Social Politics (Columns)

Publisher:
Canberra Times
Citation:
Tuesday Talk, 2007, 2007
Issue Date:
2007-01
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Background As the news has the power to set the public agenda, significant gaps in the news media can contribute to policy neglect. The has author identified a significant gap in the newsmedia - there are columnists who write about their personal lives and columnists who write about their political opinions, but rarely are the two linked together. To address this gap, the author has for 11 years written a weekly column in the Canberra Times linking personal experience to government policy. The research question being addressed is: how can journalists use personal and domestic experiences to question and illuminate government policies? Contribution The column draws on 30 years of researching and reporting social issues and interviews with stakeholders. This research is linked with the author's own personal experience to create new insights of national significance and bring the personal domestic space into the public sphere. The research for these columns follows a grounded theory approach allowing important themes to emerge from the data. The author receives a high level of reader interaction through emails and this also delivers fresh themes; readers draw on their experience, responding to my column in ways in which create an ongoing public conversation. The objective is to move away from media practices and discourse which trivialize domestic life to practice which foregrounds the domestic and inserts it into arguments about the development of public policy. Significance This column develops a different perspective on Australian cultural, social and political life in a daily newspaper which reaches the nation's key policy makers and politicians.
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