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Is Aussie Journalism different from American Journalism?

By Catherine Pearson

In Australia

Someone told me before my trip to this land of wonders that Australia was not well-known for its journalism. Since I arrived here in August 2008, I’ve struggled to discern if there is a difference between Aussie journalism and other countries, or if it just differs from the journalism ideals I learned in graduate school in the United States. So, I was not sure how the Australian media editors would receive my idealistic notions of journalism. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Unlike the Australian-born Rupert Murdoch, I started in the U.S. and then went down under to try my hand at journalism. Well, that, and I am not a billionaire. Either way the plane flies, Murdoch’s media path has gone before me and left an ever-growing trail of familiar tunes and themes.

With that familiarity was the convenience of following the campaign trail for the U.S. presidential election. Albeit the footage is a bit grainy, and the snippets are brief considering the foregone conclusion that Senator Barack Obama had already been voted into office even before Election Day.

Coups and earthquakes tend to get attention, even if the battles are only on the ball field and the hail shakes farmers’ bank accounts more than their actual land. So, I suppose Australian news coverage adheres to the same criteria as elsewhere. And to this visiting American, the differences seem as minor as those of the language itself —- still English —- just with an accent.

November 12, 2008

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