keystone media: the Australian and Indigenous affairs

Lisa Waller, Kerry MCCALLUM

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This article conceptualises The Australian as the nation's 'keystone media' on Indigenous affairs. Nielsen's term 'keystone media' captures the critical importance of particular news outlets that play what he terms an outsize role in defining the state and structure of wider media and political environments. The article analyses the factors at play in The Australian's sponsorship of a particular political agenda for this complex field of social policy. The argument is illustrated through an examination of Indigenous health coverage from 1988 to 2008, textual analysis of 137 columns written by Noel Pearson, and research interviews with key actors in the Indigenous policy realm, including journalists, public servants and Indigenous commentators. Through this examination of its reporting and collaboration with Pearson, we contend The Australian has advanced a range of neoliberal and interventionist policies to government and the public.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-119
    Number of pages11
    JournalMedia International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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