Reporting Diversity
Television News 2005 Study

Gail Phillips, Murdoch University;
Suellen Tapsall, Murdoch University


During the first half of 2001 a group of researchers at Murdoch University joined with Norm Taylor, former head of News and Current Affairs at the ABC, to create a methodology for analysing the shape and substance of television news. A content analysis database was devised and during a one month trial in Perth in June 2001 the television news bulletins of the five networks were collected and analysed in terms of story content; story duration; story placement in the bulletin; and bulletin structure. It was hoped that this trial would pave the way for a broader longitudinal national study comparing news services around the country. Inadvertently the researchers captured what now appears to be a bygone era, a pre- 9/11 benchmark before the War on Terror domination over the national and international news agenda. The Living in Harmony project has provided an opportunity to apply the methodology to an analysis of the amount and nature of reporting on multicultural affairs in Australia’s television news services. The original study forms a useful baseline against which to assess multiculturalism in television news. Not only can we assess the types of stories and the way they are reported; we can also pose questions such as: How much multicultural content is there in news now compared to then? Have there been changes in the sorts of multicultural stories selected and the way in which they are told? In the post 9/11 world what if anything is happening to the public face of multiculturalism as reflected in our television news? .

Member : Murdoch UniversityMember: Griffith UniversityMember: University of South AustraliaMember: Media MonitorsMember: SBSMember: University of CanberraMember: Journalism Education AssociationMember: University of Western Sydney
Department of Immigration and Citizenship