The Greatness and Smallness of Their Story: Australian War Correspondents in the Twentieth Century

Fay Amanda Anderson, Richard Trembath

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This paper describes a current project which is investigating Australian war correspondents from the Boer to the Gulf Wars. The collective role of Australian war reporting has been largely untouched by historians. Our project examines the discourses that defined Australian soldiers and national identity; the extent of the war correspondent's influence on the public and how they shaped attitudes to war, allies, enemies and race and how correspondents contributed to the official version of events and how they deviated from these accounts. In our paper we address the following issues: In what ways did the press shape public perceptions of conflict? How did the nature of Australian war reporting change through the 20th Century? To what extent have Australian women journalists overcome barriers to practise as war correspondents? The following paper derives from the early stages of a project being conducted at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne. The initial steps involve surveying archival, biographical and secondary sources on Australian correspondents who reported on major wars in the 20th Century. This survey is a preliminary to a complete study of Australian war reporting from the Boer to the Gulf Wars.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhen Journalism Meets History 2003
EditorsSybil Nolan
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Number of pages117
ISBN (Electronic)0864593066
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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