In recent years, the Australian media have come under fire for their reporting of politics and election campaigns. Political reporting is said to be too influenced by commercial concerns, too obsessed with gossip and scandal, and too focused on trivia and 'sound bites' at the expense of serious issues. There are accusations of bias, sensationalism, 'lazy' journalism and 'horse-race' reporting that is obsessed with opinion polls. How Australia Decides is the first book to put these allegations to the test. Based on a four-year empirical study, Sally Young reports the results of the only systematic, historical and in-depth analysis of Australian election reporting. This groundbreaking book shows how election reporting has changed over time, and how political news audiences, news production and shifts in political campaigning are influencing media content sAi with profound implications for Australian democracy.