How Queensland newspapers reported public sector information reform

Rhonda Breit, Richard Fitzgerald, Shuang Liu, Regan Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores the role of media in Freedom of Information (FOI) policy transfer, using a case study of Queensland's 2009 FOI reforms. A multi-dimensional analysis was used to discover how newspapers reported changes in Queensland's public sector information (PSI) policy to identify whether stories on PSI policy were reframed over time. At a quantitative level, the text analytics software Leximancer was used to identify key concepts, issues and trends in 786 relevant articles from national, metropolitan and regional newspapers. At a qualitative level, discourse analysis was used to identify key themes and patterns from the newspaper articles. Both qualitative and quantitative shifts in the media reporting of Right to Information (RTI) and FOI were revealed across three time periods representing the periods before, during and after the reform implementation. The findings offer insights into the role of newspapers in policy diffusion, revealing how Queensland media reports framed the shift in PSI policy from pull model FOI to push model RTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-106
Number of pages17
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Freedom of Information
  • framing
  • journalism
  • policy transfer
  • reform


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