The Press proprietor and the politician: Sir Frank Packer and Sir Robert Menzies

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Abstract

This article surveys the relationship between Australian's longest serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, and the controversial media proprietor Sir Frank Packer. It begins by briefly discussing the progressive liberalism that characterised the Daily and Sunday Telegraphy in the 1930s and 1940s. It then considers Packer's flirtations with the affairs of the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party in the 1940s, and the way in which Menzies, as leader of the opposition, viewed the press proprietor. The main part of the article explores the value that the prime minister and the Liberal Party placed on the support of the Packer media outlets, and the form that this support took. The article goes some way to describing how media tycoons and political correspondents interacted with politicians in the days before press releases and professional lobbyists became highly sophisticated news management devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number99May 2001
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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