PR flaks buzzed anxiously as Crikey arrived at the University of Melbourne's Carrillo Gantner lecture theatre last night to witness PJ Keating lay down a well-researched speech on the Australian media's notorious allergy to privacy.

As the country's 24th PM gasbagged with Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis, Centre for Advanced Journalism chief Michael Gawenda warned the audience about the exhaustive analysis to come, chortling that "if you haven't had a comfort stop, you'll need one at the end," before Keating shuffled to the front to slam News Limited and deliver a 17-page plea to reform Australia's hodge-podge of media snoop laws.