Myriam Robin, journalist

“Framed” by Christopher Goffard in The LA Times

“Peters was convinced she would be spending the night in jail. But after he had finished searching the apartment, Shaver told her that he was not going to take her in. The forensics team would be coming with the long Q-tips to take cheek swabs from her and her daughter, to take their prints and to scour the Cruiser for evidence.

“If her DNA turned up on the drugs, she could still be charged.

“The next morning, Shaver sat in the police chief’s conference room surrounded by department brass and detectives, walking them through a case that had quickly seized the interest of the command staff.

“It seemed a much stranger scenario than a suburban mom with a pot-and-pill habit.

“He had asked Kelli Peters:

“If the drugs aren’t yours, how did they get in your car?

‘I have an enemy,’ she said.”

Josh Taylor, journalist

“A Farewell Guide to Political Journalism” by Ron Fournier, in The Atlantic 

“Don’t lose sight of your mission. A reporter’s job is to get as close to the truth as possible, overriding personal biases and sifting through a rising churn of spin and lies to explain what happened and why it matters. At its highest levels, journalism informs (via scoops and insights that would otherwise be unknown), provokes (via new thoughts and action), and holds powerful people accountable (with no fear or favor).

“You’re not working for your editors, other reporters on your beat, or your sources. You’re working for the public, your audience, which is why you don’t slip acronyms, anonymous quotes, and other insidery detail into your stories just to impress folks on your beat. Also, remember for whom you work when you’re rewriting a press release or broadcasting a spoon-fed story for the wrong reasons — ‘because I’ve got to keep them happy’ or ‘I’ve got to show them I’m relevant, that I’m the reporter they come to.’ That’s how you become a patsy. It’s not how you develop sources.”

Bernard Keane, political editor

Robert Forster in Conversation with Richard Fidler, on the ABC

“Robert and Grant met as University of Queensland students in the mid 1970s.

“Grant was from North Queensland and determined to become a film auteur.

“Robert hailed from suburban Brisbane, and has said meeting Grant was like finding a ‘long-lost friend’.

“When Robert persuaded Grant to join him in a band and taught him the fundamentals of bass guitar, they ignited a creative spark that would endure for 30 years.

“Despite having no ‘hits’, their band, The Go-Betweens, made nine hugely influential studio albums, and garnered legions of loyal fans worldwide.

“The band’s story has two chapters, the second coming after a ten year break in the 1990s.”

Jason Whittaker, publisher 

“Melbourne’s bold leap upwards: the inside story of Australia’s first skyscraper” by Gideon Haigh in The Guardian

“At Andrew McCutcheon’s breakfast table in St Kilda poring over his father’s early sketches, recently discovered in BSM’s archives, we’re a world away from the turbocapitalism of modern development. There was no degree course when Osborn McCutcheon felt drawn to architecture – one designed one’s own. His family was not rich but comfortable, part of the tight circle of respectable Methodist Melbourne – he would later marry his first cousin. He worked in practices in San Francisco and London, and the immaculate line drawings of cathedrals and cottages, wells and windows, were the fruits of a year’s wandering in Europe in 1925. For his first few years at the firm Bates & Peebles, where he had earlier been articled, McCutcheon had a negative income, subsisting on borrowings.”

Sally Whyte, journalist

“We Rated the Sexiness of Politicians’ Sexts So You Don’t Have To” by Beatrice Hazlehurst in Vice

Peter Dowling, Liberal National Party MP, Australia

“[There are no text quotes, Dowling literally just sent a picture of his penis in a glass red wine]

“Have you ever spilt red wine on yourself? The way the fruity stickiness clings to your skin, how easily it stains your lips. Now imagine dipping your manhood in it. Imagine the smell, the splash, the maroony-purple colour. Peter, you’re literally begging to become a meme: ‘Cocktail taken to the next level, fam [multiple crying laughing face emojis].’

“This is the kind of thing that commerce freshers think is funny to put in their snapstory for one second — it’s undoubtedly NOT sexy. Take your penis out of that poor glass Pete and take a cold shower. Or a hot one. Whatever it takes to wash off the shame.

“Verdict: Almost became an internet sensation, but instead just a sad middle aged man with his dick in a glass of wine.”

Cassidy Knowlton, editor

“When People Ate People, A Strange Disease Emerged” by Rae Ellen Bichell on NPR

“Lindenbaum had a hunch about what was going on, and she turned out to be right. It had to do with funerals. Specifically, it had to do with eating dead bodies at funerals.

“In many villages, when a person died, they would be cooked and consumed. It was an act of love and grief.

“As one medical researcher described, ‘If the body was buried it was eaten by worms; if it was placed on a platform it was eaten by maggots; the Fore believed it was much better that the body was eaten by people who loved the deceased than by worms and insects.'”

Sophie Benjamin, engagement editor

“How to Tell a Mother Her Child Is Dead” by Naomi Rosenberg in The New York Times

“When you get inside the room you will know who the mother is. Yes, I’m very sure. Shake her hand and tell her who you are. If there is time you shake everyone’s hand. Yes, you will know if there is time. You never stand. If there are no seats left, the couches have arms on them.

“You will have to make a decision about whether you will ask what she already knows. If you were the one to call her and tell her that her son had been shot then you have already done part of it, but you have not done it yet. You are about to do it now. You never make her wait. She is his mother. Now you explode the world. Yes, you have to. You say something like: ‘Mrs. Booker. I have terrible, terrible news. Ernest died today.’”

“Then you wait.

“You will not stand up. You may leave yourself in the heaviness of your breath or the racing of your pulse or the sight of your shoelaces on your shoe, but you will not stand up. You are here for her. She is his mother.”

Dan Wood, subeditor

“Does the left have a future?” by John Harris in The Guardian

“The western left faces three grave challenges, which strike at the heart of its historic sense of what it is and who it speaks for. First, traditional work – and the left’s sacred notion of ‘the worker’ – is fading, as people struggle through a new era of temporary jobs and rising self-employment, which may soon be succeeded by a drastic new age of automation. Second, there is a new wave of opposition to globalisation, led by forces on the right, which emphasise place and belonging, and a mistrust of outsiders. And all the time, politics rapidly fragments, which leaves the idea that one single party or ideology can represent a majority of people looking like a relic. The 20th century, in other words, really is over.Whether the left can return to meaningful power in the 21st is a question currently surrounded by a profound sense of doubt.”

Peter Fray

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