The impact of spin on Australian real estate journalism : a Queensland study

Hughes, Angela Farnell (2009) The impact of spin on Australian real estate journalism : a Queensland study. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Regardless of ‘bear’ or ‘bull’ markets, the great Australian dream remains to own your own home. Central to this dream of home ownership is unflagging interest in the property market, reflected in bulging real estate news sections of newspapers in South East Queensland, the focus area for this thesis research.

While there has been much scholarly research into other areas of public relations spin and its impact on news-gathering processes, there appears to be next to no research on real estate spin, how it is prepared and by whom, and journalism’s attitude to and the managing of the spin. Real estate spin remains an under-researched topic requiring further investigation not only in South East Queensland but Australia-wide given the ‘big bucks’ allotted to the promotion of real estate and the income it generates for news media outlets, particularly newspapers. This thesis examines the influence of public relations practitioners and journalists specialising in real estate spin through interviews, content analysis, and how real estate spin envelopes itself in today’s society.

From content analyses and observations of journalism in the real estate rounds of the two major newspapers in South East Queensland, I found that journalists were using massive quantities of real estate spin supplied by PR practitioners and other associated industry sources. This spin is supplanting investigative newsroom journalism, thus allowing newspapers to operate with minimal staffing levels yet still able to publish large weekly real estate news sections. My research also revealed growing commercialisation of real estate news through increasing outsourcing of journalistic work to a writing bureau, which could jeopardise both the professions of journalism and public relations in the future.

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ID Code: 32173
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Romano, Angela & Knight, Alan
Keywords: real estate news, journalism, public relations, spin, spin doctor, newspapers, property editors, journalism responsibilities, advertorial, advertising, promotional features, writing bureau
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 12 May 2010 02:00
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:56

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