Media in Australia: Television

This week’s reading focused on television and its history. While remaining the most used media form in this country, Flew and Harrington (2010, pp. 157) wrote in The Media & Communications in Australia that the 14-25 age group’s use of the internet may change the TV set’s popularity in the household (Flew, T and Harrington, S, 2010, pp. 157).

The television industry will have to face and embrace the concept of convergence. Convergence is defined in the Dictionary of Media and Communication as the “merging of formally discrete communications technologies/media” (Chandler and Munday, 2011, pp. 77), meaning that the internet is helping to extend the ways that television can be consumed. From the findings of their report, Convergence 2011: Australian Content State of Play, Screen Australia believes that convergence is “reshaping the Australian media landscape, with new technologies growing in influence and providing audiences with more choice than ever before” (Screen Australia, 2011). Convergence is the biggest change that TV faces, with the introduction of 3G mobile internet and digital media technologies such as internet television and online video. These changes are significant because television ratings are affected by consumers watching content online, either legally or illegally.  This means consumers are watching their favourite programs the way they want and when they want, rather than when the broadcasters want them to. Flew and Harrington (2010) believe that for television these new technologies have “rapidly become an important, if not central, issue for the industry”.

Despite the fact that high-speed broadband is speeding the process of convergence, Screen Australia’s report shows that television is still the “leading way of viewing screen content”, with 96% of people still viewing television and participation in free-to-air-channels is actually up 14% (2011).  While it may appear that television is declining, these statistics suggest that television will be still be around for a long time, although maybe not in its current form.


Flew, T., & Harrington, S. (2010), Chapter 9, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Chandler, D & Munday, R, 2011, Dictionary of Media and Communication, Oxford University Press Inc., New York.

Convergence 2011: Australian Content State of Play, 2011, Screen Australia, viewed 7th September 2012, <>.




This is the fifth of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The next  seven will be uploaded over the course of a few weeks, the links to which can be found here:


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