Belinda Middleweek lectures in the School of Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. She has worked as a freelance documentary film producer and researcher for a number of boutique and commercial production companies including iKandy Films, Beyond International and Graham McNeice Productions, and co-produced a feature documentary for ABC Radio National’s The Media Report. Belinda has also worked as a segment producer for the Seven Network on the programs Sunrise, The Morning Show and Today Tonight. She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and is currently co-authoring a book for Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2017) about intimacy, desire, risk and transgression in films of the extreme cinema movement.
Tulloch, J. & Middleweek, B. 2017, Real Sex Films The New Intimacy and Risk in Cinema, Oxford University Press, USA.
This is a book which substantively, methodologically and theoretically is embracing and engaging in its consideration of the images, ethics, 'double standards' and embodiments of brutal cinema.
Middleweek, B.M. 2017, 'Deviant Divas: Lindy Chamberlain and Schapelle Corby and the case for a new category of celebrity for criminally implicated women', Crime, Media, Culture: an international journal, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 85-105.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In the field of celebrity studies much has been written about the superficiality of contemporary celebrity culture in which ordinary individuals are recognised as exceptional or worthy of public attention in the absence of any particular talent, contribution or achievement (Bell, 2010; Boorstin, 1972; Gamson, 1994; Langer in Edgar, 1980; Marwick and boyd, 2011; Redmond, 2013; Rojek, 2001; Turner, 2004, 2014; Turner et al., 2000). Much less has been written about the link between celebrity and criminality and the types of categories into which celebrified criminals fall (Jenks and Lorentzen, 1997; Penfold-Mounce, 2009). In the scant studies that do exist there is a thinness of attention to gender despite persuasive arguments within feminist criminological studies that crime is a gendered concept in news discourse (Jewkes, 2011; Smart, 1977). Using a qualitative content analysis of a selection of news articles on two high profile cases involving women convicted of a crime, Lindy Chamberlain (now exonerated) and Schapelle Corby, as well as recent work in the sociology of risk on desire and transgression, this research suggests that the current naming practices surrounding criminally implicated women do not adequately capture the constellation of gender-inflected media messages and the meanings with which they are imbued by sections of news workers. The implications of this research warrant a re-think of the customary labels ascribed to women convicted of a crime and the addition to existing taxonomies of a new category of celebrity, the 'deviant diva'.
Middleweek, B.M. 2017, 'Dingo media? The persistence of the 'trial by media frame in popular, media, and academic evaluations of the Azaria Chamberlain case', Feminist Media Studies, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 392-411.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In the bulk of popular, media, and scholarly discourse on Azaria Chamberlain's disappearance there is overwhelming consensus that the sensationalist reporting of the event convicted parents Michael and Lindy of their daughter's murder outside official court processes. In feminist scholarship in particular, the infant's disappearance in August 1980 has been read according to a 'trial by media frame. This frame persists despite altered perspectives about the role of the Australian public whose punitive and collectively hostile response to a media-driven hysteria has been replaced with the portrait of a kinder and more compassionate nation. The objectives of this article are threefold: to demonstrate the persistence of the trial by media frame in popular, media, and academic discourse; to consider assumptions of a monolithic and hostile media; and by examining a previously unanalysed archive to suggest that these arguments overlook the existence of sympathetic voices in mainstream media as well as the dialogic connection between media and counter-publics mutually supporting the Chamberlains' bid for innocence. This research offers an alternative view to scholarship on a landmark event in Australian history and has broader implications for the way we view the media in trial by media situations.
Middleweek, B. & Tulloch, J. 2017, 'Afterword: Tacit Knowledge and Affect - Soft Ethnography and Shared Domains' in Batty, C. & Kerrigan, S. (eds), Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry, Palgrave Macmillan.
Aimed at students and educators across all levels of Higher Education, this agenda-setting book defines what screen production research is and looks like—and by doing so celebrates creative practice as an important pursuit in the contemporary academic landscape. Drawing on the work of international experts as well as case studies from a range of forms and genres—including screenwriting, fiction filmmaking, documentary production and mobile media practice—the book is an essential guide for those interested in the rich relationship between theory and practice. It provides theories, models, tools and best practice examples that students and researchers can follow and expand upon in their own screen production projects.
The Media and Lindy Chamberlain, and Reporting Criminal Matters in the Northern Territory today (2012) is a 30-minute radio documentary co-produced for ABC Radio National's 'The Media Report'.
Hosking, J. & Middleweek, B. 2011, 'I'm Not Dead Yet', iKandy Films Pty Ltd and Umbrella Entertainment.
Chad Morgan: I'm Not Dead Yet (2011) is a feature length documentary that builds on mistaken media reports of the death of country music legend Chad Morgan, presenting a living eulogy of him.
Research interests include gender, media and film studies.