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The Canberra Press Gallery, officially called the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, is the name given to the approximately 180 journalists and their support staff, including producers, editors and camera crews, who report the workings of the Australian Parliament. The name derives from the press galleries, which are enclosed viewing areas above the chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which the Speaker and the President have allocated to the media.

Contents

Use of the name

The expression "Canberra Press Gallery" also refers to the association of Gallery journalists which represents their professional interests in dealing with the Parliament. The current President of the Gallery is Karen Middleton, national politics correspondent for SBS.

Apart from the one and a half hours per sitting day of Question Time, journalists spend little time in the actual press gallery overlooking the floor of Parliament. Another area, also named the "press gallery" refers to the office space within the Parliament building, above the Senate chamber which includes television studios and radio booths where the gallery journalists spend most of their time compiling stories and communicating with editors.[1][2].[3]

Role and influence

Conventional wisdom among both journalists and politicians attributes great power and influence to Gallery journalists, who are somewhat disparagingly referred to as "the pack" (as in wolf pack) by politicians. Ian Ward says: "Gallery journalists are collectively responsible for the great majority of news stories about federal politics that appear in Australian Print and broadcast media."[4] Many of the best known names in Australian political journalism, such as Malcolm Farr, Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oakes, Alan Ramsey, Glenn Milne, Paul Bongiorno, David Speers and Dennis Shanahan are Gallery members.

References

  1. ^ Clem Lloyd, Parliament and the Press: A History of the Canberra Press Gallery (1988)
  2. ^ Ian Ward, "The media, power and politics," in Andrew Parkin et el, Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia, Pearson Education Australia (2006)
  3. ^ Julian Fitzgerald Inside the Parliamentary Press Gallery: Seeing Beyond the Spin Clareville Press 2008
  4. ^ Ian Ward, "The media, power and politics," in Andrew Parkin et el, Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia, Pearson Education Australia (2006)

External links

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