Australian Left Review


Dick Thomson


UNTIL THE EARLY YEARS of this century Australian mass communications comprised essentially the press. Press proprietors, including metropolitan press proprietors, were not big businessmen. The amount of capital required to start up a new city newspaper was very small, compared with today, when a figure of ten million dollars would represent a bare minimum. Newspaper proprietors were almost as numerous as newspapers. This last is a point of some significance, especially when one considers that today the remaining Big Four city press rings (Herald and Weekly Times Ltd., Melbourne; John Fairfax Ltd., Sydney; Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd., Sydney; News Ltd., Adelaide-jSydney) completely control the surviving fifteen big-city dailies, as well as the several weeklies (e.g. Consolidated Press’s Women’s Weekly etc.) and specialist papers (e.g. Fairfax’s Financial Review).



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