The 1980s - The Press

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During a Press industrial dispute in 1980 copies of the strikers’ paper The Journalists’ Clarion were bought by the New and given out gratis in the foyer. That year’s revue And I Still Call Home Australia included a Press baron’s takeover bid:

If I took over the AMWU I’d have a majority holding in the ACTU which means I’d have a controlling interest in the labour force … amalgamate that with the rest of my holdings – I’ve pretty much got Australia sewn up as a going concern and I could really call Australia my home.

But who wants to buy a whole country. No, you just buy the bits that matter like TV stations, newspapers, airlines, mining companies, the film industry … now there’s a whole lot of rumours going around about how I’m gonna sell the whole industry off to the US TV factories.

Not true. I’m gonna give it away as a tax loss … why don’t we go the whole hog and become the 51st state of America? What’s wrong with that?

Co-winner of the 1982 NT Playwriting competition, John Upton’s Waiting for Rupert Murdoch was staged in 1983. Set in the office of a suburban newspaper, the play examines the ethics of modern journalism where profits are put ahead of keeping the public informed. A NT member in the 1970s-80s, Upton for a time edited the Spotlight! newsletter and handled publicity. Several of his plays were workshopped.

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