The beaconsfield mine disaster and the evolution of chequebook journalism

Nicola Goc, Jason Bainbridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Using the reporting of the 2006 Beaconsfield mine disaster in Tasmania as a case study, this paper explores the changing nature of chequebook journalism and the shift towards the consumerist model of entertainment news in Australia. The paper argues that the media’s coverage of the disaster was a major turning point in the evolution of chequebook journalism in Australia. The moment miner Todd Russell, one of two survivors from the disaster, asked then-Channel 9 CEO Eddie McGuire to “tell me how big your chequebook is” on national television in response to a question about an exclusive interview, chequebook journalism was outed. Seldom before in Australia had a member of the public been so up-front about their monetary value to the media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


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