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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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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

Sophie Black is the Wheeler Centre's Head of Publishing. Previously she was Editor in Chief at Private Media, where she headed up the titles Crikey, Women’s Agenda, SmartCompany, StartUpSmart and Property Observer.


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