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Style Manual

Broadcast media and podcasts (Film, video, television and radio programs)

Cite film, television, radio and podcast programs so people can find the source material. Use the right style and comply with copyright laws.

Cite electronic media correctly

Electronic media include film, television, radio and podcasts. When you write about electronic media you could also be referring to a script or a review.

Many of the general naming rules apply:

  • Use sentence case – retain initial capitals for the first word, proper nouns and proper adjectives.
  • Use italics for published works and roman type for unpublished works.
  • Use roman type and quotation marks for parts of works, such as episodes.
  • Use roman type and the spelling and capitalisation that the company uses for the names of channels, streaming services and networks.
  • Use full names of organisations the first time you mention them.

Italicise the titles of films, television and radio programs, and podcasts.

Place the names of episodes in quotation marks and roman type.

Examples of in-text citations and reference lists on this page follow the author–date system, as this is the most common way of citing film, television and radio programs in government content.

Copyright requirements

You must attribute copyright material you reference. This includes video and audio.

Include all the details required by open access licences (read how to attribute Creative Commons).

Read the government copyright rules in the Australian Government intellectual property manual.

Use italics and sentence case for film titles

Write the title as it appears in film information. Include punctuation marks and any intentional misspelling. Italicise the title and use sentence case.

If the film is part of a series, include the number of the series in the same format as in the original title of the film. For example, if the original title has the number written as a word, use the word.

In-text citations of films often include the year of production. Place this after the title in roman type and enclosed in parentheses.

If you mention the date in the text, you don’t have to include it in parentheses.

Example

Ride like a girl (2019) tells the story of jockey Michelle Payne.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) helped to revive the Australian film industry in the 1970s.

Mad Max 2 (1981) was the second in the Mad Max series of films.

They released The man from Snowy River II in 1988.

After the first mention, you can abbreviate the title as long as it makes sense. You can also omit the date in parentheses. This often happens with well-known and longer titles because it improves the flow of the text.

Example

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) continues to be a popular film. Joan Lindsay wrote the story that formed the basis for Picnic.

Reference list entries for films

In a reference list, use the director and the year of release. Include the place of production if known. If there is no credited director, use the name of the producer.

Rule: Director D (director) or Producer P (producer) (Year) Title of film: subtitle of film [motion picture], Name of Studio or Publisher, Place of Production.

Example

Seet S (director) (2019) Storm boy [motion picture], Ambience Entertainment, Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Australia.

Safran H (director) (1976) Storm boy [motion picture], South Australian Film Corporation, Australia.

Jury WF (producer) (1916) Battle of the Somme [motion picture], British Topical Committee for War Films, London, UK.

Italicise television programs

Use sentence case, roman type and quotation marks for episodes of a program.

Use roman type and no quotation marks for the names of:

  • production companies
  • networks
  • channels
  • streaming services.

Include the year of production of television programs in roman type and brackets.

Example

Gruen is a popular television program on ABC TV.

The Australian story episode ‘Out of the blue’ is about a shark attack in the Whitsundays.

Channel 7 has been screening cricket over the summer.

One of the longest-running police dramas on Australian television was Homicide (1964–77).

Use arabic – not roman – numerals for the numbers of seasons.

Like this

Season 2 of Offspring introduced the character of Dr Patrick Reid.

Not this

Season II of Offspring introduced the character of Dr Patrick Reid.

Reference list entries for television programs

In a reference list, include the name of the director or producer and the year of release. Include the place of production if known.

Rule: Director D (director) or Producer P (producer) (Year) ‘Title of episode: subtitle of episode’ [television program], Name of series (season number, episode number), Name of Station or Studio, Place of Production.

Example

Pellizzeri R (director) (1994) ‘Luck of the draw’ [television program], Blue heelers (season 1, episode 44), Seven Network, Melbourne.

If the episode doesn’t have a name, write the name of the program first.

Example

ABC Television (2019) Gardening Australia (season 30, episode 35) [television program], ABC Television, Sydney.

Italicise radio programs and use roman type for episodes

To cite radio programs:

  • Use italics for the titles of programs.
  • Write the year of production in parentheses. Use roman type after the title.
  • Enclose the names of individual episodes in single quotation marks and use roman type.
  • Use sentence case.
Example

The wire is a news and current affairs program on Brisbane community radio station 4EB.

Environmentalists will enjoy the radio program Off track on ABC Radio National.

‘The bilby, the moon and the Birriliburu Rangers’ from Off track went to air in January.

One of the longest-running Australian radio programs was Blue hills (1949–76).

Reference list entries for radio programs

In a reference list, include the full date the episode went to air. Include the place of production if known.

Rule: Presenter P (presenter) (Day Month Year) ‘Title of episode: subtitle of episode’ [radio program], Name of program, Name of Station or Studio, Place of Production.

Example

Jones A (presenter) (18 January 2020) ‘The bilby, the moon and the Birriliburu Rangers’ [radio program], Off track, ABC Radio National, Sydney.

Italicise podcast series and use roman type for episodes

To cite podcasts:

  • Use italics for the name of the program series.
  • Use roman type and quotation marks for the names of individual podcast episodes.
  • Use sentence case.
Example

A local podcast in this popular genre is Australian true crime, hosted by Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb.

‘Evil crows, bird funerals, swooping magpies’ is an episode from Triple J’s Science with Dr Karl podcast.

Lifes little mysteries is a science podcast series produced by The Conversation.

Reference list entries for podcasts

Hyperlink the episode’s title if you played it from a webpage. Don’t link to the podcast’s file name. Always link to the webpage that hosts the podcast episode. Include the date it was accessed at the end of the reference.

Rule: Host H (host) and Producer P (producer) (Day Month Year) ‘Title of podcast: subtitle of podcast’ [podcast], Name of podcast, Name of Podcast Network, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Stephens J (host) (26 December 2019) ‘Best of 2019: the beauty queen killer’ [podcast], True crime conversations, Mamamia Podcasts, accessed 21 January 2020.

Hooper C (host) and Arnall K (producer) (3 November 2019) ‘Goodbye secret garage shame’[podcast], The pineapple project, ABC, accessed 4 February 2020.

Apply the same rules for script titles as for books

Published script titles follow the same rules as book titles:

  • Use italics and sentence case for published script titles.
  • Use roman type and quotation marks for unpublished script titles.
Example

Peter Carey and Ray Lawrence co-wrote Bliss: the screenplay.

University of Queensland Press published The big steal by David Parker in their screenplay series.

‘Cycle accident’ is in the university film script archives.

Reference list entries for scripts

Reference the script as you would a book.

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of script: subtitle of script, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Carey P and Lawrence R (1985) Bliss: the screenplay, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland.

If you are referencing an online film script, hyperlink the title and include the date you accessed it.

Use roman type and quotation marks for review titles

Write titles of published reviews in roman type enclosed in single quotation marks. Write the title of the reviewed material in italics and use sentence case.

You may be able to hyperlink to the online review, depending on copyright restrictions. If you access it online, include an accessed date.

Example

David Stratton’s review of Bombshell, ‘Women put Fox on run’, contributed to the debate about the film.

You can read David Knox’s review of The gloaming on TV Tonight.

Reference list entries for reviews

If the name of the reviewed work appears in the title of the review, use italics for the work name but roman type for the rest of the title.

Rule: Reviewer R (Day Month Year) ‘Title of review: subtitle of review’ [review of Title of work by Creator], Name of Blog, Newspaper or Magazine, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Buckmaster L (24 September 2019) ‘Ride like a girl review – cinematic schmaltz swamps Michelle Payne’s ride to the Melbourne Cup’ [review of Ride like a girl directed by Rachel Griffiths], The Guardian, accessed 19 January 2020.

Byram V (17 January 2020) ‘Ride the roller-coaster of action that hurtles into Home and Away’s Summer Bay in 2020’ [review of the television series Home and away], The Canberra Times, accessed 19 January 2020.

Stratton D (18–19 January 2020) ‘Women put Fox on run’ [review of Bombshell directed by Jay Roach], Weekend Australian Review.

Release notes

The digital edition expands on information in the sixth edition and has an online focus. It includes podcasts. The digital edition has more examples to help users include the necessary information in the correct format.

The sixth edition briefly mentioned the style for titles and how to cite film, radio and television programs. It does not mention podcasts.

The Content Guide had brief information about video but no details on how to cite film, television, radio and podcasts.

About this page

References

American Psychological Association (2020) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

Dermody S and Jacka E (1988) The screening of Australia: anatomy of a film industry (Volume 1), Currency Press, Sydney.

Oxford University Press (2017) Australian concise Oxford dictionary, 6th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Oxford University Press (2016) New Oxford style manual, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

University of Chicago Press (2017) Chicago manual of style: the essential guide for writers, editors, and publishers, 17th edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

University of Technology Sydney Library (2019) Harvard UTS referencing guide, University of Technology Sydney website, accessed 21 January 2020.

This page was updated Monday 21 September 2020.

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