Necessary Truths: Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy
There's a million reasons why we're told to keep quiet on difficult subjects: propriety and decorum, convention and status, fear of retribution. When women try to introduce nuance into certain public debates, it doesn't usually go well for them. Western media conglomerates are often more interested in protecting power than interrogating it. If a woman offers an unvarnished analysis of…
It’s no secret that the digital media industry has been the site of rapid and surprising change in recent decades. The market for screen content of all kinds – as well as screen-adjacent storytelling like podcasts – is hungry for fresh stories and new, authentic voices. And as platforms multiply and consolidate, the boundaries between mass market and niche have softened.
Writing in Exile
‘As a Kurd, I was stateless until I became an Australian, and Australia is the only official home I have, because Kurdistan does not exist on a map.’
Journalist Roza Germian lived through war for most of her childhood. In 1991, when Germian was 10, she was one of more than one million Kurds who fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq following…
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 Lives…
The Wheeler Centre
Shelling Out: Bastian Obermayer and the Panama Papers
Nassim Khadem, Bastian Obermayer and Neil Chenoweth at the Wheeler Centre
The Panama Papers, which made headlines across the world in 2016, represent the biggest data leak in the history of journalism.
The 11.5 million documents, leaked from a Panamanian law firm by an anonymous source, revealed secret information about shell companies and offshore tax havens and the details of the individuals who exploit them – including many heads of state and international celebrities. The scale of the investigation was monumental, involving 370 journalists from 76 countries and sparking protests, police raids and government inquiries across the world.
Bastian Obermayer was the man who received the first batch of documents that sparked this unprecedented investigation. He's a reporter at Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich, started the worldwide Panama Papers investigation with his colleague Frederik Obermaier and coordinated the team with the ICIJ.
For this conversation, he’s joined by Sydney journalist Neil Chenoweth, who has published outstanding work on the Australian Panama documents for the Australian Financial Review. The pair talk secret sources and stashpiles of the rich and famous with host Nassim Khadem.
Presented in partnership with the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne.
The Wheeler Centre
PEN Lecture: Fragile Minds
Journalism is at its second crossroads in two decades: not one of means, but of privilege. The loss of major revenues has made the press fragile, both economically and also in terms of self-reflection. At this year’s PEN Lecture, Schwartz Media editor-in-chief Erik Jensen will make the case for a serious reckoning across the profession; a re-evaluation of standards of ethics and objectivity.
‘I am asking for us to consider the impact of what we report and how we report it. I am saying the ethical bar we are clearing is not set high enough. Our code of ethics needs to be rewritten, and not by people who look like me.’
In 2019's PEN Lecture, Jensen asks how the media can change itself to keep up with a society that has already changed. Then, he joins Arnold Zable in conversation.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne and PEN Sydney.
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