The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

It's a standard technique for press officers to give titbits to their favoured journalists. So if a journalist has written favourable stories about their principal, whether it's a minister or the Prime Minister, they will give them a titbit and give them an advantage. In that way, they bring the journalist to heel. So the lobby functions like an obedience school for journalists: if you play the game, we'll reward you; rock the boat and you won't get any access.

There's well-documented cases of broadcast journalists having aggressive interviews with politicians and as a punishment for aggressively interviewing the politician, they are not given any access to the politicians for, you know, six months, a year, 12 months, whatever it is. So if you're a broadcaster, if you don't have interviews with the principals, you have very boring television because there's no access -- because the public only get to see your talking head rather than you interrogating the politician. So that way, because of the requirement for access and interviews, the broadcasters are brought to heel.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech