Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Turnbull, S. E. 2010, ''Missing in action: on the invisibility of (most) Australian television'', Critical Studies in Television, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 111-121.


‘Chris Lilley gets “angry” with ABC television’ announces the over-excited press release concerning writer/performer Lilley’s latest comedy project which arrived on my desktop this morning (2 October 2009) direct from the publicity department of ABC television, the first of Australia’s Public Service Broadcasters (the second is the Special Broadcasting Service established in 1980 to reflect Australia’s multicultural diversity). . . but I digress. Or do I? One of the most frustrating aspects of being an Australian television scholar is that in order to write or talk about Australian television to any audience outside of Australia, there is so much contextualising to be done before you get to what you want to talk about that people are likely to have lost interest by the time you get there. If they were even interested in the first place. Which is precisely my point, given that most Australian television is, and always has been, largely invisible to the rest of the English-speaking world. That is, apart from a swag of notorious soap operas which have become synonymous with Australian television in general, although they are hardly watched by Australian audiences at all these days. The corollary of the invisibility of most Australian television is the invisibility of most Australian television scholarship in an Anglophone marketplace of ideas about television where the primary currency is British and American television.