Communication, Politics & Culture Journal

Communication, Politics and Culture (CPC) was a highly ranked interdisciplinary open access journal with an international reputation.

The journal was published by Informit between 2001 and 2011, from Volume 34 to Volume 44.

From Volume 45 (2012) (available on this site) we began publishing as an online open access journal. 

In 2008 the journal changed its title from Southern Review: Communication, Politics & Culture to its current title. We maintained the Volume and have now reached Volume 48 in 2015. 

Issues for the period 2001–2011 are accessible via Informit’s Humanities and Social Sciences collection, to which many Australian and international libraries subscribe. Check your local libraries for details.

Communication, Politics & Culture is attempting to make the archive available to a wider audience. In the meantime, a number of profile articles are available.

If you are an author and have a digital copy of your article you would like posted to the site, please email to

Current volume


Articles gathered here represent important, profile articles from CPC's archive of scholarship which have made significant contributions to the development of the field.

Bennett, Tony, ’Being 'in the true' of cultural studies’ (PDF), Southern Review 26.2, July 1993: 217-238

Bennett, Tony, ’Marxism and popular fiction: problems and prospects’ (PDF), Southern Review 15.2, July 1982: 218-233

Bennett, Tony, ’The Bond phenomenon: theorising a popular hero. James Bond’ (PDF), Southern Review 16.2, July 1983: 195-225

Burchell, David, ’The private citizen: Macintyre, Cicero and the 'classical tradition' of civic life’ (PDF), Southern Review 31.1, March 1998: 29-37

Cunningham, Stuart, ’Style, form and history in Australian mini/ series’ (PDF), Southern Review 22.3, November 1989: 315-330

Dutton, Michael, Williams, Peter, ’Translating theories: Edward Said on orientalism, imperialism and alterity’, Southern Review 26.3, Nov 1993: 314-357

Eagleton, Terry, Bennett, Tony, King, Noel, Hunter, Ian, Hulme, Peter, Belsey, Catherine, Frow, John, The 'text in itself': a symposium;, Southern Review 17.2, July 1984: 115-146

Freadman, Anne, ’Charles Peirce's 'Philosophy of Notation'’ (PDF), Southern Review 26.2, July 1993: 186-203

Freadman, Anne, ’Genre again: another shot’ (PDF), Southern Review 23.3, Nov 1990: 251-262

Frow, John, ’Marxism after structuralism’ (PDF), Southern Review 17.1, March 1984: 33-50

Greenblatt, Stephen, ’Towards a poetics of culture’ (PDF), Southern Review 20.1, March 1987: 3-15

Greenfield, Catherine, ’On Readers, Readership and Reading Practices’ (PDF), Southern Review 16.1, March 1983:121-142

Gunew, Sneja, ’Framing marginality: distinguishing the textual politics of the marginal voice’ (PDF), Southern Review 18.2, July 1985: 142-156

Hall, Stuart, ’The narrative construction of reality: an interview with Stuart Hall’, Southern Review 17.1, March 1984: 3-17

Hunter, Ian, ’Four anxieties about English’ (PDF), Southern Review 29.1, March 1996: 4-18

Hunter, Ian, ’Mind games and body techniques’ (PDF), Southern Review 26.2, July 1993: 172-185

Hunter, Ian, ’Providence and profit: speculations in the genre market’ (PDF), Southern Review 22.3, November 1989: 211-223

Hunter, Ian, ’Reading character’ (PDF), Southern Review 16.2, July 1983: 226-243

Hunter, Ian, ’Religious toleration and the pluralisation of personhood: Christian Thomasius' program for the deconfessionalisation of society’ (PDF), Southern Review 31.1, March 1998: 38-53

Hunter, Ian, ’The concept of context and the problem of reading’ (PDF), Southern Review 15.1, March 1982: 80-91

Hunter, Ian, ’The rarity of the school’ (PDF), Southern Review 28.2, July 1995: 163-171

McWilliams, Erica and Hatcher, Caroline. ’The taming of trauma: or how to be properly emotional’ (PDF), Southern Review 32.2, July 1999: 212-219

Morris, Meaghan, Gunew, Sneja and Freadman, Anne, ’Forum: Feminism and Interpretation Theory’ (PDF), Southern Review 16.1, March 1983:149-173

Muecke, Stephen, ’Ideology reiterated: the uses of Aboriginal oral narrative’ (PDF), Southern Review 16.1, March 1983: 86-101

Muecke, Stephen, ’Language as a series of statements’ (PDF), Southern Review 17.2, July 1984: 150-165

Saunders, David, ’A cooling draught for doctors forged in fire’ (PDF), Southern Review 32.2, July 1999: 204-211

Saunders, David ’The trial of Lady Chatterly' (PDF), Southern Review 15.2, July 1982: 161-177

Saunders, Ian, ’The texts of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: author, agent, history’ (PDF), Southern Review 26.2, July 1993: 239-261

Williamson, Dugald, ’The novel and its neighbours’ (PDF), Southern Review 22.3, November 1989: 224-243

Yeatman, Anna, 'Social democracy and the challenges of post-liberal individualism’ (PDF), Southern Review 33.2, July 2000: 178-195

Communication, Politics & Culture - Volume 45 (2012) Part 1

Editorial: In transition
Philip Dearman

PDF 127 KB

Unthemed articles

Blame liberals: Conservative columnists and the GFC in Australia and Canada
Steve Mickler

PDF 247 KB

Reporting Megawati’s bid for the Indonesian presidency: Framing and social realities
Jo Coghlan

PDF 175 KB

‘I probably should have done something else’: Interview with Mick Counihan
Noel King

PDF 237 KB

Themed articles

Editors’ introduction: Media, communication, and democracy: Global and national environments
Vaclav Stetka & Henrik Ornebring


Gruen Nation: Dissecting the show, not the business
Nicholas Carah, Sven Brodmerkel & Angie Knaggs

PDF 240 KB

Habits of democracy: Newswriting practices and the re-working of democratic traditions in India
Ursula Rao

PDF 235 KB

Populism online: Nationalist and globalist discourses of the Serbian Radical Party’s websites
Anita Samardzija & Shanthi Robertson

PDF 242 KB

Local hooks and regional anchors: Media representations of the EU in the Pacific
Natalia Chaban, Serena Kelly & Jessica Bain

PDF 603 KB

Slovenian election posters as a medium of political communication: An informative or persuasive campaign tool?
Tomaž Deželan & Alem Maksuti

PDF 621 KB


Valuing ‘voice’: Rethinking the ends of political, economic and social life in neoliberal context
A review of Nick Couldry (2010) Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics after Neoliberalism, by Akina Mikami

PDF 131 KB

More than melting glaciers: Making climate change meaningful
A review of Julie Doyle (2011) Mediating Climate Change, by Alanna Myers

PDF 127 KB

Editorial: China, change and collaborative research
Mary Griffiths, Ying Jiang, Michael Griffiths


Partner, prototype, or persuader? China's renewed media engagement with Ghana
Iginio Gagliardone, Nicole Stremlau and Daniel Nkrumah

PDF 227 KB

The changing pattern of state workers' labour resistance in Shaanxi province, China
Zhiming Cheng

PDF 416 KB

Crumbling Giant, Rising Dragon?: Chinese news media cartoon reflections on the Eurozone debt crisis
Jessica Bain, Natalia Chaban and Serena Kelly

PDF 473 KB

Making connections: an investigation into the factors determining Internet uptake by rural residents in China
Mingrui Ye

PDF 182 KB

Cultural diplomacy with Chinese characteristics: The case of Confucius Institutes in Australia
Falk Hartig

PDF 200 KB

Exploring news frames of diplomatic Visits: A comparative study of Chinese and American media treatment of Vice President Xi Jinping's official tour of the USA
Dong Leshuo and Naren Chitty

PDF 276 KB


Omnipresent Technologies—Omnipresent Democracies? Morozov’s critique of serious online activism
A review of Evgeny Morozov (2011) The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate the World, by Russell Brennan


Relationship Delete: Young people, 'new' media and mediated disconnection
A review of Ilana Gershon (2010) The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media, by Sarah Casey


General articles
Questions & Answers & Tweets
Jock Given and Natalia Radywyl

PDF 324 KB

The securitisation of nuclear energy post–September 11 and its impact on ASEAN’s nuclear aspirations
Eulalia Han

PDF 199 KB

Themed articles: A decade on - Public commemoration and political implications of the tenth anniversary of 9/11

Jacqui Ewart and Halim Rane


The Wounded City: Memory and commemoration in Lower Manhattan
Kay Ferres

PDF 157 KB

Commemorating catastrophe: The British press, the culture of remembrance and the 10th anniversary of 9/11
John Tulloch

PDF 269 KB

The framing of 9/11 and Australian television’s framing of the tenth anniversary
Jacqui Ewart and Halim Rane

PDF 252 KB

The Special Broadcasting Service and the future of multiculturalism: an Insight into contemporary challenges and future directions
Joshua Roose and Shahram Akbarzadeh

PDF 219 KB

The impact of 9/11 on Australian Muslim civil society organizations
Nora Amath

PDF 219 KB

National, local and household media ecologies: The case of Australia’s National Broadband Network
Rowan Wilken, Bjorn Nansen, Michael Arnold, Jenny Kennedy and Martin Gibbs

PDF 588 KB

Habermas and the Garants: Narrowing the gap between policy and practice in French organisation–citizen engagement
Judy Burnside-Lawry, Carolyne Lee and Sandrine Rui

PDF 390 KB

Embedded gambling promotion in Australian football broadcasts: An exploratory study
Lisa Milner, Nerilee Hing, Peter Vitartas and Matthew Lamont

PDF 307 KB

Weibo in China: Understanding its development through communication analysis and cultural studies
Zhan Zhang and Gianluigi Negro

PDF 385 KB

Robo-call usage by Australian political parties: the case of the “Spooky vote-hunting robot”
Glenn Kefford and Linus Power

While internationally, pre-recorded telephone messages, often referred to as robo-calls, have been used for some time, their use during Australian election campaigns goes back less than a decade. This article tracks the emergence of robo-calls and a complementary technology known as telephone ‘town-halling’ in Australia. It explores the way Australian parties are using telephonic technology as part of their election campaigns and compares this use to the experience in the United States and Canada. While these countries have seen a push for increased robo-call and telephonic regulation as a result of a number of controversies, this article argues that any regulatory changes in Australia should reflect the different way the technology is being used here. In particular, the evidence shows that it is the telephone ‘town-hall’ technology which is set to grow most significantly and regulatory changes need to reflect the distinction between the two forms of telephonic political campaigning.

PDF 258 KB

Don’t cut off our tongues: Yolngu voices in news and policymaking
Lisa Waller and Kerry McCallum

Few studies have explored the ways in which Indigenous peoples contribute to shaping public and policy agendas through their various uses of the news media. This paper draws on interviews with policy actors, including Indigenous activists, media professionals and educators. Through their spoken words it identifies how Yolngu people, from North-East Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, have used Indigenous public spheres and media logics to penetrate public policy debate about bilingual education. Research participants emphasised the importance of Yolngu governance practices for discussion, decision-making and action in their media campaigns to retain their bilingual curriculum. Through their accounts, a picture emerges of the constitution of the contemporary Yolngu public sphere.

PDF 218 KB

‘…a story that’s got all the right elements’: Australian media audiences talk about the coverage of a health-related story from the developing world
Michelle Imison

Australian news coverage of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) generally, and of their health contexts specifically, has long been criticised as problematic. This paper considers an exemplary LMIC health story and presents findings of an audience reception study that examined how different groups of Australian participants responded to it, the possible implications for future LMIC health coverage and for domestic perceptions of global public health. In particular, the paper examines how audiences talked about three of the story’s principal themes and suggests that greater audience engagement with LMIC health news may be possible as the mass-media landscape continues to evolve.

PDF 157 KB

‘This campaign is all about…’ Dissecting Australian campaign narratives
David Bartlett and Jennifer Rayner

It has sometimes been suggested that there are only a handful of campaign narratives in existence, and that political parties repeatedly recycle these when running for elected office. In this paper, we test this suggestion by dissecting the narratives communicated by Australia’s major political parties over 10 years of state and federal election campaigning. We find that just six narratives dominate in Australian electoral discourse, and explore how these narratives are linked to issues such as incumbency and the electoral context.

PDF 956 KB

Social media: a critical introduction
A review of Christian Fuchs (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction, by Larissa Hjorth

Christian Fuchs is a Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster — an institution that has ushered in Degrees in Social Media at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Given this context, it is not surprising that Fuchs has produced this timely introduction to Social Media. This book is very much a product of Fuchs’s strong interest in Marxism and thus does a great job grounding social media through sociological and critical theory.

PDF 108 KB

New News is Good News: Non-traditional news forms, journalism and citizen information in contemporary Australia
A review of Stephen Harrington (2013) Australian TV News: New Forms, Functions and Futures, by Edwina Throsby

Harrington has an impressive knowledge of the literature with which he is engaging. He applies a cultural approach to the analysis of the relationship between media and citizenship, or “mediated citizenship” to an Australian media context. Specifically, he analyses three Australian television programs: Sunrise, The Panel, and the various Chaser programs, adopting a triangulated, qualitative approach to his research.

PDF 108 KB

Don't cut off our tongues: Yolngu voices in news and policymaking

Lisa Waller and Kerry McCallum

Few studies have explored the ways in which Indigenous peoples contribute to shaping public and policy agendas through their various uses of the news media. This paper draws on interviews with policy actors, including Indigenous activists, media professionals and educators. Through their spoken words it identifies how Yolngu people, from North-East Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, have used Indigenous public spheres and media logics to penetrate public policy debate about bilingual education. 

PDF 212 KB

Being heard: Mentoring as part of a community media intervention
Aisling Bailey, Karen Farquharson, Timothy Marjoribanks and David Nolan

The AuSud Media Project is a community media intervention aimed at enabling Sudanese-Australian to develop a media voice. One of the elements of the project was a mentoring program that partnered Sudanese-Australians with working journalists. This article investigates the experiences and assessments of the mentoring program, highlighting different aspirations held by participants, language tutors and journalists, and the power relationships involved. We find that although mentors and participants had different goals for their mentoring experience, the participants felt heard by their mentors and by extension the Australian media. However the mentoring relationships also took place in a system of broader inequalities and structures that raise questions about how to effect change through such media interventions.

PDF 114 KB

Clean energy futures and place-based responses: a comparison of letters-to-the-editor in two Australian regions
Kitty van Vuuren, Dan Angus and Susan Ward

A region’s cultural environment—how people communicate and how local media represent the immediate social and natural environment—is indicative of local dominant normative values that underpin potential capacities for climate change mitigation and adaptation. This article explores this premise with a comparison of two regions in Australia: Northern Rivers (New South Wales) and Ipswich-Lockyer (Queensland), and draws attention to readers’ letters published in two daily newspapers, The Queensland Times (Ipswich) and The Northern Star (Lismore), with a specific focus on the Clean Energy Legislative Package. Leximancer software is used to analyse the content of readers’ letters published over a nine-month period coinciding with the passage of the legislation through the Australian parliament. The results indicate important differences in local discourses and suggest a focus on local socio-cultural landscapes and their capacities for community dialogue are potentially useful for understanding how communities talk about, and the extent to which they will accept climate change policies.

PDF 192 KB

Emerging Dimensions of Networked Energy Citizenship: the case of Coal Seam Gas mobilisation in Australia
Declan Kuch and Asha Titus

Coal Seam Gas (CSG) activities have mobilised new political coalitions across the traditional left/right political divide in the eastern Australian states. Through the charting of these activities we propose the concept of ‘networked energy citizenship’ to capture the tensions between fossil fuel capital and the rural and urban alliances that form in response to a range of concerns and unexpected connections. These include bubbling rivers, pipelines routes and new duties thrust upon landholders. We emphasise the advantages of analysing online data around energy issues as part of traditional qualitative data gathering. This article reports empirical findings from a custom database of tweets around CSG issues and theorises the politics of knowledge at stake in this challenge to state-appointed expertise.

PDF 470 KB

Symbolic Attack Sites and the Performance of Terrorism, Counter Terrorism and Memory
Anne Aly

This paper reports on a project that explores how terrorist attack sites become communicative platforms within which three kinds of enactment- the terrorist attack, counter measures by the state and affective public responses- construct narratives and counter narratives about terrorism. This approach is applied in research project that explores the range of meanings that emerge around the site of the 2002 Bali Bombings in Kuta, the political nature of commemoration and the ways in which victims voices become part of the narrative/counter narrative of violent extremism. The conceptual framework applied in this research incorporates performance theory and notions of the audience (government and publics) as narrators in a discourse of contested meanings that are also enacted through the symbolic imagery of the attack site. The findings reported here demonstrate how attack sites become dynamic spaces for the interpretation and reinterpretation of meanings about terrorism embodied in the narratives generated by the performance roles of various actors. These meanings challenge the performative power of the terrorist attacks but also construct counter narratives to official responses to terrorism.

PDF 147 KB

Sex-in-advertising: a policy-setting taxonomy
Linda Brennan, Colin Jevons and Erica Brady

Discussion about the appropriateness or otherwise of sex in advertising is wide ranging and recurrent. ‘Sex’ in advertising has been the subject of extensive research and debate which has often been conducted on flawed conceptual foundations. We argue that this is due to a lack of shared understanding of ‘sex’ as it relates to advertising. By examining the various ways in which ‘sex’ and related terms have been used in the past, and grounded in accepted cultural usage, this research develops a taxonomy of sex within the advertising domain. This taxonomy clarifies meaning and provides a framework as a basis for future research. It also provides a decision making framework for debates about what is and is not an appropriate reference to sex in advertising.

PDF 417 KB

Diana Bossio


Netflix Closed Captions Offer an Accessible Model for the Streaming Video Industry, But What about Audio Description?
Katie Ellis

With user preference driving the digital innovations of televisions, the opportunities for viewers with disability to access television via broadband and digital platforms are profound. Viewers with disability have the potential to experience flexibility in the form of accessibility features such as audio descriptions, captions, lip-reading avatars, signing avatars, spoken subtitles and clean audio. This is especially true as digital television and broadband services converge to deliver television services online through sites such as Netflix. Similarly, with television communication becoming increasingly social, people with disability are mobilizing online to advocate for better television accessibility. While some opportunities for accessibility are not being realised, others are arising through the recognition of people with disability as a niche audience.

PDF 124 KB

The Impact of Social TV and Audience Participation on National Cultural Policy: Co-creating television comedy with #7DaysLater
Jonathon Hutchinson

This paper illustrates how social TV and audience participation has been positioned within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), how it challenges existing governmental practices and nation boundary construction, and strengthens its public service remit by providing voice to those who may otherwise be marginalised.

PDF 611 KB

Mediating the body: technology, politics and epistemologies of self
Suneel Jethani

This paper critically examines the use of digital technologies to track physiological processes (heart rate, physical activity, sleep), daily routines and behaviours (hydration, food and alcohol consumption) as a means of generating personal agency and self-betterment. Looking at problems associated with the ‘newness’ of self tracking technologies and the knowledge that they garner (e.g. the quantified self), this paper engages specifically with questions of locating the politics of self-tracking.


Social Media Conflict: Platforms for Racial Vilification, or Acts of Provocation and Citizenship?
Amelia Johns and Anthony McCosker

Although racism remains an issue for social media sites such as YouTube, this focus often overshadows the site’s productive capacity to generate ‘agonistic publics’ from which expressions of cultural citizenship and solidarity might emerge. This paper examines these issues through two case studies: the recent proliferation of mobile phone video recordings of racist rants on public transport, and racist interactions surrounding the performance of a Maori ‘flash mob’ haka in New Zealand that was recorded and uploaded to YouTube.


Framing the NBN: An Analysis of Newspaper Representations
Rowan Wilken, Jenny Kennedy, Michael Arnold, Martin Gibbs, and Bjorn Nansen

The National Broadband Network (NBN), Australia’s largest public infrastructure project, was initiated to deliver universal access to high-speed broadband. Since its announcement, the NBN has attracted a great deal of media coverage, coupled with at times divisive political debate around delivery models, costs and technologies. In this article we report on the results of a pilot study of print media coverage of the NBN.

PDF 204 KB

‘Is it justice, or just us?’ Sourcing practices in radical and local media coverage of an Aboriginal death in police custody
Susan Forde and Heather Anderson

The untimely death of Daniel Yock became a trigger for the re-invigoration of the Aboriginal ‘deaths in custody’ movement, a political cause which had previously received significant public attention through mainstream and alternative news media coverage during a Royal Commission into the issue in the late-1980s. This paper examines the sources used in the news media coverage of the death of Daniel Yock to consider which voices are most prominent in the representation/s of the event itself, and the broader social movement surrounding deaths in custody in the early 1990s. 

PDF 315 KB 

Online Activity and Electoral Outcomes
Alison Parkes and Simon Milton

We examine the impact of online activity on electoral outcomes, using a large phone survey of voters in the 2010 Australian federal election. Given the ever-increasing level of online activity in the political sphere developing a more nuanced understanding of its effects has the potential to influence the underpinning democratic foundations of society.

PDF 719 KB

A Taiwanese Chat Show Hit in Mainland China: Kangxi laile (Kangxi Coming) and the Rhetoric and Politics of Private Life and Body
Shenshen Cai

Taiwanese entertainment shows are noted for their vulgar and erotic features that are replete with body contact, pornographic rhetoric and sexual connotations. Taking Kangxi Coming as a typical example, this paper examines how the sensual and perverse relationships between the Taiwanese public and political leaders, and between commoners and celebrities have opened the eyes of mainland spectators, enlightening them that there exists this kind of casual, relaxed and sometimes even disrespectful attitude of the general public towards their political leaders and their idols which is unimaginable in the mainland region. 

PDF 152 KB

Facebook, Whatsapp and the Commodification of Affective labour
Kim Doyle

This paper addresses the question of how and to what extent social media networks have facilitated the commodification of the affective labour of consumers and workers through circuits of constant consumer feedback on commercial products and business networking culture. 

PDF 207 KB

Personalising politics in a global crisis: The media communication techniques of John Curtin and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Pacific War, 1941-45
Caryn Coatney

During their Pacific war alliance, Curtin and Roosevelt expanded the national leader’s use of the media to symbolise a more public persona of governance that involved citizens in crisis discussions. While the ‘personalisation of politics’ is a growing scholarly topic, there is a lack of research on the two leaders’ use of relatively new media to evoke perceptions of their direct communications with publics during this conflict. This study of their communication techniques reveals insights into how political leaders have framed media rhetoric and camera imagery to convey their administrations as increasingly inclusive public spaces.

PDF 206 KB

Young Citizens And Political Participation In A Digital Society: Addressing The Democratic Disconnect
A review of P. Collins (2015) Young Citizens And Political Participation In A Digital Society: Addressing The Democratic Disconnect, by Dang Nguyen

Collins' book presents a rigorous discussion of the current issues in theorising political participation in the context of an increasingly pervasive digital media ecology, with a focus on young people as a target group for policy-making.


The Power of Discourse: Obama and the American Dream
A review of Alexander, Jeffrey C. and Bernadette N. Jaworsky (2014) Obama Power, by Carol Johnson

This book aims to explain how Obama resurrected his prospects and was re-elected given the Democrats’ disastrous mid-term election defeat and Obama’s falling poll results earlier in his first term. It is an engaging book “not written for academics” but “not written against them either” and it draws heavily on the embedded theory in Alexander’s previous work in cultural sociology.


Digital fitness: Self-monitored fitness and the commodification of movement
Tara Brabazon

This article moves beyond a history of domestic home video fitness programs to explore digital fitness with specific attention to the self-monitored fitness ‘movement’ and the hardware and software that facilitate its proliferation. The research in this area is currently conducted through preliminary small scale studies, alongside some flawed but still (inadvertently) useful undergraduate and graduate projects. Popular cultural interest is burgeoning, with the popularity of the Fitbit suite and the iWatch surging through an array of commentaries on blogs, YouTube videos, tweets and Facebook posts. This theoretical paper links digitisation with fitness to explore the balance between self-monitoring and surveillance, motivation and shaming. The Fitbit is an example of this self-monitored fitness ‘movement’ that reveals the ambivalence of quantifying steps and stairs while managing a volatile neoliberal working environment.

PDF 413 KB

Chinese creative industries, soft power and censorship: The case of animation
Xu, Xiaying (Richard) and Tony Schirato

The interrelatedness of Chinese economic and cultural reforms since the beginning of the new millennium, most particularly and importantly with regard to the acceptance and deployment of the concept of creative industries as an extension of China’s ‘soft power’, needs to be considered in light of two factors: firstly, and at a conceptual level, it derived from the development of the highly influential notion of the ‘creative industries’ in the UK; and secondly, it was linked to what we could term the ‘cultural politics’ of China’s relations with neighboring cultural powers such as Japan and South Korea (and to a certain extent and more broadly, with the United States). In 2005, the creative industries concept was embraced by Beijing, but with a caveat: it opted to use the hybrid term ‘cultural creative industries’ in the official document, due to the sensitivity of the term ‘creative’ (Keane 2007). One part of the field of cultural production that was strongly impacted by these developments was the animation sector. This article will provide an account of the various political, economic and cultural contexts that drove and informed these changes and how they have played out within the contemporary Chinese animation industry. 

PDF 558 KB

Representations of the ‘region’ in Australian radio research and policy
Kate Ames

This paper reviews the relationship between regional Australia, its audiences, and radio research in the 20th and 21st centuries by examining the methods by which regional Australia has been incorporated and acknowledged within radio histories, surveys, and research into broadcasting policy. This paper argues that this research has embraced a wider discourse and narrative focused on ‘saving’ the regions—a sentiment that has been the overwhelming narrative in Australia’s social and economic history. It concludes that regional Australia needs to be better understood and integrated into research that has implications for broadcasting policy development. 

PDF 305 KB

Remediating modernity: Youth, role models and behaviour change in ‘new Nepal’
Natalie Greenland and Andrew Skuse

Communication for development (C4D) theorising, program design and practice, to a significant extent, remain driven by notions that communication inspires liberal-minded role models or ‘change agents’ operating at the local level. These individuals are typically described in terms of their willingness to pursue social change. In looking at the links between national pro-social change broadcasting and local practices of remediation and interpretation, this paper assesses the work of a large international NGO working to promote life skills, health awareness and civic responsibility amongst young people in Nepal. Such work charges young people to be agents of their own social change through the development of localised C4D initiatives that link with national media outputs and agendas. Inevitably, there is a degree of slippage in both meaning and message as local remediation of broader development issues occurs. Analysis reveals remediation of such issues to be a tangled practice in which key messages are reworked, made more conservative, and localised or mis-communicated.

PDF 287 KB

‘Strange times’: Anti-elite discourse, the Bicentenary, and the IPA Review
Mark Davis and Nick Sharman

In this paper we investigate anti-elite discourse in the leading Australian conservative journal the Institute of Public Affairs Review (IPA Review) in the context of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations of 1988. To do this we undertook qualitative content analysis of all issues of the IPA Review from 1984 to 1989: the five-year lead up to Australia’s celebrations in 1988, and the year after. Our argument is that while much of the scholarship on anti-elite discourse in Australia focuses quite properly on the period after the election of the Liberal Party in 1996, led by unapologetic conservative John Howard, and the rise of far right populist anti-indigenous and anti-multiculturalist politician Pauline Hanson in the same period, the lead up to the Bicentenary represented a particularly rich, formative period for anti-elite discourse, when many of the concepts, themes and terms central to later debate and current political discourse were tested and refined.

PDF 273 KB

Author bios



Chris Hudson and Antonio Castillo

PDF 27 KB 

What the river remembers: Theatricality and embodied knowledge in performing The Secret River
Denise Varney

This article considers the politics of remembering violence in relation to the contested matter of the Frontier Wars between Aboriginal people and settlers in 19th century colonial Australia.


Of Time and History: The Dead of War, Memory and the National Imaginary in Timor-Leste
Damian Grenfell

Remembering of the dead by the living— even when represented in empty cenotaphs and marked by political hierarchies—draws people into a kind of simultaneity across time and binds them not only to a distinctive past, but also to a new, reimagined future through collective mourning and recognition. A fuller sense of how the violence of the Indonesian occupation plays out in the postconflict context can be found by considering other kinds of memorialisation concerning those killed in war, including graves and mortuary rituals. Both customary and ecclesiastical patterns of memory and temporality continue to be present in patterns of memorialisation.

PDF 120 KB

Atentat! Contested histories at the one hundredth anniversary of the Sarajevo assassination
Hariz Halilovich and Peter Phipps

Bosnia remains a divided country both politically, and in the representation and memorialisation of the past. This paper is based on fieldwork in Sarajevo at the hundredth anniversary of the Sarajevo assassination widely seen as the catalyst for the First World War. The antithetical, competing commemorations of this historical event tell us a great deal about the political fractures of Bosnia and the region. They also offer insights into the significance of historical memory in the stubborn reiteration of contemporary identities.

PDF 195 KB

Patterns of migrant post-memory: the politics of remembering the Sayfo
Sofia Numansen and Marinus Ossewaarde

The Sayfo (or genocide) is remembered in Western Europe by diasporic communities of Arameans, Assyrians and Chaldeans in a variety of ways. Descendants of victims of systematic massacre of Christians by Turks and Kurds in 1915 have developed identities in the context of diaspora post-memory and reflection on a shared history of persecution and violence. A significant problem for diasporic communities is the danger of forgetting the Sayfo and the manipulation of post-memory. The intergenerational transmission of the Sayfo is subject to revision in the context of the changing political and cultural environments of migrant communities, and the migration from Eastern Turkey to Western Europe in the 1970s has had a profound effect on the culture, communication and politics of remembering the Sayfo.


Social Media and the Politics of Reportage. The ‘Arab Spring’
A review of S. Bebawi and D. Bossio (eds) (2014) Social Media and the Politics of Reportage. The 'Arab Spring', by Ekaterina Tokareva

Social Media and the Politics of Reportage .The ‘Arab Spring’ is a collection of works that explore the intersection of mainstream media and social media. It focuses on the crisis reporting as it happened during the Arab Spring and examines the relationships between different players involved in it: journalists, activists, citizens.


Author bios


Volume 49 (2016) Issue 1 

Contents (PDF 1.7 MB)

Editorial: The struggle for meaning: Geriatric budgie smuggling and the politics of the everyday.
Chris Hudson


Narratives of cultural and professional redundancy: Ageing action stardom and the ‘geri-action’ film
Glen Donnar (RMIT University)

Focusing on The Expendables films, I identify the importance of discourses of professional and cultural redundancy in ‘geri-action’, an emergent subgenre of Hollywood action film that has revitalised the careers of ageing action stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These redundancies, which hold long-standing significance in 1980s action film, are compounded in geri-action by advanced age and diminished physical capacity. In geri-action, the spectacle of once idealised, muscled bodies is concealed and displaced onto oversized guns, fetishised vehicles and younger action bodies. However much geri-action resists 1980s action stars’ use-by dates, it ultimately admits physical and generic exhaustion.

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The making of a captain: The production and projection of a political image on the Tony Abbott Facebook page
Edward Hurcombe (Queensland University of Technology)

Literature on politicians’ use of social media tends to concentrate on election campaigns rather than on their everyday use. In examining the construction of ‘Facebook Tony Abbott’ (an Australian conservative federal politician and ex-Prime Minister), this paper examines how his image uploads, with five main themes: military, heterosexual family, statesmanship, athleticism and activeness, assembled a broader political persona. These images serve to promote such mythic campaign image categories as the Ideal Leader and Popular Candidate, revealing the page’s permanent political campaign focus. Thus any insight the page could provide into the everyday political life of Tony Abbott was severely limited.


Analysing everyday online political talk in China: Theoretical and methodological reflections
Scott Wright (University of Melbourne)
Todd Graham (University of Groningen)
Yu Sun (University of Groningen)
Wilfred Yang Wang (Queensland University of Technology)
Xiantian Luo (University of Melbourne)
Andrea Carson (University of Melbourne)

This article explores the theoretical and methodological challenges of collecting and analysing everyday online political talk in China, and outlines our approach to defining and coding such talk. In so doing, the article is designed to encourage further research in this area, taking forward a new agenda for online deliberation (Wright, 2012a), and supporting this important area of research.

PDF 195 KB

New visions and vintage values: Shifting discourses of Australian national identity in 21st century prime ministerial rhetoric
Brooke Gizzi-Stewart (University of Newcastle)

This article examines the relationship between prime ministerial rhetoric and the framing of national identity in contemporary election campaign speeches. Through a hybrid quantitative and qualitative textual analysis, it finds the dominant narrative of Australian national identity in the 2001 prime minister’s campaign launch speech was defined by themes of endurance and stoicism. In 2007, and then in 2013, the narrative conveyed a more optimistic image of the nation, despite increasing global complexities. As such, the analysis reveals distinctive elements in the three speech acts which account for shifting ways of speaking of the nation and invoking nationhood in 21st century.


Defaced election posters: Between culture jamming and moral outrage. A case study
Axel Philipps (Leibniz University of Hannover)
Hagen Schölzel (University of Erfurt)
Ralph Richter (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space)

Election campaigners draw upon posters to represent political parties and candidates in the streets. To date, scholars have largely focused on the strategies of campaigners. This paper initially explores the ways and means of defacement by studying modified election posters in the city of Leipzig in the weeks preceding the 2013 German federal election. The results show that a large number of observed modifications are simple and obvious, while only some defacements show subtle forms of political communication. It is argued, therefore, that defacements as alternative means of political communication are of limited significance in a rather pluralistic society.

PDF 2.3 MB

Generation less: How Australia is cheating the young, by Jennifer Rayner (2016)
Reviewed by James Frost


From Jesus to the internet: a history of Christianity and media, by Peter Horsfield (2015)
Reviewed by Tony Walter



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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.