There’s no doubt about it, the second
fastest way into politics after the union movement is journalism. Just
when the quota of two journalist premiers had come back to one with the
retirement of Bob Carr, we now face the prospect of another journalist,
WA state development minister Alan Carpenter, replacing Geoff Gallop as
premier of Western Australia.

Check out Crikey’s list of the 40 journalists who made it into our parliaments here. The citation for Carpenter has been updated and now reads as follows:

Alan Carpenter:Daily News Perth, Channel Seven, ferocious 7.30 Report
presenter and then Labor Minister for Education in WA, just like Mary
Delahunty in Victoria. Moved to State Development after the 2005
election and now tipped as a likely prospect to replace Geoff Gallop as
Premier.

There really seems to be something special about presenting The 7.30 Report because Mary Delahunty made the move in 1999 and Northern Territory chief minister Clare Martin
is another former state-based presenter of the ABC’s flagship current
affairs program which went national under Kerry O’Brien, Gough
Whitlam’s former press secretary, about 10 years ago.

The
Federal Parliament also boasts a few hacks who became politicians with
Sports Minister Rod Kemp and Health Minister Tony Abbott the two
leading examples in the Ministry.

If we’ve missed anyone or you’ve got a theory about this nexus between journalism and politics, drop us a line on [email protected].

I reckon its simply because journalists, especially television
presenters, get to develop an appealing public profile whilst also
learning plenty about politics and making contacts that can smooth the
way for a smooth transition into parliament.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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