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|Title: ||Four Work-Ins by Australian Journalists, 1944-80|
|Authors: ||Russell, Samuel|
|Issue Date: ||Dec-2010|
|Publisher: ||Business and Labour History Group, The University of Sydney|
|Citation: ||Business Schools and History: proceedings of the second annual conference of AAHANZBS, 16-17 December 2010, The University of Sydney / edited by Greg Patmore|
|Abstract: ||During industrial disputes with employers between 1944 and 1980 the Australian Journalist's Association occasionally turned to the tactic of the work-in, producing wild cat newspapers during strikes in Sydney. These newspapers (The News, and The Clarion) exemplified problematic elements of the work-in as a working-class strategy.
While single incident studies of the work-in have been conducted in Australia, the Australian Journalist Association work-ins present a time series of struggle. This time series allows for a broader evaluation of the radical content of the work-in and indicates that the tactic can become systematised, less radical, and less participatory when not connected to a broader generation of workplace radical behaviour by workers. In short: the work-in, much like the strike or go slow, can become a tame cat tactic – it is not inherently transgressive or opposed to capitalist production.
Expectedly, the first work-ins were more radical in scope, presenting a newspaper which fully duplicated the commodity produced under capitalist control and in some ways exceeded the scope presented by capitalist organised journalism in both a material and a cultural sense.
However, this radical economic potential dissipated by the end of the time series of work-ins. Instead of providing an alternative commodity fit for market, the tactic produced propaganda pieces aimed primarily at the members of the community who would be predisposed to favour the journalist's case. The 1980s Clarion was not a daily newspaper of news, sport, racing, women's interest, classifieds, and general opinion.
This change will be explained in terms of human causes such as skills loss, production process causes such as computerisation and wire services, and broader social causes such as the changing role of the newspaper in Australian society.|
|Description: ||Not refereed. Abstract only.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||The author retains copyright of this work.|
|Type of Work: ||Conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||Business Schools and History: Proceedings of the Second AAHANZBS Conference - 2010|
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