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This paper examines the relationships between research on journalism and cultural diversity and the political and ideological contexts for those policies. By employing historical research methodologies, the paper offers both a chronology of research about reporting of Multiculturalism and cultural diversity in the Australian media, and a story about the themes as they unfolded in response to media trends and Government policies. We describe the Australian social and political landscape in which research has been undertaken and identify the major government policy developments over the past three decades, finding that research activity has responded to (and been enabled by) these changing emphases.