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ABC Online & Broadband Production

Video clip synopsis – What does the end of the 'golden age of Australian broadcast media' mean? Stuart Cunningham discusses the idea.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 1min 18sec
Tags - consumers, culture, diversity, emerging technologies, identity, Internet, media and society, media production, see all tags


ABC Online & Broadband Production

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 abconline_pr.mp4 (9.6MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 abconline_bb.mp4 (4.5MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


This interview with Stuart Cunningham was recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Stuart Cunningham is Professor and Director of the Creative Industries Research & Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. You can view his full biography 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


Area of study 2. Media industry production

This area of study focuses on Australian, overseas and/or global issues and/or developments in the media industry and their impact on media production stages and specialist roles within these stages.

Media products are the result of collaborative and specialist production stages and roles. The degree of specialisation among production personnel may vary according to the production context.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Although the Web is a global environment, locally made Web content creates a presence that references our Australian identity and takes up our national interests and concerns. Many people fear that an amorphous, global culture will eventually swallow up all national identities. It remains to be seen whether we Australians can hold our own or whether we get lost in cyberspace.

ABC Online & Broadband Production
“The increasing worldwide convergence of 'new’ and 'traditional’ media production is seeing the emergence of a digital screen-based content creation industry with … applications across the entertainment, arts and education arenas … [and] Australia is particularly well placed to take advantage of the worldwide explosion in demand for digital content …” [Kim Dalton, Australian Film Commission, 2002]

To date, Australia’s commercial television broadcasters have used the online environment mostly to support traditional television broadcasting. By contrast, the ABC – through the ABC Online website at – is exploiting the Internet to create new entertainment experiences. And ventures like the ABC-Australian Film Commission Broadband Production Initiative reveal the exciting potential of traditional and new broadcast media convergence.

The production initiative has funded the creation of a number of major broadband projects. Four of these are: The Dog and Cat News, The Pure Drop, Dust on My Shoes and The Life, Times and Travels of the Extraordinary Vice Admiral William Bligh.

The Dog and Cat News is the broadband interactive hub for the children’s animated television series of the same name. At the site – a 3D environment – kids view and interact in real time with their favourite cartoon characters from the series, and play games.

The Pure Drop is an interactive documentary and exploration of world music with performers from all corners of the global village. The Pure Drop also traces some of the fascinating stories behind the diverse music of multicultural Australia to its roots in Europe and the Middle East.

Dust on My Shoes tracks the journey and adventures of a pair of young Australian backpackers who are retracing the journey of author and adventurer Peter Pinney through the Middle East and Asia in the late 1940s. Dust on My Shoes – 'an odyssey of rough travel’ – is a multi-layered broadband project. The site includes live radio feeds with direct-to-air interviews, short documentaries created en route by the backpackers and accounts of rough travel by Australian cult figures – told through music, text and film.

The Life, Times and Travels of the Extraordinary Vice Admiral William Bligh – a sumptuous portrait of a man and his times – is a biography of Captain William Bligh (1754-1817), who started his life at sea as a cabin boy and rose to the rank of Admiral.

Classroom Activities


Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip itself:

  1. What does Stuart Cunningham see as the major issues with content in the future?
  2. Bruce Springsteen once wrote about American television that there were 57 channels and nothing on. What do you think he meant by that?
  3. It has been said that too much information just becomes noise. Do you think that this may be the case with a large broadband television broadcasts? How will we find out what is on?

Further Resources


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