Business & finance
Invasion of the Pod People
Jon Ronson: The Butterfly Effect
Jon Ronson is a documentary maker, journalist and comic storyteller beloved by many. His books have explored psychopathy, psychological warfare, internet shame culture and more. As a reporter, he meets his subjects with empathy and softly spoken humour – often revealing the deep, surprising motivations and desires at the heart of apparently absurd situations.
In his seven-part 2017 podcast, The Butterfly…
Yanis Varoufakis: Debt, Disobedience and Democracy Today
How do we define democracy in the 21st Century? How do we define liberty and progress? And is there an alternative economic model that can bring more people more freedom? These are big questions – and we'll put them to the indomitable Yanis Varoufakis when he returns to Melbourne in March.
An economist, author and self-described 'libertarian Marxist', Varoufakis rose…
William Dalrymple: Corporate Violence and the East India Company
Historian William Dalrymple believes the stunning greed and violence of the militarised East India Company is ‘history’s most terrifying warning’ about unregulated corporate power, and the insidious means by which shareholders exert dangerous influence on the state.
Dalrymple – co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and bestselling author of books including The Last Mughal, City of Djinns and Nine…
The Fifth Estate
In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy
Sally Warhaft and Frédéric Martel
The Catholic Church, writes Frédéric Martel, is ‘a system built ... on the homosexual double life and on the most dizzying homophobia … Without this key for understanding, the recent history of the Vatican and the Roman Church remains opaque.'
How is Martel qualified to make such statements? He is an acclaimed academic and journalist in France, and the author of several widely translated books on contemporary culture and political science, including The Pink and the Black, On Culture in America and Global Gay. His latest book, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, is the result of four years worth of investigative journalism, including hundreds of interviews across many corners of the globe, in efforts to understand the scope and culture of homosexuality within the Catholic Church.
Many of his sources – including priests, cardinals, Vatican administrative staff and sex workers – have spoken to Martel about widespread clerical homosexuality under terms of anonymity. Their combined testimony paints a portrait of a bizarre culture of conspiracy and cover-up, with ramifications that extend way beyond the sexual identities of individual priests and into church policies on contraception, IVF and the handling of cases of sexual abuse.
The Vatican, as Martel describes it, is a place of surreal duplicity. But an investigation with mostly anonymous sources raises its own questions about double standards. Join Martel for a discussion of his remarkable book with Sally Warhaft.
The Fifth Estate
American-born journalist Megan K. Stack is an acclaimed author and war correspondent. She was Moscow bureau chief for the L.A. Times when she made the decision to work from home and look after her newborn child. As her growing family followed her husband’s work through China and India, Stack’s new life forced her to understand the economy of women’s work…
The Fifth Estate
Sally Warhaft and Jill Abramson on stage at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Scott Limbrick
How should the media survive the current age? It’s a question that haunts the bones of many in the industry, and a through-line of Merchants of Truth, a bracing new account of American journalism’s moral crisis written by Jill Abramson.
A former executive editor of the New York Times, and a widely-respected media veteran, Abramson looks at fake news, click-bait and the commercial objectives of Facebook and Google. Her unflinching – sometimes bleak – investigations take readers to the front-line of the essential and existential decisions being made at the heart of four key outlets: Buzzfeed, VICE, the Times and the Washington Post. Against Facebook virality and Google’s algorithm, can hallowed principles of objectivity and impartiality survive?
The first woman to hold many of the senior roles she’s occupied, Abramson shares what she’s learned through her celebrated career. She also addresses the criticism and controversy surrounding the book: she has been accused of being dismissive towards young, digitally savvy journalists and their readerships’ interests, and of factual errors and plagiarism – charges which she refutes.
With host Sally Warhaft, join us for a fascinating and frank discussion with one of modern journalism’s most experienced figures, and an exploration into the future of media.
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‘One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star’ - Friedrich Nietzsche
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