Macquarie University
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Informing spatial realities: audiences and television news in Australia

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posted on 2022-03-28, 10:43 authored by Tanya Louise Muscat
This thesis examines the ways in which commercial television news programmes contribute to everyday social knowledge on space, politics, and identity. In the Australian context, popular and political discourses continue to concentrate on issues of migration and identity. These discourses culminate in the mediated concerns over national borders. By employing an approach that focuses on participation, this study investigates how audiences view and draw meaning from the two most popular commercial television news programmes in Sydney. It argues that audiences mobilise relational space/power/identity formations to explain how local commercial television news viewership fits in with broader mediated networks of information. Through an examination of the audiences' discussions of commercial television news programmes, this study elucidates that respondents' use news in both a spatial and political manner. An analysis of the coverage of issues relating to asylum and migration in 9 News and 7 News is contextualised in the audiences' discursive focus on asylum and migration reports. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of commercial television news content establishes that news reports construct relational space/power/identity formations across the local, national, and global scales. While the emphasis remains on the nation-state scale, commercial television news programmes provide pivotal hegemonic openings for alternative frameworks of understanding migration across the local and global contexts. By combining audience analysis with both quantitative content analysis and qualitative multimodal analysis, this thesis demonstrates the ways in which commercial television news programmes mediate knowledge of space/power/identity formations among Australians.


Table of Contents

1. Mediating the nation: space, power and identity -- 2. The Australian context: space, migration and television news -- 3. Research methods -- 4. Producing space: structuring the coverage of asylum and migration -- 5. Evoking a nation: multimodal discursive constructions of space/power/identity -- 6. Spatialising viewership: reasserting the role of commercial television news in everyday life -- 7. The politics of place: imagining the nation through television news -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 323-341 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Maya Ranganathan

Additional Supervisor 1

Anthony Lambert


Copyright Tanya Louise Muscat 2016 Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (xiv, 370 pages) illustrations

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