Asia Pacific Media Educator


Payne, Trish (1999)
The Canberra Press Gallery and the Backbench of the 38th Parliament 1996-98.
Department of the Parliament Library, Information and Research Services, Canberra. 244 pp. ISBN 0 642 70435X

Reviewed by B. C. Gorman

As I write this, Danna Vale, the Liberal MP for Hughes, the Federal electorate in which I live, is leading a backbench revolt against the refusal of her leader, the Prime Minister Mr Howard, to override State and Territory laws on mandatory sentencing. Though she is unlikely to succeed, as so few backbench “revolts” succeed, her attempt, and its coverage in the media, is a perfect case in point to illustrate the thesis of this well-written and deeply-researched monograph. This book could, in fact, be used as an operating manual by backbenchers wanting to obtain better media coverage of their views, and I am sure it will sell at least one copy for every federal and State backbencher in the country.