Since Crikey was launched on February 14, 2000, the accuracy and quality of the content has steadily improved in line with resources and experience. The sale of Crikey in March this year marked a major step-up in quality as professionals took over and more resources were injected.

But we still cop of plenty of wild and sweeping slaps, such as the jibe from Peter Costello as his Canberra press conference yesterday. Check out the transcript here.

TREASURER:Oh yes, oh yes, yes. There is a clip apparently in the Adelaide Advertiser after the appointment. But on the basis of that clip I was supposed to know before the appointment. Okay – first proposition. Second, and we can all put up our hands here, we all of course were aware of that story in the Adelaide Advertiser. Every person in this press conference who was aware of it can now put their hand up. Of course the Opposition was absolutely aware of it, they were on notice of it because they raised it in March of 2003. Or Kim Beazley said they were too busy with the Iraq war in March of 2003 so I assume they raised it in April, May, June, July, August – this is three years ago. No press outlet to my knowledge before the Australian Financial Review last week was apprised of this or reported this. No television, no Cabinet Minister, you know the…

PAUL BONGIORNO:It was in Crikey.

TREASURER: Oh Crikey, well now we are in to reliable sources, Mr Bongiorno, I would back the Ten Network against Crikey.

There’s usually a strong correlation between the people we criticise and the slaps that come back. For instance, Piers Akerman let fly last week when he alleged that Crikey’s proprietors are not journalists, despite many years in the game, including stints in the most senior positions at News Ltd and Fairfax.

The Daily Telegraph still hasn’t run the following letter I sent in, which is typical, even though Akerman gets a run in Crikey whenever he fires off a letter:

Sir, Piers Akerman blithely opines (“Nothing comes free in this world” – Dec 1) that “almost anyone can call themselves a journalist these days” and then describes me as someone “claiming to be journalist”.

Err, during a 16-year career in journalism I spent 7 years with News Ltd, including stints as business editor and chief of staff (briefly) of The DailyTelegraph. I even won The Telegraph a rare Walkley in 1999 for the 16-part series “AGM Season 1998”.

Piers is welcome to attack my work as a journalist, but such a patently absurd sledge does your paper no credit.

Stephen Mayne
Founder, www.crikey.com.au

Maybe it would be an interesting experience to run this through the Press Council, where Akerman was cleaned up by Tim Palmer earlier this year.

The 7.30 Report’s Michael Brissenden also had a gratuitous dig on Tuesday when he said: “Even the Internet gossip sheet, Crikey, was reporting Mr Gerard’s tax problems in the week after his appointment to the RBA board. It’s not considered a reliable journal of record but here in Parliament it is widely and closely read.”

If Crikey really is full of unreliable gossip put together by non-journalists, why do the 32,711 email addresses on our data base include 267 from the ABC, 221 in Federal Parliament (aph.gov.au) and more than 400 from News Corporation, including 64 from The Australian and 26 from The Daily Telegraph?

Truth be known, Crikey has the best email list in the country because the news and commentary is unique, incisive and largely accurate. We haven’t folded our tent like so many others, and it is time we were recognised as a credible, important and genuinely independent fixture on the Australian media scene.