‘Photographing Lindy’: Australian press photography and the Chamberlain case, 1980–2012

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Abstract

This article analyses the news photography surrounding a high-profile case of alleged matricide in Australia: the disappearance of 9-month-old Azaria Chamberlain, and the subsequent murder trial and eventual acquittal of her mother, Lindy. While the scholarship on the media’s conduct during Chamberlain’s ordeal has been exhaustive, the press photographers’ role has not been considered. Drawing on oral history interviews with newspaper photographers, this article explores the ways that the photographers’ workplace culture, gender, relationships and practices informed their approach. It argues that their images in isolation did not contribute to the demonisation of Chamberlain; the same photographs were used to project both innocence and guilt depending on the editorial interpretation. The article will provide new historical understanding about the photographic traditions and routines surrounding the Chamberlain case and crime photography more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalMedia International Australia
Volume162
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Press photography
  • Crime
  • Gender
  • working memory
  • oral history

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