Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Writing) Honours & Bachelor of Communications Honours

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Kayt Davies

Abstract

The remote town of Onslow in the Pilbara region of WA plays host to two massive liquefied natural gas plants that will contribute billions to the state and national economy over the next 50 years. Recognising the importance of creating a first draft of history, the Tracking Onslow project was launched in 2012 by ECU and the Shire of Ashburton, to use journalism as a research methodology to document physical changes in the town and changing community perceptions about the gas plants and the companies that run them. The project produced six magazines over a three-year period. This practice-led thesis supplements the core research of the Tracking Onslow project by applying academic analysis to three investigative assignments undertaken for the Edition 6 Tracking Onslow magazine, to examine whether contemporary Australian journalism (as described by Lamble, 2004) can fulfill the watchdog function, as defined by Errington & Miragliotta (2011) in a resources town amongst corporate and government power struggles and bids to control the narrative. And, therefore; if projects like Tracking Onslow can fill functional gaps in contemporary Australian journalism practice and processes. The contextual analysis is based on Foucault's truth, knowledge and power paradigm. It identifies the journalistic processes and limitations inherent in the battle for information and truth, in order to provide a better understanding of the impact these limitations can have on the journalism produced.

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