Part of Crikey’s formula over the past
five years has been to rely on contributions from “players” rather than
journalists. Players by definition know more than outside commentators
and when you offer anonymity, and sometimes the public disclosures can
be sizzling indeed.

But players often have agendas and aren’t
independent, so you need to watch what they’re saying. This is one
reason why newspapers are often reluctant to take on players because
their stories might appear to be tainted. Any journalist who has worked
for a political party is often dogged by that association for many
years.

The Fin Review certainly took on an interesting
player when they hired Alan Jury last year, a colourful character who
has worked for Rene Rivkin and so-called sin company Aristocrat
Leisure, the world’s second biggest manufacturer of poker machines.

Jury’s
contributions have been reasonable enough in recent months, but his
piece on Ian Chalmers, the former Macquarie Bank executive director
turned alleged drug dealer, took his “player” status to a new level
when this sentence appeared in The Weekend Fin: “No stranger to
the high rollers’ rooms at the Crown, Star City and Jupiters casinos,
he also invested in racehorse syndicates with a number of stockmarket
identities (along with this writer).”

Executive of troubled
gaming company, stockbroker for Rene Rivkin and former horse flesh
owner with accused drug dealer is an interesting CV to take back to the
Fin Review.

Chalmers and the
drug-dealing Qantas baggage handlers have certainly attracted plenty of
publicity in recent days and it’s all being tied back into the
Schapelle Corby saga, as you can see from this feature in The SMH.