Another dispatch from Australia:
Virginia Madsen has just published a new article comparing women’s work on features in Australian and Britain in Media Australia International. (And indeed, do check out all of Media International Australia, Volume 161, Issue 1, dealing with women’s work)
This article explores the roles of some of the key women producers, broadcasters and writers who were able to work within the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from their foundational periods to the 1950s. Despite the predominantly male culture of radio broadcasting from the 1920s to the 1970s, this article considers the significance and long-term impacts of some of these overlooked female pioneers at the forefront of developing a range of new reality and ‘talk’ forms and techniques. While the article draws on primary BBC research, it also aims to address these openings, cultures and roles as they existed historically for women in the ABC. How did the ABC compare in its foundational period? Significantly, this paper contrasts the two organisations in the light of their approaches to modernity, arguing that BBC features, the department it engendered, and the traditions it influenced, had far reaching impacts; one of these relating to those opportunities opened for women to develop entirely new forms of media communication: the unrehearsed interview and actuality documentary programmes.