Politics and the media in Australia and the United Kingdom: parallels and contrasts

Ivor Gaber, Rodney Tiffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Australia and Britain share many common aspects in their democratic political and media systems, but there are also important differences. Perhaps the single most important media difference is that television has been a much more important element in the UK political communication system than it has been in Australia. The British Broadcasting Corporation is a much bigger and more central institution than the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and commercial TV in Britain has a much stronger public service mandate. The British press has a national structure which can give it a substantive collective role, although its right-wing dominance means it has been a less-than-benign influence on public life. Both countries are facing rapid changes, with partisan political divisions in flux and the digital environment disrupting traditional media models. In this article, we seek to interrogate the commonalities and differences between the media and political systems operating in Australia and the United Kingdom. After tracing some important differences in their institutional structures, the dominant theme of our later analysis is that in both systems, and in both countries, the overarching narrative is one of disruption. And we pose the question – Will the current disruptions widen or narrow these differences?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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