It’s hard not to write about 2020 without first mentioning the C-word.

Yes, what a year it’s been for corruption.

Or was that cronyism.

And, yes, of course, there is COVID.

My favourite piece on the pandemic was by Guy Rundle, which you can read here. I also enjoyed this pandemic-related piece about bullshit jobs by Ben Clark.

Over the holiday break we’re republishing some of the stories that fuelled Crikey in 2020 and piqued your interest.

We do write a lot about corruption, cronyism, conspiracies and conflicts of interest — because that’s what an independent journalism outfit like Crikey should do. We try to fill the gaps other media leave behind.

That’s in part why we write so much about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and other media. Here are a few key pieces: Chris Warren on Emma Alberici, Charlie Lewis on Lidia Thorpe, and David Hardaker on News’ business model.

We don’t do daily she said/he said reportage — that’s kind of boring and turns journalists into spectators and stenographers of a passing parade. We dig behind what’s happening. We join the dots, as Crikey founder Stephen Mayne did on Kerry Stokes.

We put events, issues and people into context.  

Sometimes, we go deep and long, such as Georgia Wilkins’ and Amber Schultz’s multi-chapter recreation of the defamation trial of Geoffrey Rush against Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph, or Schultz’s investigation into the NDIS and the death of David Harris. Or Rundle’s take on the so-called Palace Letters of Sir John Kerr.

Other times we bounce off the issues and events that make news that day. Try Michael Bradley on the rise of the sovereign citizen, Margot Saville on the JK Rowling affair or Janine Perrett on Scott Morrison’s ministry.

I also want to take a moment to thank Crikey’s great team of journalists and commentators, led by political editor Bernard Keane and including Georgia Wilkins, David Hardaker, Amber Schultz, Kishor Napier-Raman, Tips and Murmurs columnist Charlie Lewis and Crikey Worm editor Chris Woods. Our regular columnists include Glenn Dyer, Guy Rundle, Janine Perrett, Michael Bradley, Madonna King and Jason Murphy.

We also have a great team behind them. Take a bow Emily Watkins, Tom Clift, Jack Vening, Jane Mahoney — and all the people at Private Media, Crikey’s publisher, who help us along this journey.

We’re on the look out for new (and old) talent all the time.

This year, King brought her years of journalism experience to the Queensland election; former Age executive Mike Richards wrote a stunning psychological profile of Donald Trump, and African-Australian journalist Jim Malo had some choice words of advice to the news media about the Black Lives Matter movement.

We finished the year with a deep dive into the sports rorts affair. In January, Keane wrote with his customary insight about the rort. Over the past few days, Napier-Raman has recreated the affair from start to finish.

Crikey turned 20 years old this year. It’s been a hell of a ride — and with your ongoing support, it’s going to continue for another 20 years and beyond.

Thank you. We truly couldn’t do it without you.

See you in early January. Meantime, keep an eye out for our daily Holiday Read emails and extracts from recent Crikey Talks on our social feeds.

All the best,

Peter Fray

Crikey editor-in-chief.