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Synopsis

Written by former Australian Labor Party federal minister for finance Lindsay Tanner, this insider’s perspective demonstrates how media coverage of Australian politics is becoming distorted, trivial, and juvenile, and it argues that this change threatens democracy. Showing how the Australian media has been under siege from commercial pressures and technological innovation, this work shows how the media has retreated into an entertainment frame that has little tolerance for complex social and economic issues. In turn, this exploration shows how politicians and political parties are adapting to suit the new rules of the game—to such an extent that the contest of ideas is being supplanted by the contest for laughs. Lying bare the relentless decline of political reporting and political behavior, this book—part memoir, part analysis, and part critique—tackles the deterioration that has set in at the heart of Australian public life.

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