Must see TV : mapping an Australian mediasphere

McKee, Alan (2000) Must see TV : mapping an Australian mediasphere. Metro Magazine, 121-22, pp. 55-59.

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Australian National Cinema and Australian Television Culture. These two books, magisterial accounts of Australian media cultures, are very different. The first analyses (according to its cover blurb) 'the distinct and diverse nature of Australian cinema'; the second offers 'a picture of Australian television'. The books share an author.2 Despite this, their objects of study are constituted very differently. The first is replete with examples of particular films, analyses of their representational strategies, and links to the social context of production. The second addresses almost no programs and those that are mentioned appear only in passing. There is no analysis of any particular television text. The difference between these books cannot be explained in terms of authorial fickleness: rather, it represents the different ways in which television and film have been constructed as objects of study. While film has a recognised canon and a tradition of close textual analysis, in the study of television the programs themselves have tended to vanish - as they do in Australian Television Culture. Most academic work on Australian television is not interested in its programs. Writers have tended to find other aspects more rewarding: industries, institutions, ownership, legislation, technology and production.3 Australian Television Culture is part of this tradition; and an example of how such work, done well, can be a useful contribution to understanding the medium.

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ID Code: 42009
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Australian media cultures, authorial fickleness, mediasphere
ISSN: 0312-2654
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Australian Teachers of Media
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2011 22:01
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2011 10:21

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