Following the success of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo comes Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, a story spanning a decade from the mid-’80s. Last night’s first installment on the ABC reminded us of that decade’s celebrity obsession, royal scandals and cheque-book journalism through the retelling of an intense rivalry between two of Australia’s weekly magazine editors: the composed, gracious, and shrewd businesswoman Dulcie Boling (Rachel Griffiths), and her former protégée, the brash and witty Nene King (Mandy McElhinney).
While the first episode covered the decade in all its flamboyant fashion and big hair glory, it also provided some insight into the workplace of the ’80s as the competing editors traded tricks in a circulation war over royal exclusives and celebrity scoops. The mini-series revealed an era of excess, where the cheque books were open and workplace accomplishments celebrated excessively.
While the sound of a fax machine in the bedroom may have been replaced with the glow of an iPhone, and the look of fear upon learning of the first office IBM computer replaced by a feeling of dread when the Wifi goes out, how much has actually changed for women at work since the ’80s?
As Dulcie laments while reflecting on her careers success: “I’m forever reading about how women in business should behave. You don’t hear that about men.”
Did Paper Giants remind you of workplaces in the ’80s? Share your stories below.