Winamp Logo
Behind the Media Cover
Behind the Media Profile

Behind the Media

English, Finance, 1 season, 42 episodes, 1 day, 3 hours, 44 minutes
Stephen Brook, The Australian's media diarist speaks with journalists, writers, editors and analysts about the state of Australia's media industry, as well as their own careers.
Episode Artwork

Stephen Brook: "I think that gossips make very good journalists, if you've got a skill you should embrace it and try and exploit it professionally."

As a bonus episode of BTM Hedley Thomas interviews Stephen Brook on his last day as The Australia's Media Diary columnist and host of the podcast. They discuss Brooky's 15 years at the newspaper, his time in London reporting for The Guardian, breaking the ABC Guthrie-Milne sacking, the book Stephen is writing, interviewing techniques, the state of the media, and what comes next.  See for privacy information.
12/16/20181 hour, 1 minute, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

George Negus: "I don't think I'm much of a reporter to be honest."

Media Diarist Stephen Brook interviews the veteran broadcaster of This Day Tonight, Foreign Correspondent, Dateline and 60 Minutes. George is involved in the launch of lobby group ABC Alumni to campaign for the public broadcaster, he’s also celebrating the 40th anniversary of 60 minutes. They discuss career highlights like the famous interview he did with Margaret Thatcher, and how he came to be a journalist after being a high school english teacher.  See for privacy information.
12/9/201843 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ed Kavalee: "Be the weirdo you are off air, on air."

Media Diarist Stephen Brook interviews Ed Kavalee, the TodayFM Sydney breakfast co-host, and comedian. Stephen asks if Ed can rescue the low ratings since Kyle and Jackie O left, they discuss Kavalee's wife and media personality, Tiffiny Hall. Also covered is being mentored by comedian Tony Martin and brought up through the ranks by Working Dog.  See for privacy information.
12/2/201851 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ben Fordham: "You do need to protect yourself... do I want that rattling around in my head? The answer I've learned is no."

Stephen Brook, The Australian’s Media Diarist interviews Ben Fordham, broadcast journalist on 2GB radio and Channel 9’s Today show. As a young radio reporter he covered the 1997 Thredbo landslide which won him a Walkley award.  See for privacy information.
11/25/201843 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hedley Thomas: "I didn't lose control, but I was worried that I couldn't do justice to the scale of the story, the magnitude, the importance of it."

Media Diarist Stephen Brook interviews Hedley Thomas, the investigative journalist behind the record breaking true crime podcast The Teacher’s Pet, which has him fielding offers for a Hollywood adaptation.Hedley’s has taken on Prime Ministers, billionaires, and the Australian Federal Police. As a foreign correspondent he covered the collapse of communism. He’s won a gold Walkley award for the shocking case of Dr Mohamed Haneef. But shocked the industry by walking away from journalism. As the National Chief Correspondent at The Australian, Hedley had to reinvent himself as a podcaster with The Teacher’s Pet.  See for privacy information.
11/18/201855 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Michael Rowland: "I loathe this word chemistry, absolutely hate it. People talk about breakfast tv... or radio duo having chemistry. I just think it's pretty artificial."

The Australian’s Media Diarist Stephen Brook interviews Michael Rowland, co-host of ABC New Breakfast. The two engage in an ABC vs The Australian arm wrestle over the newspapers coverage of the national broadcaster. In the fallout of the Michelle Guthrie sacking, Michael was the first journalist to interview acting Managing Director, David Anderson. He was in the Canberra Press Gallery, reported on business and finance, and was US correspondent covering former president Barack Obama. Rowland discusses his successful partnership with ABC News Breakfast co-host, Virginia Trioli, how they work because their personalities are opposites and why he hates word chemistry.  See for privacy information.
10/28/201835 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Barrie Cassidy: "There are more partisan journalists (now) than there ever were in the past"

It's hard to imagine the ABC without Insiders, the television show that reshaped the broadcaster's Sunday morning political programming. Host Barrie Cassidy launched Insiders 17 years ago, but plans for the program actually began in Belgium, where he sketched out a promising format with his houseguests, photographer Mike Bowers and future news director Gaven Morris. Barrie has seen both sides of politics in an extensive career. He spent three years as a press gallery journalist in Canberra, and six as Prime Minister Bob Hawke's press secretary. In this episode of , he tells Stephen Brook about accusations of partisan bias, what went wrong with sacked ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie, and his own experiences of political fallout at the national broadcaster decades ago.Behind the Media  See for privacy information.
10/21/201833 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dan Box: "True Crime is so hot right now... I just wanted to reach across and slap him."

Former crime reporter at The Australian Dan Box has spent the past three years covering the Bowraville murders in print, and for a podcast. He returned to Australia this month to cover the latest developments in the case, which has been referred to the High Court.He talks to media diarist Stephen Brook about the podcast that won him two Walkley awards in 2016, his follow up video documentary series The Queen & Zak Grieve, and the state of true crime at the moment.“One bloke said to me, ‘true crime is so hot right now,’ and I just wanted to slap him, I wanted to reach across the desk. And just say, ‘you have no idea because it's not entertainment, it's not something you watch for fun. These are actual people's lives, these are people's children who've been murdered, these are families that will never recover from that harm'.”Covering the crime round can take its toll, and Dan struggled after two years spent reporting on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. On one occasion he came home and felt the walls were shaking.Dan began his career at the The Sunday Times on work experience and lucked into a job as the oil and gas correspondent.  See for privacy information.
10/14/201835 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Anton Enus: "The apartheid masters did everything they could to exert pressure on the organisation to conform to the message they wanted to send out."

Back on our screens after being diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago, Anton Enus says the whole experience changed him as a person and a journalist. Despite being quite private Anton documented his treatment on Facebook and for SBS online, allowing himself to become the story, he said it was cathartic. Anton has been at SBS for 20 years but started out unexpectedly while looking for freelance work while on holiday. Hailing from South Africa he worked for the South African Broadcasting Corporation during the apartheid regime which he called a moral compromise. It was just one of the times Anton had to swallow his pride growing up classified as ‘cape coloured’. Another was having to get special permission to study journalism at a white only university. He corrects the record on being outed by South African and Australian media, the role of public broadcasting in the face of government pressure and taking over from Lee Lin Chin as the SBS weekend newsreader.  See for privacy information.
10/7/201843 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Feature writer Trent Dalton: "They will size you up, and open that friggin door, and that's a beautiful trust exercise."

Media Diarist Stephen Brook interviews The Weekend Australian Magazine staff writer Trent Dalton, discussing the intense emotional attachment he forms with the people he’s interviewing. Dalton’s new book Boy Swallows Universe is a novel influenced by his childhood in Brisbane growing up on the wrong side of the tracks which led to his observational feature writing.  See for privacy information.
9/23/201850 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Drama scriptwriter Bevan Lee: "I don't think overall in Australian drama there tends to be enough emotion."

Since the 1980s, Lee has described Australia to itself via the medium of commercial television drama, working on Sons and Daughters as a writer, rewriting the first episode of Home And Away, before creating Always Greener, Packed to the Rafters and Winners & Losers.His most recent success is A Place to Call Home, which survived cancellation on Seven to be reborn on Foxtel.His next project, a “glorious super soap” is already in the works for Seven.Here Lee discusses the poor state of drama on the ABC, why there is not enough mentoring in the industry, and the problems of dealing with fans on Twitter.  See for privacy information.
9/9/201841 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Paul Kelly: "Predictions are cheap, particularly if you get them wrong"

The Australian's editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, gives his account of Australia's recent political turmoil and discusses the state of press gallery journalism on this episode of Behind the Media. Also discussed: why he doesn't use social media, the time he missed out on a cadetship, and being shouted at by prime ministers.  See for privacy information.
9/2/201825 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

NT News Editor Matt Williams: "I love crocodile stories... I'm less obsessed with aliens and UFOs than my previous counterparts"

The Northern Territory News is a tabloid paper which has grown a global reputation for it's quirky coverage of life in Australia's north. Editor Matt Williams speaks to Stephen Brook about some of the publication's outrageous cover stories, how he balances the hunger for gags with serious journalistic ambitions, purchasing croc insurance for a US President, and the challenges of political coverage in small cities.  See for privacy information.
8/26/201836 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Helen McCabe: "I had no idea, about magazines. My advice... is don't let that stop you"

Helen McCabe is one of the most powerful women in media, with a resume ranging from editing the Australian Women's Weekly, time on newspaper back benches and the press gallery, to a foreign correspondent stint in London. Now she's heading up Nine's bold new digital play, Future Women. She speaks to Stephen Brook about being sacked by fax, her memories of the disastrous fake Pauline Hanson photos scandal, and her potential involvement in Fairfax once the nation's biggest media merger is realised.  See for privacy information.
8/19/201843 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Campbell Brown: "The publishers who built businesses on Facebook around clickbait have seen their traffic plummet."

Facebook's head of news partnerships Campbell Brown is a serious journalist who worked at NBC, CNN and won an Emmy Award for her reporting on Hurricane Katrina in her home state of Louisiana. She speaks to The Australian's Media Diarist Stephen Brook about walking away from cable news when it became too partisan, making the move to Facebook, and how the social network doesn't fear regulation if it's the right regulation.  See for privacy information.
8/12/201829 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mark Schoofs: "I began to learn the power not of opinion, not of empathy ... but of simply hard fact."

Mark Schoofs heads a global team of investigative reporters for BuzzFeed News. He set up the team that has prosecuted important investigations into tennis match fixing, Russian collusion in US elections and Russian assassinations in Britain. Schoofs has one a Pulitzer for reporting on the AIDS crisis in Africa for The Village Voice, and since making the move from ProPublica to Buzzfeed five years ago the listicles site has been a Pulitzer finalist twice on his watch.  See for privacy information.
8/5/201843 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Les Hinton: "I hesitated about writing my life story at all because I knew I was going to have to deal with Rupert."

Stephen Brook interviews Les Hinton, who for decades was Rupert Murdoch’s right-hand man. He left News International in 2011 after the News of the World phone hacking scandal but says he was in ignorance of it. Les says what Rupert Murdoch is really like, why Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were so charismatic and remembers the time Princess Diana called. They discuss Les’ book The Bootle Boy, the future of newspapers and how the tabloid agenda has won.  See for privacy information.
7/29/201855 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kate McClymont: "Whenever I do a story in the back of my mind is a lawsuit."

The Sydney Morning Herald’s investigative reporter discusses getting more death threats than awards, being sued by Eddie Obeid and her reporting landing him in jail, her book getting pulped over a slight mistake and she plays a game of true or false.  See for privacy information.
7/22/201846 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Shaun Micallef: "I don't want to be a dirty comic and I don't want to be a political comic. I will not be misinterpreted by an audience."

Actor, comedian and author Shaun Micallef adds "promiscuity" to his list of abilities after successfully working with every major Australian tv channel. After this year's Logie Awards, Shaun told BTM he’s not overtly political or dirty and will kill a sketch if he thinks the audience is too partisan. He runs through the Adelaide Mafia of prominent media personalities and reveals how a Maltese boy became star of Talkin' Bout Your Generation and Mad As Hell.  See for privacy information.
7/15/201843 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee: "We've only got our one trick and we continue to do it."

Poolside the morning after the Logies at The Star Gold Coast, Hamish and Andy talk about their enduring partnership, Bert Newton's clanger, the difficulty in getting a new show up and selling their True Stories format around the world.  See for privacy information.
7/8/201831 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kerry O'Brien: "Politicians would kill to have the level of trust the ABC has."

The legendary former anchor of 7:30 Report and Four Corners discusses the "punishment" behind the governments ABC cuts, how the public broadcaster must mobilise, the trick to getting a good interview, why he admires John Howard and his forthcoming book.  See for privacy information.
5/13/201836 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Richard Lloyd Parry: "I do sometimes feel like one of the dinosaurs soon after the comet hit the Yucatan peninsula."

International guest Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia Editor of The Times newspaper.He’s the author of Ghosts Of The Tsunami, a book about how that disaster devastated a community in northern Japan in 2011, and People Who Eat Darkness about the disappearance of a British woman in Tokyo and the attempts by her killer to sue him for libel.Lloyd Parry has worked for The Independent and The Times and reported from most of Asia's trouble spots including Indonesia and Afghanistan. He speaks about about whether foreign correspondents have a future, how to use a pseudonym to sneak into Burma, and where he keeps Osama Bin Laden’s underwear.  See for privacy information.
5/6/201842 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Julia Zemiro: "There's something about getting older, wanting to open up a bit more and explore where you come from, why you're doing the things you're doing, forgiving stuff in the past."

Zemiro is the host with the most; she’s the face of Home Delivery on ABC, RocKwiz on SBS and calls herself the midwife of Eurovision in Australia. And she's about to present All Together Now, a big budget singing show on Channel 7.Born in France, Julia went to a French school in Bondi, studied drama and did improv and was an actress before becoming a TV host and interviewer. She talks about why she won't present Eurovision again, if RocKwiz will ever come back, plus her talents in getting showbusiness veterans to open up in interviews.  See for privacy information.
4/29/201839 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sharri Markson: "The news isn't always comfortable. That was a news photograph, it told the story and the story was in the public interest."

At 34, the indefatigable Markson is the national political editor for The Daily Telegraph. She broke the news that Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce was having a love child with a former staffer, which cost him his job, and explains how the Canberra Press Gallery works. Sharri spent a year editing Cleo magazine, was media editor of The Australian, won a Walkley award at Seven news, convinced a wealthy businessman to let her have her wedding on his private country estate despite his initial refusal. And recounts how she got access to a survivor of the 2005 London Bombing Victim when no one else could or would.  And there’s the time the ABC baked her a birthday cake.  See for privacy information.
4/22/201836 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ross Coulthart: "The commercial TV industry is full of eccentric A-type personalities, most of whom are barking mad."

A senior presence at the Nine Network's 60 Minutes, investigative journalist Ross Coulthart talks about why he is departing, and what he might to do next.  The former lawyer who has worked at the ABC, Seven and Nine, is discouraged about the state of television to investigate stories, he says it lacks the sufficient budgets and attracting audiences are a problem. US start-ups such as The Intercept might be able to fix the formula.  Coulthart accuses the ABC of mishandling the return of the Cabinet Files and recalls the ABC's different approach during his days on Four Corners. And if you want to leak him a story, don’t call him on your mobile. It’ll only end badly, due to the chilling effect of metadata laws. Write a letter instead.  See for privacy information.
4/15/201843 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Koch: "It's always been my goal that people will see me as someone who's reasonably smart, that you can trust and is pretty normal."

Kochie discusses being a finance nerd, his career trajectory from being a junior auditor to a cadetship at The Australian and creating the format of relatable breakfast TV for Sunrise.Building things is important to the number one morning show host; being the Port Adelaide chairman, The Koch Centre for Youth and Learning in Macquarie Fields and his involvement with an orphanage in East Timor.Kochie also discusses his lowest moment of the dot com crash, the satisfaction of dedicated coverage to fix Australia's organ transplant system, offending former Prime Minister John Howard, and Sunrise's role in making Kevin Rudd PM.  See for privacy information.
4/1/201843 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Peter Blunden: "The number of times I've woken up at three or four in the morning and thought, 'Gee I wish I handled that differently'."

Blunden looks back over more than 40 years in journalism, including editing the Herald Sun and Adelaide Advertiser. The newspaper veteran has mellowed but still admits he can drive his staff mad over stories. A recent bout of open heart surgery led to his longest period away from work in his career, nearly two months. Being an editor and executive is all about getting to know readers and making decisions in their interest  See for privacy information.
3/25/201831 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Patricia Karvelas: "A lot of this factionalism is from the leadership level; you're either with us or against us. It's dangerous to journalism."

PK is the host of ABC Radio National Drive,  National Wrap on ABC News 24 and The Party Room podcast. She previously hosted her own program on Sky News, was the Victorian Bureau Chief for The Australian newspaper and the political correspondent in the Canberra press gallery.   See for privacy information.
3/18/201839 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jane Kennedy: "Have we gone mad that we can't make jokes that fly a little close to the edge?"

The actress, producer, comedian, cook book author, tv presenter and radio broadcaster wears many hats. Perhaps best known for her role as Brooke Vandenberg on Frontline, Jane is about to return to her rock chick roots co-hosting the drive slot on Triple M with Mick Molloy.  See for privacy information.
3/11/201833 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andrew Bolt: "Sometimes I do think I've got more opinions than is healthy in a normal person."

Bolt talks about retirement plans, political plans, loyalty to readers outweighing his friendship with politicians including Tony Abbott. He reveals the influence his late father-in- law had on his journalism, and also delves into losing a racial vilification court case in 2011.  See for privacy information.
3/4/201834 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Michael Ware: "You had to be there in the blood and guts."

Michael Ware became the voice of the Iraq war when he was based in Baghdad for Time magazine and CNN for six years from 2003. ​Here he details why such war reporting faces extinction, what motivated him to face incredible danger in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the painful price reporting took on his mental health and why Wikileaks founder Julian Assange doesn't deserve to be called a journalist.  See for privacy information.
2/25/201856 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ita Buttrose: "If you want the big roles I've held you have to be tough."

Ita Buttrose is a media figure who needs no introduction. She founded Cleo magazine in the 1970s, then became editor in chief of the Australian Women's Weekly and later the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers. She has been a magazine founder, media executive, Australian of the Year and now appears on Studio 10.  See for privacy information.
2/18/201834 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Janet Albrechtsen: "I worked out very early on in this job that you make a new set of friends every week and a new set of enemies.

​Janet Albrechtsen is an opinion columnist with The Australian who came to the paper after a career in law. She sat down with Stephen Brook to talk about the #metoo movement going too far, writing her centre right column but turning against liberal party prime ministers and the time she was called a "shanky ho" by Mark Latham.  See for privacy information.
2/11/201829 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Russel Howcroft: "If you're in the business of spending your marketing money, where to put that money is tough."

Russel Howcroft, an industry veteran who this year celebrates a decade on The Gruen Transfer, the hit ABC advertising panel show, says the dynamic has shifted among business clients coming to consultancy firm PwC to seek insights from its CMO advisory consultancy. Howcroft, who is also PwC chief creative officer, tells The Australian’s Stephen Brook that the digital media business is maturing. He also lifts the lid on how the Gruen program changed his life.  See for privacy information.
2/4/201833 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Julian Morrow: "As often happened at The Chaser sometimes we only really discovered where the line was by looking back over our shoulder"

The Chaser has been a unique part of the media landscape and at its centre has been Julian Morrow, who trained as a lawyer, negotiated the contracts with the ABC and took the frantic phone calls from management during the many crisis prompted by their infamous stunts, which included a tasteless Make A Wish Foundation sketch, the APEC security breach and infamous Chris Kenny dog sex sketch. Julian Morrow tells Stephen Brook about Andrew Denton making it all possible, creating the satirical consumer affairs genre with The Checkout, getting arrested, getting sued, suing and if the gang will ever get back together for another TV show.  See for privacy information.
1/28/201838 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mia Freedman: "social media pile ons happen, they're mortifying when you're on the bottom of them."

The MamaMia founder sits down for her first extensive interview after her annus horribilis, and discusses why she continues to put herself out there, how she's learned to be a better boss, and why she thinks she's been able to stay ahead of rapidly shifting media trends.  See for privacy information.
1/21/201844 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chris Kenny: "I am old enough and ugly enough not to worry about being loved."

The Australian’s Chris Kenny today talks about why he is leaving Sky News for radio, whether Kevin Rudd really tried to block him getting a job on the Oz, why he sued the Chaser boys and the necessity of being an arse in print.  See for privacy information.
12/10/201728 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Peter Greste: "There's another problem quite beyond the fame - I'm a convicted terrorist."

Foreign correspondent Peter Greste explains how to survive in an Egyptian prison for 400 days, watching a colleague die in Somalia, fighting for press freedom and why he can never roam the globe reporting from world trouble spots ever again.  See for privacy information.
12/3/201732 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Miranda Devine: "Andrew Bolt and I don't talk any more."

Controversial News Corp columnist Miranda Devine explains why she said no to same-sex marriage, how column writing is a performance, and reflects on becoming a mother instead of an editor.  See for privacy information.
11/26/201734 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amanda Keller: "With Jonesy I fight far more than I do with my husband."

Amanda Keller talks about how she tackles early mornings as the host of WSFM's breakfast radio show, being the first female presenter to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, how Nine disrespectfully handled Lisa Wilkinson's departure and fighting with her co-host.  See for privacy information.
11/19/201730 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hugh Riminton: "Journalists should risk their lives to report on people risking their lives."

Veteran foreign correspondent and Network Ten journalist Hugh Riminton sits down at the network's headquarters for a lengthy chat about how he learned to get extremely heavy stories to air, why he was driven to put himself in the line of fire, and his own mental health struggles.  See for privacy information.
11/12/201733 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Annabel Crabb: "I'm very full of doubt a lot of the time."

ABC journalist and multi-platform phenomenon Annabel Crabb invites us into her home for a discussion on salary disclosures a the public broadcaster, her approach to political interviews, how she got Tony Abbott to open up about drinking at parliament.  See for privacy information.
11/12/201731 minutes, 48 seconds