Free for educational use
Year of production - 2004
Duration - 3min 7sec
Tags - audiences, children, icons, identity, media, media industry, media production, media text, national identity, representations, script writing, television programs, see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
The interviews with Trevor Barr and Mac Gudgeon were recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.
Trevor Barr is an author, professor and the Director of the Creative Industries Research & Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. Mac Gudgeon is a screenwriter and a community television advocate. 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.
Outcomes from this module
- learn the importance and relevance of Australian-made TV content to Australian audiences
- research and synthesise written material, and re-present it for a specific reading audience
- imagine and develop the script for a dramatic scenario
- rehearse and deliver an oral presentation
- create a DVD trailer or promo for an new Australian TV program
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 9
Reading, viewing and interpreting information and argument texts
- Students read and view texts that entertain, move, parody, investigate,
analyse, argue and persuade. These texts explore personal, social, cultural
and political issues of significance to the students’ own lives.
- Students understand that readers and viewers may need to develop knowledge
about particular events, issues and contexts to interpret texts.
- When students write information or argument texts, they make appropriate selections of information from a few sources and attempt to synthesise and organise these in a logical way.
- Students write imaginative texts in print and electronic mediums that contain personal, social and cultural ideas and issues related to their own lives and communities and their views of their expanding world.
This resource is also relevant to Media Studies- Audiences, Representation, Media Conventions, the Drama Genre and Media Production.
These are extracts only. Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.
Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English
To meet Australian content quotas, commercial broadcasters devoted extra timeslots to news, current affairs and sports programs, plus numerous versions of new-format 'lifestyle’ programs.
In the mid-1990s the commercial networks also renewed their commitment to producing serial dramas. Nine developed several successful dramas including Water Rats, Stingers and the high-rating series of telemovies Halifax FP, while Seven produced Blue Heelers and All Saints. Police and crime series Janus, Phoenix and Wildside went to air on the ABC.
During this period television comedy was revitalised with sketch comedy programs such as The Big Gig, The Late Show and Fast Forward. The ABC also scored a major hit with Frontline, a spoof current affairs program. On Seven, Acropolis Now gently poked fun at ethnic communities in Australia’s dominant Anglo culture.
As a class, view the interviews then discuss and write notes on the following:
- In Trevor Barr’s view, what is the ‘worst thing that could happen’ to the Australian broadcast media, and why is it important to prevent this from happening?
- Explain why Mac Gudgeon is critical of Australian television network executives.
- Which Australian-produced TV programs of any type do you watch? Explain whether you would regard them as uniquely Australian, or derived, inspired or copied from overseas.
- What are the distinctive symbols, codes and conventions of locally produced:
- news and current affairs
- reality TV and infotainment?
Eg: What locations, characters, music and sound are embedded which can be described as distinctly Australian?
- Writing a magazine article
Research the possible effects of the January 2005 Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the USA on Australian-made television content, and write a 450–500 word article about the subject for a popular magazine for Australian teenagers. This means you will need to present the article in ways the specific reading audience will find interesting and relevant. (You will find some information on the topic in websites listed in the Further Resources section.)
- Imagining a scenario
Imagine that new regulations were suddenly introduced that ordered all Australian commercial TV channels to screen only Australian-made programs every day between 6am and midnight. In pairs, plan, draft, edit and proofread the script for a three-minute telephone conversation between two commercial TV network executives depicting their reactions, their feelings and thoughts, and what they think they will do about the situation.
- Presenting a script reading
Rehearse then deliver a reading of your pair’s phone conversation script to the class. You should consider appropriate facial gesture, movement, posture and voice control.
- Creating a trailer or promo for a new Australian program
View trailers and promos for locally produced TV programs. Analyse the production techniques, content and style of promos for different genres: drama, news, comedy, reality TV etc. In groups design and script a short promo or trailer for a new program to appeal to your age group. Consider the symbols and style required to attract Australian teenagers. Create a DVD of your promo.
Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.
Australian Communications and Media Authority, Content Regulation
Go to Screen Education for excellent articles and study guides focussing on all aspects of Australian television.
Examples of trialers and promos for Australian TV programs can be found on program websites The Australian Childrens’ Television Foundation
Read Media new ways and meanings by Colin Stewart and Adam Kowaltzke. Jacaranda, Milton, QLD, 2008. Go to a sample of chapters online at Jacaranda Books
Read Media 1 by Roger Dunscombe, Melinda Anastasios- Roberts, Juliet Francis, Karen Koch, George Lekatsas and Nick Ouchtomsky and Media 2 by Roger Dunscombe, Melinda Anastasios-Roberts, Kevin Tibaldi and Andrew Hyde. Heinemann Harcourt Education, Port Melbourne, 2007. Two recommended texts for classroom use for discussing representation and video production as well as many other key media concepts that relate to this clip. Go to the books online at Heinemann Media for more detail.