"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.
© 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)