A wander through Sydney’s Walsh Bay on May 19-20 provided a feast of fact and fiction all focussed on ‘what is public’ and ‘what is private’.  Here’s your chance to vicariously eavesdrop on two media sessions.

Phone Hacking

Mark Colvin explained that the phone hacking scandal in the UK is an historical anomaly that has never applied to Australia.

When mobile phones were introduced in the UK, they were covered by broadcasting laws, not privacy laws. They were covered under a new law, inclusive of privacy, only when digital phones were introduced.

When asked by an audience member if the US will lock up Rupert Murdoch first, Mark Colvin replied: “There is no evidence yet.”

The panel commented that there was minimal to no phone hacking in Australia. According to Robert Manne, “Rupert has a mother in Australia that he wants to please.”  Dame Elizabeth was deeply shocked when Rupert bought News of the World, David McKnight affirmed.

Mark Colvin concluded with a quoted conversation between lawyer Mark Lewis and Rupert Murdoch.  “Your mother would be ashamed of you.” “Yes,” replied Rupert. “And your father too.” (Rupert nodded.)

Tribute to Paul Lockyer

Paul died at Lake Eyre covering the story of this incredible inland sea that appears when it rains, and disappears in drought. His journalist colleagues paid tribute to the man who conned himself into a great job, and had the sympathetic ear of managing director, Brian Johns, who himself has a passion for promoting regional stories.

“Paul Lockyer never made himself the story. You should not make yourself as important as the interviewee: this breaks a golden rule.”

“There should always be room for empathy. Paul remained in touch with many who went through difficult times.”