The dimensions of mediatized policy-making in Australian Indigenous affairs

Kerry McCallum, Lisa Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyzes media-related policy-making practices in the bureaucratic realm of Indigenous affairs in Australia. It considers the implications of an increasingly media-oriented bureaucracy for particular social policies in the light of recent mediatization theory. A qualitative study explored how bureaucrats working in Indigenous affairs articulated their understanding of the news media's role in policy development. The article identifies and describes five dimensions of mediatized bureaucratic practice-expertise, monitoring, anticipating, reacting and strategizing-and concludes that mediatized practices have permeated the very fabric of the policy-making process. It finds evidence of an increasingly intimate relationship between the logics and agendas of mainstream news media and bureaucrats working on complex and politically controversial policies. In Australia, mediatized policy-making practices contributed to both the intractability of Indigenous affairs policy and the introduction of radical policy solutions to address apparent policy failure. These findings add to the body of empirical research exploring the mediatization of policy-making and its implications for politically sensitive fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-193
Number of pages21
JournalCommunications
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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