Media Puzzle

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Ryan Sheales

Deputy Editor,
Election Watch

A GROUP of prominent Australian journalists and media academics came together at the University of Melbourne last night to discuss the quirks and challenges of modern election reporting. 


Incessant media management by the parties, tight deadlines and a lack of resources were the assembled hacks' top complaints.


The 200-strong audience asked questions about media bias, the struggle for balance, the rise of comment in news reports and the influence of America's most famous Australian-born octogenarian, Rupert Murdoch.  

View the Storify



Meet the panel

Michael Rowland is the host of ABC News Breakfast. Before that, he spent four years as an ABC correspondent in Washington. He covered the historic US presidential election and was the ABC's Wall Street correspondent during the height of the global financial crisis. In the mid 1990s Michael spent five years in the ABC's Canberra Parliament House bureau filing for Radio News and Lateline.

Associate Professor Sally Young is based in the Melbourne School of Government and is the Election Watch research director. She researches political communication and election campaigns including media reporting of politics. Her latest book is How Australia Decides: Election Reporting and the Media.

Michael Gordon is political editor of The Age. His other roles on the paper have included being sports editor, national editor and Saturday editor. He has also been New York correspondent for the Melbourne Herald and political editor of The Australian. A Walkley award winner and six-time winner at the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards. In March 2006, he won the 2005 Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of The Year.

John Ferguson is The Australian's Victorian political editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 30 years, having been a state, Canberra and European correspondent. He has reported from more than 20 different countries, covering mainly politics and disasters.

Kerry-Anne Walsh left the federal parliamentary press gallery in 2009, after working for 25 years in senior positions in print, radio and TV. She was political correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, The Sun-Herald, and for seven years the National Affairs writer for The Bulletin. She was the inaugural political commentator on Sky News, and remains a panel member on The Insiders and Sky Agenda. Prior to the 1984 election, she worked as a press advisor in the Hawke Government.