It’s an important turning point for The Journo Project, my loyal subscribers. Thanks for urging me to keep highlighting the importance of press freedom by interviewing Australia’s top journalists, and highlighting the issues we all face. Your encouragement and paid subscriptions have enabled me to keep the vision alive, travelling to the journos to interview them face to face.
Thank you all my Wandering Journo tribe for your support. You are the first to receive the link to my podcast commissioned by the prestigious publication Griffith Review on Trust and Press Freedom.
There is no doubt at this critical juncture in our history, the issue of transparency is more important than ever. And that requires bold, proper, uncomplicated government, kept honest by a robust Fourth Estate. And the lynchpin of that, is press freedom.
In this era of Coronavirus, it’s more crucial than ever.
Hope you enjoy this podcast, hearing some of Australia’s most well known voices from The Journo Project podcast over the past nine months such as Sandra Sully and Leigh Sales, Hugh Riminton and Trent Dalton, and new interviews with Damien Cave, the Australian bureau chief of The New York Times, to keep you company in isolation, talking about how they’re caught in the crossfire of the press freedom debate in this country, and how we’re standing on a dangerous precipice.
Griffith Review has commissioned me to produce and release an all encompassing podcast on Truth and Press Freedom, featuring the interviews that you all made possible. You can listen to the Backstory podcast by clicking on the play icon above in the email or website, or by going to this link which you can also share with your friends: https://www.griffithreview.com/articles/trust-and-press-freedom
Above: Catching up with Damien Cave in person for our interview
“I think as a country, I think [Australia's] greatest struggle with journalism is this culture of secrecy. I think it’s a huge problem. As somebody said to me, ‘Australia's basically built an authoritarian system, it just doesn’t have an authoritarian in charge.’” —Damien Cave
You can read a full transcript of the episode here: https://www.griffithreview.com/articles/transcript-trust-and-press-freedom/
Behind the Scenes
Thanks to you all, my Wandering Journo tribe, for without you this Griffith Review podcast on Truth and Press Freedom simply could not have happened.
I managed to get to Sydney for the four face-to-face interviews with our esteemed journos just in time before the lockdowns began. Coming back to Brisbane a day earlier than I had planned from Sydney was positively eerie. The airport was nearly empty.
So I hope you enjoy The Journo Project podcasts rolling out in coming days, knowing the work that went in behind the scenes to make them happen!
What I’m Reading
“…those concerned about widespread access to quality journalism can only hope that the digital-media industry somehow finds its way. The economic cataclysm caused by the coronavirus pandemic promises to make this even more difficult.”
The Fate of the News in the Age of the Coronavirus —The New Yorker
Closer to home, the effects of coronavirus are hitting hard:
Declan Gooch @declangoochMore abjectly awful news. The Barrier Daily Truth, Broken Hill's 122-year-old union-owned six-day-a-week newspaper, will stand down its staff and suspend publication this week https://t.co/mKowW6v26K https://t.co/q9DpViZIfm
And even Amnesty International is now highlighting the dangers journalists around the world face, simply from doing their work.
Niger journalist Mamane Kaka Touda is languishing in detention, just for reporting on a suspected coronavirus case.
No one should be imprisoned for informing the public about coronavirus risks. Call on Niger’s authorities to immediately release journalist Mamane Kaka Touda now.
It’s cases such as these that show to me how fragile the press freedoms we take for granted, really are, and how fiercely we must protect them.
Exciting times for Streets of Your Town—The Journo Project! Rolling out over the next couple of weeks will be all the interviews I snapped up in Sydney thanks to all of your support, with amazing journalists Kate McClymont, Damien Cave, Gerard Ryle and Nas Campanella.
In this time of isolation and social distancing, I hope you can help make the world a smaller place as part of The Wandering Journo tribe and share this email with your friends. You can send me suggestions or comments too just by hitting reply to this email.
Would you would be interested in reading an e-book compilation of all The Journo’s Project’s featured journos? If so please let me know by simply replying to this email and tell me how you’d like to access this, and whether you’d be willing to support its publication.
Thanks for making this all possible!