Crikey, thank you for your mostly generous remarks regarding Goldberg but this is puzzling..”Ellis has his detractors and certainly cost Fairfax plenty with some of his expensive projects.”

We all have our detractors – even Crikey – and journalism is a b*tchy business but I wasn’t punted from anywhere. I resigned from The AFR in 1999 because:

1) I was offered the Time Magazine S-E Asian slot, which
2) Fortuitously occurred about the time Michael Gill began running The AFR – and I was not alone in bailing out at the time, which I believe Crikey has delighted in frequently pointing out.

And what expensive projects? I was a Fairfax staff foreign correspondent for about ten years. I don’t remember any particularly ‘expensive projects..’

I would also point out that this story could not have been done without the co-operation and talents of the very able Preston Smith, an American journalist working for Interfax in Warsaw, and or without the unwavering commitment to the yarn by Garry Linnell, Kathy Bail and Alan Deans (’twas his idea, not mine) of The Bulletin.

I suppose this was a relatively expensive project – the cost of two economy class tickets from Singapore and two weeks in Warsaw – though vastly cheaper than what it cost Australian authorities not to find him over 14-15 years.

But, as this week’s Bulletin suggests, it paid off – as corporations like Fairfax and others grinding down Australian journalism might wish to note.

Eric Ellis, (inexpensively) on assignment in Kabul.

Stephen Mayne writes:

Given Eric’s record in tracking down fugitive Australians, the wording was probably a tad unfair. My thoughts were going back to his three week series in 1997-98 driving across America in The AFR’s second hand Chevrolet. A few months later Michael Gill was appointed and attempted to bring Eric back to Australia in what many now regard as a small-minded, penny-pinching approach which has clearly back-fired given the stories Ellis has produced since departing Fairfax.