John Curtin's forgotten media legacy: the impact of a wartime Prime Minister on news management techniques, 1941-45

Coatney, Caryn (2013) John Curtin's forgotten media legacy: the impact of a wartime Prime Minister on news management techniques, 1941-45. Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History, 105 (1). pp. 63-78. ISSN 0023-6942

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As Australia's wartime leader, John Curtin generated international headlines for his 'breaking news' broadcasts, candid media conferences and electoral success. Yet there has been a lack of studies on Curtin's impact as a media communicator. To evaluate his legacy for government-journalist relations, this article conducts a multi-method approach, including analyses of rarely viewed archives about Curtin's use of the media and the newspaper coverage of his major wartime speeches. The research indicates that Curtin expanded the ways that the prime minister communicated with public audiences through press interviews, the radio, films and television during World War II. Through his extraordinarily frequent media discussions, he opened up more opportunities for citizens to interact with political leaders, the government and parliament. Arguably, modern political communicators still borrow from Curtin's news management legacy through the use of question-and-answer media conferences, news briefings, occasional off-the-record talks and use of the most advanced audio-visual technological innovations to communicate with voters.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 01:29
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 06:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: John Curtin; World War II; media history; journalism history; political communications; Australia
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190301 Journalism Studies
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160503 Communications and Media Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160601 Australian Government and Politics
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5263/labourhistory.105.0063

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