Former Canberra Press Gallery journalist Mungo Maccallum reflects on the current state of the Australian media and Mark Latham’s vitriol towards it.

On The Australian’s Paul Kelly:

“He may be pompous, up himself and easily duchessed by the great and powerful, especially the Americans, but these are sins of naivety rather than ideology.”

On Channel Nine’s Laurie Oakes:

“…there is no doubt that the fire has gone out of his belly: the days when he was a leader of the feared gallery rat pack are long gone. He now tends to a laid-back style of journalism, content to wait for his long-time contacts to drop the odd scoop in his capacious lap.”

Maccallum is partly correct in his analysis but mistaken in thinking journalists like Kelly are led by “naivety.” To thrive in the Australian media establishment, there is little choice but to accept the Packer, Fairfax or Murdoch ideology. A pro-US, pro-privatisation and pro free-markets orthodoxy is the norm. A person like Maccallum would be unlikely to thrive in the Press Gallery today. Most questioning sorts – what journalists are supposed to be, after all – should look for employment elsewhere.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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