Simons: Oz revelations 'unremarkable'.
A few weeks ago, we at the Centre For Advanced Journalism were advised that a freedom of information request had been received by the federal government's independent media inquiry, seeking documents to do with the appointment of staff and researchers to assist Ray Finkelstein QC. A few pieces of email correspondence between me and the inquiry secretariat were caught up in that request, and I was consulted about whether I objected to their release. I had no objection, other than to a small item of information about a commitment I had on the day of my dealings with the secretariat. So the correspondence was duly released, with my consent.
It emerges that the person behind the request was The Australian’s
Christian Kerr. Yesterday, The Australian
ran a story about correspondence from the minister’s office regarding the appointment of professor Matthew Ricketson to assist Finkelstein. Ricketson has posted all the details of his dealings with Conroy’s office, and his full reply to Kerr’s questions on his Facebook page
. It’s a non-story, so far as I can see. The headline perhaps should have read "Media Journalist Known to Minister". Well, shock horror.
Yesterday evening I took a call from The Australian about
the fact that I had had a role in finding research assistance for the inquiry. The resulting story
is in the paper today -- front page news, would you believe.
It’s another non-story, but in the interests of total transparency, the complete email correspondence (without the small detail regarding my appointment, and the name of a researcher who does not wish to be identified) is published here ... -- Margaret Simons (read the full story here)
Thomson just wants the truth told. The Sydney Morning Herald splashed
with a front-page story this morning by investigative journo Kate McClymont, revealing that embattled former Labor MP Craig Thomson has declined Victoria Police's offer to nominate those he claimed has set him up. Thomson -- who will face parliament next Monday to finally speak about the Fair Work Australia investigation and its allegations -- took his Twitter account
to complain that McClymont had not gone to him for comment.