Curtin is doing a splendid job: how a wartime labour Prime Minister won press support, 1941-45

Coatney, Caryn (2009) Curtin is doing a splendid job: how a wartime labour Prime Minister won press support, 1941-45. In: Labour history in the new century. Black Swan Press, Perth, Australia, pp. 91-101. ISBN 978-0-98063132-6


This paper asks: How valuable are Alexander's diaries for revealing fresh views of Curtin's strategies to gain favourable press coverage about his government's effort to win World War II? Certainly, there has been a distinct absence of a comprehensive study of his media relations. For this purpose, I examined the Prime Minister's unusually close press interactions, beginning with his appointment to the nation's highest office on 7 October 1941 and ending with his untimely death on 5 July 1945. More specifically, an investigation of the diaries provided a unique perspective of Curtin's persuasive skills in gathering the support of correspondents from newspapers, representing diverse political affiliations. Historical government-media analyses are relevant to political communications, particularly to the Federal Government's news management of the War on Terror. Also, Alexander was a trusted staff member and friend of Sir Keith Murdoch, the powerful, Australian press tycoon. With implications for the nature of relations between the current Prime Minister and the media, Murdoch's attempts to influence the Government and the direction of the war were evidenced in Alexander's diaries, especially the extensive news networks owned by Sir Keith's son, Rupert Murdoch.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2014 03:34
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2015 02:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labor Party; Australia; John Curtin; World War 11; media control; strategies; journalism; mass news media; political communication
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160503 Communications and Media Policy
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media

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