The 2007 Federal election campaigns in Australia were characterised by three factors. Most notably, industrial relations played a central role for many voters. Secondly, there was intense and innovative use of media representation and imagery. The substance of the differences between the parties was dominated by the framing of concepts and images which represented industrial relations in 30-second sound bytes and slogans. Thirdly, what offset the effect of that framing was the new media which offered new opportunities for shaping the public discourse and was utilised extensively. This paper seeks to understand how industrial relations was framed in some of the mass media in 2007, and explores some forms of new media and its role in the election. In so doing, the paper shows the significance of industrial relations as a major issue in the election, and suggests that the new media shaped the public's ideas and opinions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/djkelly/14/