It's been a big week for Crikey's obsessions
MAY 23, 2020
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Crikey is obsessed with many things: power, corruption, transparency, accountability and conspiracy, to name a trifling few.

This has been a stellar week for three of them: we ran a special report on COVID-19 conspiracies featuring the work of our Inq reporter David Hardaker; we followed that up with a two-part Inq series on the plight of regional news media by Georgia Wilkins and Kishor Napier-Raman; and yesterday we topped off the week with Amber Schultz’s heart-breaking and disturbing tale of David Harris, a 55-year-old man with mental illness who was literally left to die alone.

Across the week we published a deep dive by Crikey’s political editor Bernard Keane about the role of news media in exposing corruption and power structures, and gave a few brickbats out in our new(ish) column Tips and Murmurs with reporter Charlie Lewis.

I know better than most the constraints on journalism these days — but, as Keane notes, the news media can’t forget its core job: calling out abuses of power and seeking greater transparency. I guess you could say holding ourselves to account — and our peers in this industry — is another Crikey obsession.

It might seem all a bit inside the beltway, and maybe it is. But if we don’t do it, who will?

Meantime, here’s something for the diary:

Crikey and its sister publication The Mandarin are excited to present an exclusive opportunity to ask former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull about his life, career, and the nature of power in Australia.

Join me in conversation with Mr Turnbull as I quiz him about his own journey and the behind-the-scenes world of Australian public life.

When: Monday June, 12pm

Where: Attend via Zoom link

Click here to RSVP

Hope to see you there

Peter Fray
Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

 
Neglected to death: David Harris’ life reveals the awful burden of mental illness

AMBER SCHULTZ 11 minute read

In the last months of his life, David Harris was gradually cut off from the mental health system that should have been supporting him.

‘How are we going to know who’s died?’ The cost of losing regional news

GEORGIA WILKINS and KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN 5 minute read

Regional news is facing a mass extinction event. Can communities survive without their local papers?

Filling the void: the new wave fighting to keep regional media alive

KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN and GEORGIA WILKINS 4 minute read

With newsrooms going dark across regional Australia, journalists and locals are fighting to fill the gap. Will it be enough to save regional media?

The theorists

Supercharged conspiracy theorists are no longer a laughing matter

BERNARD KEANE 5 minute read

Conspiracy theorists are becoming more globalised, more extreme and more violent.

Morrison’s China push feeds local QAnon theorists who say Satanists rule world

DAVID HARDAKER and KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN 4 minute read

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's call for an investigation into China's handling of the coronavirus has provided fresh content for Australian conspiracy theorists.

An incomplete list of Trump’s favourite conspiracy theories

KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN 4 minute read

Donald Trump leaned on conspiracy theories long before he became president. Why would he stop now?

 
What lies beneath must be resurfaced — or the media is not doing its job to expose power and corruption

BERNARD KEANE 6 minute read

When even good journalists fail to explore the financial and personal links between companies and policymakers, they allow a pervasive form of institutional corruption to flourish.

It’s sex discrimination: banks strip brothels and escort agencies of their rights 

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

They are legal businesses that pay tax and have stringent rules and regulations. But that's not enough to allow them to bank their earnings.

Australia’s COVID commission faces questions over gas conflicts

KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN 3 minute read

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has been in place for two months, and now questions are being asked about how it manages the conflicts of its members.

The Beijing dilemma: right now, we need China more than it needs us

STEPHEN BARTOS 4 minute read

When it comes to dealing with the Chinese government, there is a big difference between sensible caution and needless provocation. Australia must choose wisely.

Denial of torture allegations opens new front in the push to free Australian academic

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

As negotiations continue for the release of Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert from an Iranian prison, her family has denied claims that she has been tortured by the regime.

In defence of class actions: an Australian innovation bringing justice to the world

STEPHEN MAYNE 4 minute read

For years, class action litigators have done what regulatory bodies like ASIC can't: get major businesses to play fair.

Carbon capture and storage a dud but fossil fuel industry’s cash capture working well

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

The government wants to expand its Emissions Reduction Fund to pay fossil fuel companies to increase emissions. Who came up with that idea? Take a guess.

Male fury against women and kids continues as Senate inquiry ends in whimper

AMBER SCHULTZ 4 minute read

A Senate inquiry into domestic violence, established after the brutal murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children, has ended three months early. But experts say another inquiry wasn't what they needed.

 
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