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at The Wheeler Centre

Quarterly Essay: Bad News - Murdoch’s ‘Australian’ and the Shaping of the Nation

This year has seen unprecedented scrutiny of Rupert Murdoch’s empire in Britain. There’s even been talk of the end of the empire. Some of that has spilled over as far as our shores - where it all began for the Murdochs. In Australia, News Limited market dominance is impressive: by its own admission, News Limited controls 70 per cent of Australia’s newspaper readership market. The empire’s flagship publication is The Australian, our only national masthead and - though a perennial loss-maker - a key weapon in News Limited’s arsenal of influence. In ‘Bad News’, Robert Manne, one of Australia’s leading essayists, investigates how The Australian shapes debate in this country.

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Who?

Portrait of Robert Manne

Robert Manne

Robert Manne’s many books include Making Trouble and The Words That Made Australia (as co-editor). He is the author of three Quarterly Essays, In Denial, Sending Them Home and Bad News. He is a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at La Trobe University.

Portrait of Sophie Black

Sophie Black

‘Women have many reasons to be wary, depressed or downright terri ed of the internet. No guaranteed safe space exists for a woman online. Especially a lippy one. And yet ... as a tool for social change, the internet, to the extent that we can still refer to it as a single entity, still offers immense possibilities.’

Sophie Black is head of publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the national to writers scheme The Next Chapter, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up titles such as Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Daily Review and SmartCompany. In 2013, she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights publication Right Now.

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