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Articles by The Power Index

Australia’s 15 most powerful journalists and editors

Over the next month The Power Index will be running our next power list on the most powerful journalists and editors. Here is the shortlist.

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Power 50: indestructible mogul Murdoch … world-beating Treasurer Swan …

No.3: Rupert Murdoch (chairman, News Coporation). At 81, Rupert Murdoch can still fly into Australia to sack his right-hand man, rip apart the front pages, terrify his editors and have them hanging on his every word in case they should fail to catch a passing wish. Meanwhile, his 175 newspapers around the world dutifully spout his […]

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Power 50: RBA boss Stevens … Opp Leader Abbott …

No.5: Glenn Stevens (governor, Reserve Bank of Australia). Glenn Stevens calls himself Sydney’s most boring person. And he probably is. Other people call him conservative and overpaid. And he probably is. Either way, you won’t see the RBA governor eating out at flashy restaurants or hanging around with other movers and shakers; the bald-headed Baptist […]

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Power 50: media regulator Conroy … Fairfax stalker Rinehart …

No.7: Stephen Conroy (cabinet minister). Stephen Conroy may look like a nerd, a guy who gets sand kicked in his face. But he’s tough, smart, determined, and a bit of a Superman. So it’s fitting that he’s minister for telephone boxes, or broadband, communications and the digital economy, as they call the job nowadays. In the […]

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Power 50: News boss Williams … Telstra kingpin Thodey …

No.9: Kim Williams (CEO, News Limited). Kim Williams is the boss of News Ltd, which publishes two-thirds of Australia’s metropolitan newspapers and more than 120 suburban or regional titles. We don’t need to tell you how powerful it makes him. But we reckon playing second fiddle to Rupert Murdoch must be a tough gig for the […]

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Power 50: Greens Leader Milne … NSW Premier O’Farrell …

No.11: Christine Milne (Greens leader). Christine Milne’s ascension to one of the most powerful positions in Australian politics — controlling the balance of power in the Senate — saw the Greens senator described as a hardliner and uncompromising. That was the opinion of one unidentified Labor figure. But it was an observation that informed much of the mainstream media’s coverage […]

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Power 50: premier Newman … minister Shorten … BHP boss Kloppers …

No.14: Campbell Newman (Queensland Premier). Campbell Newman’s astounding sweep to victory as Queensland premier in March has made him one of the most powerful conservative figures in the land. Up against Labor’s netball team of seven opposition members (compared with the Liberal National Party’s 78 MPs), Newman has near-unbridled authority in Queensland’s unicameral parliament to slam through […]

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Power 50: shopping king Lowy … media baron Mitchell … Oz ed Mitchell …

No.17: Frank Lowy (Westfield co-founder and FFA chairman). As founder of Westfield and the modern mall, Frank Lowy has had a huge impact on the way we live, shop and work. But that’s just for starters; in 2003, he set up the Lowy Institute for International Policy, arguably Australia’s leading think tank. The 81-year-old entrepreneur, who […]

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Power 50: Treasury sec Parkinson … premier Baillieu … Seven king Stokes …

No.20: Martin Parkinson (Treasury secretary). Treasury boss Martin Parkinson is steering Australia through the murkiest global economic conditions seen since the Great Depression. It helps that he’s one of the most well-credentialed purse-string holders we’ve ever had. With a pHD from Princeton (where he studied under current Fed chief Ben Bernanke) and degrees from the […]

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Power 50: next treasurer Hockey … union heavy Howes … power blogger Bolt …

No.29: Joe Hockey (shadow treasurer). Joe Hockey looks set to have the toughest job in Australian politics come September next year. That’s when, if current polls bear out, he’ll become Treasurer. It will be the moment of truth for a man whose stint as shadow Treasurer — from February 2009, when he replaced the accident-prone Julie Bishop — has […]

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Power 50: Big Four boss Clyne … gaming kingpin Packer … Westpac chief Kelly …

No. 32: Cameron Clyne (CEO, NAB). Clyne might look more like a nightclub bouncer than a big-time banker — at 198 centimetres, with shoulders as broad as a barn door — but the former rugby union lock-forward’s style is all soft touch. He says he relishes people telling him where he has gone wrong, just as long as it […]

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Power 50: radio Godzilla Jones … powerbroker Pyne … AFL pontiff Demetriou …

No.35: Alan Jones (2GB radio host). Alan Jones is much more than just a radio host: he’s a self-appointed ombudsman on a mission to right society’s wrongs. On-air he rants and raves; off-air he pesters politicians and important decision makers with endless correspondence. His 2GB heir apparent Ray Hadley now has a bigger audience share and […]

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Power 50: Gillard COS Hubbard … ASIC boss Medcraft … big Clive Palmer …

No.38: Ben Hubbard (chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Julia Gillard). Ask Labor insiders about Ben Hubbard and you’ll hear the same words again and again: organised, well-liked, calm, policy-focused. While blokey and bawdy — a frequent dropper of the “f” bomb — he’s not bad-tempered. ”I can’t imagine anybody not liking Ben,” says a former senior Gillard staffer. “It’s hard to think […]

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Power 50: union boss Oliver … watchdog Sims … WikiLeaks and Assange …

No.41: Dave Oliver (secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions). Trade union true believers have sky-high expectations for Dave Oliver, the man who’s stepped in to replace the low-key Jeff Lawrence as head of the ACTU. Oliver, a confident media performer, wants to transform the peak body into an energetic, high-profile organisation again capable of setting the […]

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Power 50: Abbott’s chief, Credlin … Chief Justice French … Tele ed Whittaker …

No.44: Peta Credlin (chief-of-staff to Tony Abbott). There’s no bigger control freak in Canberra than Peta Credlin. Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff travels everywhere with the Opposition Leader, pulls Liberal MPs into line when they veer off message, and is driving the Coalition’s relentlessly negative agenda. “She’s tough, she’s a player, she makes demands, she gives directions, she […]

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The Power 50: News boss Blunden … ex-premier Greiner … business tsar Eddington …

Throughout July, Paul Barry and The Power Index team will be counting down the most influential people in the nation from business, media, politics, sport and culture … No.47: Peter Blunden (News Limited Victoria managing director).  When then-Herald Sun editor-in-chief Peter Blunden celebrated 10 years in the hot seat in April 2006, so many Melbourne power players paid […]

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The Power 50: Labor saviour Dastyari … black leader Pearson … police boss Scipione …

Throughout July, Paul Barry and The Power Index team will be counting down the most influential people in the nation from business, media, politics, sport and culture … No.50: Sam Dastyari (NSW Labor Party general secretary). A flashy, even spivvy, dresser who likes French Champagne, Sam Dastyari brings back memories of the ALP’s famous Boy from […]

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The Power Index: why Telstra’s Thodey is the most powerful biz boss

There’s something about David Thodey. In just three years, the Telstra chief’s been able to mend fences with customers and suppliers, and even with both political sides.

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The Power Index: biz bosses, Richard Goyder at #3

Few CEOs would describe a major acquisition requiring a five-year turnaround strategy as “fun”. And even fewer would advocate for the underling leading the move to take home a salary worth twice his own. But that’s Richard Goyder: a low-key, footy-mad, family man who heads up Australia’s largest conglomerate, Wesfarmers. He convinced his board to […]

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The Power Index: biz bosses, Alan Joyce at #5

Alan Joyce likes nothing more than a good surprise — as long as it’s passengers, employees and shareholders who get the shock, rather than himself. And over the past year the fast talking Irishman’s pulled the rug out time and time again. He’s announced a major restructure that spits its business into domestic and international units, appointed […]

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The Power Index: biz bosses, Mike Smith at #7

Mike Smith is the banker other bankers want to be. Smart, strategic and to the point: the ANZ chief’s got the confidence to tell customers, the government and the Reserve Bank how things should be done. His bank’s not the largest financial institution in the country, but Smith packs a harder hitting punch than his […]

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The Power Index: biz bosses, James Strong at #9

James Strong knows how to keep entertained. He bikes, climbs, wears bow ties, and chairs the boards of three very different entities: Woolworths, Kathmandu and the Australia Council. Some might call the adventurous businessman Australia’s very own Richard Branson — except that he’s got some humility, not just entrepreneurial zest. Add to the CV his latest appointment — chairing […]

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The Power Index: biz bosses, Elmer Funke Kupper at #10

Australian traders are betting their future on Elmer Funke Kupper, the ASX’s new chief executive who’s determined to keep Asia’s fourth largest stock exchange competitive. Appointed CEO of the ASX in August 2011, the former Tabcorp boss (who some wags suggest has moved from one form of gambling to another) has already left a lasting […]

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The Power Index: the middle-aged white men dominating business

Our top 10 most powerful CEOs and chairs are not a portrait of diversity. They’re all men. They’re all white. They’re all of a similar age — with the exception of 81-year-old Rupert Murdoch — and they all share similar characteristics and backgrounds. They also share some common themes in their leadership style, which may be revealing when it […]

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The Power Index: Australia’s 25 most powerful business bosses

The men and women at the top of the country’s largest organisations can make decisions that affect an incredible number of people: employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers among them. They can also get the government of the day to pay attention. This week, we start counting down the country’s top 10 most powerful CEOs and […]

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