This is a printer friendly page
Free for educational use
Video clip synopsis – The ultimate decline of cinema newsreels occurred with the coming of colour television.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 2min 56sec
Tags - culture, filmmaking, identity, innovation, newsreels, technological change, see all tags


End of Cinema Newsreel

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 newsreelend_pr.mp4 (21.6MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 newsreelend_bb.mp4 (10.2MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


The interviews with Liz Jacka and Ray Edmondson were recorded for the website From Wireless to Web produced in 2005.

Liz Jacka is an Author and Professor in Communications Studies for the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney. Ray Edmondson is the Former Deputy Director of the National Film and Sound Archive and is now honorary Curator Emeritus. You can view their full biographies at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Inquiry Question
What have been the major social and cultural features of a post-war decade?

A student:
5.1 explains social, political and cultural developments and events and evaluates their impact on Australian life
5.2 assesses the impact of international events and relationships on Australia’s history
5.4 sequences major historical events to show an understanding of continuity, change and causation
5.5 identifies, comprehends and evaluates historical sources
5.6 uses sources appropriately in an historical inquiry
5.7 explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the past.

Students Learn About:
Post-war Australia
The impact of changing technology on everyday life in post-war Australia:

  • housing
  • home appliances
  • entertainment
  • transport
  • communications

Students Learn To:
outline the impact of the main technological changes over time on everyday life in post-war Australia, based on a selection of sources.

Decade Study
The social and cultural features of ONE post-war decade including:

  • fashion
  • music
  • entertainment
  • sport
  • British or American influences on popular culture

    – describe the main social and cultural features of the chosen decade
    – outline the main influences of Britain or the USA on Australian popular culture of the chosen decade
    – assess the impact of the chosen decade in shaping Australian identity
This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies website for more information.

Background Information


Following the advent of television in 1956, newsreels in Australia shared the common fate of cinema newsreels in other parts of the world. The medium became a news magazine, gradually shrinking in length and increasing in sponsored content to compensate for diminishing budgets.

In 1970 the two rival newsreel production companies combined: the all-Australian Cinesound Review joined forces with Fox Movietone News (Australian edition) to become Australian Movie Magazine. The venture quietly faded out as a production company in 1975.

These days the collection of Australian cinema newsreels – a massive resource of historical and cultural significance – is managed by ScreenSound Australia, National Film and Sound Archive. The Cinesound-Movietone Newsreel Collection has been added to the Australian Memory of the World Register, part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World program.

Classroom Activities

  1. According to Liz Jacka, why were newsreels still popular in the early days of television?
  2. Describe the reasons that Ray Edmondson gives for the decline of the newsreel.
    What reasons does Ray Edmondson give for the fact that newsreels lasted longer in Australia than in other countries.
  3. Use the information in this digital resource to create a power point presentation on the impact of changing technology on Australian entertainment in the 1970s.
  4. Research the development of the Australian film industry in the 1970s. Create a storyboard for a documentary on the development and impact of Australian films during this period. Use the link below to start your research.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Film in Australia