The year is winding to a close for the nation’s political journos, but one more bit of politcking has to be sorted: the annual elections for the press gallery committee.
Snapper Andrew Meares is continuing as president, with the Fin‘s Fleur Anderson continuing as VP. Andrew Tillett is the 2017 treasurer, replacing long-running treasurer Nick Haggarty, while Jane Norman is secretary.
But four general positions are still up for grabs. Six journos have put their names forward — News Corp’s Rosie Lewis and Gary Ramage, Michael Keating from Keating Media, David Sharaz from SBS, Stephanie Borys from 2GB and The Guardian‘s Paul Karp.
Voting for these things, more or less, tends to take place with voting block. A hefty proportion of the press gallery is employed by the ABC, which means they always get their man or woman up. Though there’s a growing number of smaller, digital media outlets in the gallery these days — Karp is expected to pick up most of those votes.
The press gallery committee gets to do fancy things like decide who gets to join the gallery — thus guaranteeing media access to Parliament House — as well as planning the Midwinter Ball and various other functions. The press gallery seal is usually enough to ensure one is automatically invited to various political functions — which it appears unionist-turned-conservative IR warrior Grace Collier would have appreciated in recent days.
She took to Twitter last week to lament how she’d never been invited to drinks at the Lodge (the entire press gallery was invited last week) …
When people tweeted their incredulity at her, she told them to take a joke.