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Lunchbox / Soapbox

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at The Wheeler Centre

Michael Gawenda on The Journalist as Betrayer

In her book The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm argued that if they are honest with themselves, most journalists know that ultimately, they betray the people they cover. What did she mean? Is she right? Do people who have been the subject of media coverage invariably feel betrayed?

Michael Gawenda has been a journalist and editor for four decades. If Malcolm is right, he has betrayed scores of people. After the Black Saturday bushfires, Gawenda led a research team that interviewed survivors of the fires who had suddenly found themselves in the media spotlight. Did they feel betrayed? Gawenda talks frankly about his personal experiences with people whose lives he exposed to public scrutiny—some of whom undoubtedly felt betrayed- and about the findings of the bushfire research.

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Portrait of Michael Gawenda

Michael Gawenda

Michael Gawenda is a former editor in chief of The Age. He is a Walkley Award winning journalist, columnist and former foreign correspondent.

Lunchbox / Soapbox

We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $10 lunchboxes in the Performance Space from 12.20pm.


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