Going Down the Hole: Beaconsfield, Celebrities and the Changing News Culture in Australia

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Jason Bainbridge


For fourteen days, all of Australia and much of the world was focused on the rescue of two miners trapped underground in Beaconsfield, Tasmania. This article looks at the period from Todd Russell and Brant Webb’s rescue up to and including Channel Nine’s screening of an exclusive interview with the men on 21 May 2006. It analyses the ways in which Beaconsfield was reported—and the exclusive interview with the miners pursued—as a way of exploring notions of celebrity, infotainment, chequebook journalism and the changing shape of news culture in Australia. For these reasons, the events at Beaconsfield should not be dismissed as just another news story, but rather, should be regarded as indicative of the ways in which news is increasingly being reported, packaged and folded back into larger entertainment structures.

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Articles (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Jason Bainbridge, University of Tasmania

Jason Bainbridge is an Associate Lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania. He has previously published on television, law and popular culture and is currently co-authoring  a book on media and journalism for Oxford University Press.