Recent Australian Broadcasting Cultures and Documentary Practice

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Title Recent Australian Broadcasting Cultures and Documentary Practice
Author Fitzsimons, Trish
Publication Title ACUADS 2009 Conference: Interventions in the Public Domain
Editor Ross Woodrow
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher ACUADS 2009 and Queensland College of Art, Griffith University
Abstract In contemporary Australia long form documentary is fundamentally a tele-visual medium, recent efforts by the Australian Film Commission - now Screen Australia – to reinvigorate cinematic documentary notwithstanding. While commercial free to air stations broadcast a legislated minimum of first run documentary each year under 'Australian Content' regulations most documentaries go to air under the auspices of public broadcasters. The ABC and the SBS have taken diverse approaches to documentary, reflecting varying charters, budgets and institutional cultures. This paper looks at in-house production and the broadcasters' organization of independent commissioning,, especially tradition and innovation in the ABC's Documentary Department (1988-1996) and arrangements since; the recent influence of executive producers and other key roles; the organization of commissioning strategies for independent work through the ABC and SBS Independent and SBS's recent moves to fold documentary production into a broader 'factual' category. Examples and case studies will include selected works such as Cop It Sweet (1992) and Frontier (TV series and online program, 1997) and Australia by Numbers (2003). Comparisons are made with commercial broadcasters' responses to funding and regulatory systems, including 'Australian content'. Through this paper, questions of the individual and institutional voices of documentary will be interrogated. Comparisons will be made with earlier eras when most documentary was produced 'in-house' and with contemporary independent documentary production to understand the way that in-house production allows for particular kinds of intervention in the public domain. Ien Ang, Gay Hawkings, Lamia Dabboussy, 2008 The SBS Story: the challenge of cultural diversity, UNSW Press.
Glynn Davis, 1987, The ABC and SBS, ANU and Royal Australian Institute of Public Administration
FitzSimons, T., 2002. 'Accords, Slots, Slates and Series: Australian Television Takes on Documentary.' Metro 132/2: pp.63 -73.
Trevor Graham, 2009, 'Hula Girls: A cocktail for International Co Production', Written component, Doctorate of Creative Arts, University of Technology, Sydney.
Ken Inglis, 2006, Whose ABC?
Ken Inglis, 1983, This is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1932 -1983.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.acuads.com.au/conf2009/conf2009.htm
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author 2009. The attached file is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. For information about this conference please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author.
ISBN 9781921291906
Conference name ACUADS 2009: Interventions in the Public Domain
Location Brisbane, Australia
Date From 2009-09-30
Date To 2009-10-02
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/29880
Date Accessioned 2010-04-08
Date Available 2010-05-28T03:09:01Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Creative Arts Research
Faculty Queensland College of Art
Subject Film and Television
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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