A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

This is a tale of two septuagenarians: one a journalist, the other a Cardinal. You know which one should come first. It was 1981, and Ita Buttrose was the Murdoch recruit, the new editor-in-chief of the Sydney Daily and Sunday Telegraph, after a sterling career as an editor for Sir Frank Packer for the popular … Continue reading A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

Kerry O’Brien: A mammoth memoir and a history lesson

It’s been a while since my last blog post. The reason: I have been reading the mammoth memoir of the distinguished journalist, foreign correspondent, presenter and author, Kerry O’Brien. It’s 834 pages of meaty material, with 36 more: acknowledgments, notes, bibliography and an index. No photos. Otherwise, it would have reached 900 pages. (The TV … Continue reading Kerry O’Brien: A mammoth memoir and a history lesson

The Sedaris Diary: Something to write home about

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris I have to admit it's taken me a long time to finish reading volume one of David Sedaris' Theft by Finding 1977-2002 (Photo of David Sedaris above). I've reviewed other books in the past year and posted them on my blog, including Hugh Riminton's Minefields, his compelling … Continue reading The Sedaris Diary: Something to write home about

Leslie Seymour: The Everywhere Man — Have Camera Will Travel

“Who the hell is Leslie Seymour?” That’s what journalist and broadcaster Ray Martin asks facetiously in his foreword to the autobiography of Les Seymour, his long-time mate, and it’s a fair question. Unless you’re a veteran journo or a media junkie, you may not have heard about cameraman extraordinaire, Les Seymour. All he’s ever done … Continue reading Leslie Seymour: The Everywhere Man — Have Camera Will Travel

Sam the Man: A tenacious titan of television generous to a fault

Sam Chisholm, sales director and former head of Channel Nine, Managing Director of BSkyB, and television executive extraordinaire, was also known as a legend in his own lunchtime. But lunches were special to journalists and tv executives in those days. My best mate, Cliff Neville, who died in 2012, was the supervising producer of Nine’s … Continue reading Sam the Man: A tenacious titan of television generous to a fault

Real war stories from the Fall of Singapore to El Alamein and the Kokoda Track

I have always loved books, and have been writing reviews for publication since 1966 when I was the editor of The Villanovan, the Villanova University newspaper in the US. I was also the literary editor of The Australian in the early 1980s for two years, and have reviewed books for decades. I am only mentioning … Continue reading Real war stories from the Fall of Singapore to El Alamein and the Kokoda Track