When I went for a job interview at the News of the World

I was features editor at .net magazine in Bath and, as several of my stories about internet dramas had been followed up by News of the World reporters, I applied for a job there and got an interview on December 22, 1999. I was a fan of Mazher Mahmood, their “Secret Sheikh” investigative journalist who had a silhouette byline due to his undercover work and last year exposed the cricket match-fixing scandal. At the time, it was the largest selling paper in the English-speaking world and was renowned for getting truthful scoops. Its motto: “All human life is there.”
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A.A. Gill at the Sydney Writers’ Festival

Went to see A.A. Gill, restaurant, TV and travel critic, at the Digital Dinosaurs talk, Sydney Writers’ Festival. [Coincidentally, have been watching Civilisation, Lord Kenneth Clark’s 1969 series, which was produced by his dad, Michael Gill.]

Gill was in great form and very witty (which I haven’t included here, it was “in the moment/context” wit.) He wasn’t in a dandy-ish outfit, but smart casual (white shirt, brown jacket, jeans.)

He hates the fact the internet means people write nasty comments, anonymously.

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Changing Role of the Editor

Went to the roundtable talk organised by Peter Fray on the changing role of the Editor. Speakers were Fray – Editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald; Rick Feneley – Editor of the Sun-Herald, Angelos Frangopoulos – CEO of Sky News; Helen McCabe  – Editor-in-chief of the Australian Women’s Weekly; Kate Torney – Director of ABC News.
Fray is a ‘‘First Decade’’ Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.
The editors encouraged us all to be blogging, tweeting, on various platforms, etc, and held up Annabel Crabb and Mia Freedman as the ultimate examples.

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Malcolm Knox, Caroline Overington, Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin, Malcolm Knox, Caroline Overington


MALCOLM KNOX (SMH, author): Writing fiction helped me to write fast. I’d written 7-8 complete novels before I’d walked into a newsroom, none of them published. Writing a million words without being published is a form of madness.

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David Marr, Paul Barry, David Leser

David Marr, Paul Barry, Anna Broinowski, David Leser

Panel: Paul Barry (4 Corners, Media Watch), David Marr (SMH writer, 4 Corners, Media Watch), David Leser (Good Weekend profile writer, author). Topic: Truth is stranger than fiction.

DAVID MARR: “I love people who invent their life stories, they fascinate me. But if they put the same amount of energy into their real lives, instead of being constricted in a web of lies, they could really get somewhere.”

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