Down the tube: religion on Australian commercial television

Horsfield, P 2006, 'Down the tube: religion on Australian commercial television', Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, vol. 2006, no. 121, pp. 136-148.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Down the tube: religion on Australian commercial television
Author(s) Horsfield, P
Year 2006
Journal name Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy
Volume number 2006
Issue number 121
Start page 136
End page 148
Total pages 13
Publisher University of Queensland, School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Abstract Since 9/11, the question of the place of religion in the public sphere has re-entered public consciousness in Australia, most recently in links drawn between religion and terrorism, debates about free speech and religious vilification, and discussions about religion and the national character. This paper sets a background to these contemporary issues by examining some of the influential factors and personalities in the changing legislation about the mandatory broadcast of religion on Australian commercial television, from its earliest influences through some of the key contests in its subsequent developments. A range of ambiguities and ambivalences is identified, arising primarily from the dual nature of broadcast licences as commercial enterprises and community service, and the contested place of religion in Australian society. These include questions about the constitutionality of the government mandating the broadcast of religion; contests over what is and isn't religion and who has authority to determine this distinction; conflicts arising from the competing interests of stations, churches and the government in the implementation of the legislation; difficulties in defining the purpose of mandatory broadcast of religious content as the place of religion in Australian society has changed; and resistance on the part of government agencies to acting to resolve those ambiguities in such a contested and contentious domain.
Subject Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified
Religion and Society
Keyword(s) Australian television
religious broadcasting
religous television
Australian television history
law and legislation
ISSN 1329-878X
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