"A fine healthy place": the Role of Local Newspapers in Civilizing the Queensland Bush
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This paper presents a close reading of Australian local newspapers The Queenslander, The Week, and The Logan Witness. It argues that by representing triumph over local challenges these newspapers also constituted a late-nineteenth-century civilizing process. They played a vital role in generating community cohesion. Stability and civilization were represented to the target audience of families and entrepreneurs as 'natural' and appropriately embodied by colonizers. Embedding a sense of belonging established a 'civilising (sic) goodness' through disavowal of the displacement of indigenous peoples as familiar community practices were enacted. In this highly literate population newspapers, rather than books, provided local Australian content. A case study of the Lahey family, who arrived as South East Queensland became available for serious settlement in the early 1870s, personalizes the settlement ideology produced by local newspapers.
Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Media History on 23 Sep 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13688804.2014.956712
Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)