History of Australian Media
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Australian media industry enjoys a history which is
second to none.
you take TV, radio or print, Australia has produced
some of the best media, and on the rare occasion,
the most controversial, media coverage on the globe.
has traditionally been the most entertaining
of the three main mediums, or should that now be four,
given the advent of the Internet, which originated
in the United States. Some may well argue that
the Internet should not even be classified as a form
of media, given its problems.
first media broadcast was by way of a news broadcast
presented by Bruce Gyngell on the 16th September 1956,
when Bruce said Hello everyone, and welcome
only 1% of Sydneysiders owned a TV set, while 5% of
the Melbournites owned a box.
first commercial television licences were issued to
the Herald and Weekly Times (Melbourne), General Television
Corporation (Melbourne), Amalgamated Television Services
(Sydney), and Television Corporation (Sydney).
1956 saw TCN9 launch Bandstand, hosted
by Brian Henderson, who went on to become a living
legend in Australian television.
the same year, TV Week launched its own annual TV
Awards, and GTV9s Graham Kennedy won the gold
award for most popular TV personality.
saw the Australian Broadcasting Service launch Six
O' clock with Johnny OKeefe.
saw station affiliations change. GTV9 and TCN9 aligned
to form the National Television Network, now known
as the Nine Network, along with QTQ9 and NWS9; HS7
and ATN7 align to form the Australian Television Network,
known the Seven Network, along with BTQ7 and ADS7.
TVW7, being the sole commercial television station
in Perth, remains independent of network affiliation.
the same year, the Australian Government invites applications
for new commercial TV licences in Sydney, Melbourne,
Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
1968 the Government elected that Australia would adopt
the European standard, PAL, rather than the United
States, NTSC system.
proves to be a huge year, with the launch of Sesame
Street, Young Talent Time, Hey Hey Its
Saturday and A Current Affair, hosted by Mike Willesee,
saw Number 96 become the most popular programme on
Australian television. It was seen all over Australia,
and delivered a never before seen level of raunchiness
and airing of honest concepts like homosexuality and
explicit sex scenes.
saw Grundy Productions launch its first drama series,
Class of 74, later becoming Class of 75,
before it got the chop. The 19th of October saw test
color transmissions by all networks, and November
saw Countdown, with music legend, Molly Meldrum, begin
its amazing 12 year run on the ABC.
huge sports coup occurs in 1977 with Network Seven
going to air with the VFL, and 1978 sees The Melbourne
Cup screened live on Channel 10.
sees SBS screen a series of multi-lingual programs
on the ABC, and 60 Minutes commences, and goes on
to become the most successful current affairs program
in Australian history.
1980s were huge, with many new hit shows, and live
television was elevated with telecasted of the 1984
Los Angeles Olympics and 1986 Commonwealth Games from
saw Network Seven and Ten go into receivership, with
both networks later being saved.
sees massive coverage of the Gulf War, Glenn Ridge
replace Tony Barber on Sale of the Century, and The
Simpsons premier on Channel 10.
TV commences in 1995 with Galaxy, Foxtel and Optus
sees Hey Hey its Saturday get the axe after 28 years
on the air.
2000s sees Reality TV and games shows become all the
rage with hits like Big Brother, Temptation Island,
The Osbornes and Who Wants to be a Millionaire
break record numbers.
broadcasting in Australia officially commenced on
evening of 13 November 1923, with a concert.
8.00pm on 1 July 1932, the Prime Minister Joseph Lyons
inaugurated the ABC.
ABC then controlled twelve stations 2FC and
2BL in Sydney, 3AR and 3LO in Melbourne, 4QG in Brisbane,
5CL in Adelaide, 6WF in Perth, 7ZL in Hobart and the
relay stations 2NC in Newcastle, 2CO at Corowa, 4RK
in Rockhampton and 5CK at Crystal Brook.
radio started in 1967, with 3AW Melbourne hitting
has even turned some journalists into broadcasting
legends. Examples include The Human Headline
himself, Derryn Hinch and Mike Carlton.
best known radio broadcasters are John Golden
Tonsils Laws and Alan Jones.
many years, the wireless was the most important and
used form of broadcasting for news and entertainment,
and a weekend sitting around the wireless was all
The Sydney Gazette the first newspaper printed in
Australia, one of the earliest pieces of printing
in the colony.
key players in Australias newspaper publishing
industry were, and in many cases still are, Fairfax,
Murdoch and Packer.
Australias most popular newspapers include the
Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, and The
Herald Sun is the biggest selling daily, whilst the
Sunday Telegraph is the biggest selling newspaper.
newspapers are making a small dint in the market;
however the big three will continue to dominate for
decades to come.
Bureau of Circulations
The Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle
The Man They Call Harry M, by Greg Tingle
Mr PR - Max Markson, by Greg Tingle
Richard Cashman - Walla Walla Press
Doug Mulray - Broadcaster
Kevin Jacobsen - Promoter
of the ABC
75 Years of Australian Radio
of Australian Studies
Australian Rock N Roll Appreciation Society
Newspaper History Group Newsletter (University of
Library of Australia
Plan for Australian Newspapers Project - History