Prime ministers inevitably attract media scrutiny and public criticism. But Julia Gillard had it particularly tough … with some of the fiercest opposition coming from within her own party, and the lowest public approval rating a leader has ever had.
Was it because of the way she took over as leader from Kevin Rudd, with the inevitable rhetoric about knives in backs? Was it because of her capitulation on the carbon tax? Or was it because she was our first female prime minister?
And what role did the media play … were they fair?
Former press gallery journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh, media watcher Jonathan Holmes and ALP insider James Button take a critical look at the media coverage of Julia Gillard, former prime minister. Hosted by Jeff Sparrow.
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His most recent book is No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. He writes a fortnightly column for the Guardian, is part of the Breakfasters team on 3RRR each week day morning and is also an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University.
James Button is a former journalist and speechwriter.
Jonathan Holmes has been a journalist for 35 years. Born and educated in Britain, he joined BBC TV’s current affairs group in 1971. After 12 years working behind the camera on programs like 24 Hours, Nationwide and Panorama, he came to Australia in 1983 to become executive producer of the ABC’s Four Corners, where he stayed until 1985.
Kerry-Anne Walsh worked as a press secretary in the Hawke government before joining the Daily Telegraph’s Canberra bureau. Known as ‘KA’, Kerry-Anne remained in the federal parliamentary press gallery for the next quarter of a century, occupying senior posts in print, radio and TV: as national affairs writer for seven years for the Bulletin magazine, for the Sun-Herald for just shy of seven years and for News Limited’s Sunday Telegraph.