Hirers and firers in Australian television news: using oral history to mark generational change.

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A small group of senior news managers controls the hiring of television journalists in this shrinking area of employment in Australia. This paper examines the career and educational histories of key members of this managerial group as they existed at the end of August 2007 reflected against their roles in selecting journalists for hire. The national heads of news and current affairs at all the free-to-air networks and pay television news channel Sky News have taken par, along with the Sydney news directors at all the free-to air-networks and the deputy news director at Sky. The information gathered suggests that generational change will occur between the most senior TV news executives and those who are to follow them. All of those interviewed started work in another form of journalism before television. Only two of the news directors and heads of news and current affairs interviewed had completed journalism training at a tertiary institution. Of the more senior rung – the network heads of news & national news and current affairs directors - only one had completed formal tertiary study. However, all but two of the news directors (the second rung of news management) had completed some form of university study, either before entering journalism or since. This would suggest the start of a generational shift at the level of senior hirers: those journalists trained through traditional cadetships are only just beginning to be replaced by those with tertiary qualifications. This suggests we are seeing the last generation of non-university trained journalists wielding hiring and firing power over television journalism in Australia before they make way for the next (university-trained) generation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistance and diversity
Subtitle of host publicationReaching new audiences
EditorsMargaret Van heekeren
Place of PublicationBathurst, Australia
PublisherCharles Sturt University
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781864671988
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian Media Traditions Conference - Bathurst, NSW Australia, Australia
Duration: 22 Nov 200723 Nov 2007


ConferenceAustralian Media Traditions Conference


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