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Paper Emperors: The rise of Australia's newspaper empires

Sally Young



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New South Books
01 March 2019
History; Media studies; Press & journalism
'Prodigious research...illuminating detail.' - The Australian 'A tour de force.' - Professor Rodney Tiffen Before newspapers were ravaged by the digital age, they were a powerful force, especially in Australia - a country of newspaper giants and kingmakers.

This magisterial book reveals who owned Australia's newspapers and how they used them to wield political power. A corporate and political history of Australian newspapers spanning 140 years, it explains how Australia's media system came to be dominated by a handful of empires and powerful family dynasties. Many are household names, even now: Murdoch, Fairfax, Syme, Packer. Written with verve and insight and showing unparalleled command of a vast range of sources, Sally Young shows how newspaper owners influenced policy-making, lobbied and bullied politicians, and shaped internal party politics.

The book begins in 1803 with Australia's first newspaper owner - a convict who became a wealthy bank owner - giving the industry a blend of notoriety, power and wealth from the start. Throughout the twentieth century, Australians were unaware that they were reading newspapers owned by secret bankrupts and failed land boomers, powerful mining magnates, Underbelly-style gangsters, bankers, and corporate titans. It ends with the downfall of Menzies in 1941 and his conviction that a handful of press barons brought him down. The intervening years are packed with political drama, business machinations and a struggle for readers, all while the newspaper barons are peddling power and influence.

'Stunning.' - Dr Rachel Franks, The Dictionary of Sydney An 'exceptional book...masterfully achieved.' - Inside Story 'An invaluable volume.' - The Age and Sydney Morning Herald 'Better than a crime novel or work of fiction.' - Blue Wolf Reviews 'The best narrative of the power of the press seen for a long time.' - Otago Daily Times
By:   Sally Young
Imprint:   New South Books
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781742234984
ISBN 10:   1742234984
Pages:   640
Publication Date:   01 March 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sally Young is Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. She has written or edited five other books on politics and the media in Australia, two of these in collaboration with others. She has also published over forty journal articles and conference papers. Sally is a regular media commentator and wrote a monthly column for The Age between 2013-15.

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