The Wheeler Centre
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A Land Without Giants
By now, we’re accustomed to hearing all kinds of predictions (and pronouncements) of the death of the media giant. But what would David be without Goliath?
In a discussion sparked by media historian Bridget Griffen-Foley’s new book, A Companion to the Australian Media — a comprehensive survey drawing on 300 industry experts and professionals — we’re taking stock of the information economy. In particular, we’re taking the most pessimistic forecasts to their hypothetical conclusions, and asking: what would Australia’s media landscape look like without its biggest players?
Griffen-Foley leads a panel comprising The Saturday Paper founding editor Erik Jensen, New Matilda editor Chris Graham and respected journalist and editor Michelle Grattan (currently chief political correspondent for The Conversation) through the industry’s most pressing questions.
What would happen if smaller operators and startups weren’t able to feed off the newsrooms of Big Media — the engines that drive news cycles across radio, TV and the internet? Amidst all the commentary, what are the real risks and opportunities facing publishers? Is the media in a state of ‘disruptive innovation’ … or panic? And has anyone yet figured out how to make investigative journalism financially sustainable?
Bridget Griffen-Foley is a Professor of Media and the Director of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University. A leading media historian, she is the author of several books, and the editor of A Companion to the Australian Media.
Erik Jensen is the founding editor of The Saturday Paper. He has won the Walkley Award for Young Print Journalist of the Year and the United Nation’s Media Peace Award. He is the author of Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen.
Chris Graham is the owner and editor of New Matilda. He was the Associate Producer on John Pilger’s latest epic, Utopia, and is the former managing editor and founder of Tracker magazine and the National Indigenous Times (NIT).
Michelle Grattan AO is one of Australia’s most respected and awarded political journalists. She has been a member of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery for more than 40 years, during which time she has covered all the most significant stories in Australian politics.