Matthew Ricketson is professor of journalism at the University of Canberra and a former Media and Communications editor for the Age.
All essays by Matthew Ricketson
The BBC: A people’s history
by David Hendy
Published January 2022
The War Against the BBC: How an unprecedented combination of hostile forces is destroying Britain’s greatest cultural institution… And why you should care
by Patrick Barwise and Peter York
Published November 2020
Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation
by Paul Kelly
Melbourne University Press
Published August, 2014
Power Failure: The Inside Story of Climate Politics under Rudd and Gillard
by Philip Chubb
Published May, 2014
Strengths and defects: Triumph and Demise & Power Failure
It is widely agreed in the journalistic accounts, the emerging academic studies, and the various politicians’ memoirs that the Rudd and Gillard governments had serious flaws and that their disunity killed any momentum and obscured their achievements. It is also well recognised that the media in general, and the News Limited outlets in particular, played a role in the Labor governments’ demise. You get barely an inkling of that from reading Triumph and Demise.
Fairfax: The Rise and Fall
by Colleen Ryan
Melbourne University Publishing
Published July, 2013
Killing Fairfax: Packer, Murdoch & the Ultimate Revenge
by Pamela Williams
Published July, 2013
Inexorably winnowed: Fairfax: The Rise and Fall & Killing Fairfax
There is a pungent irony in the publication of these two books about the declining fortunes of the Fairfax Media company written by two of its most experienced and respected journalists. Media companies matter and journalism matters, but it is entirely possible that Fairfax will in the next year or two be dissolved or broken up or taken over by Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart.
It is conventional wisdom in the publishing business that newspaper reviews, even negative ones, can help to sell books. But while book publishers are beset by structural changes to their industry … the newspaper business is suffering an even more painful struggle, to evolve or die.