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Fine Line. A Text Revision Lecture. Episode 1. Topic explored – The Interview Key Theme – how should journalists treat their subjects? Frank Walker – Trinity Grammar Persuasive techniques “the art of persuasion.” Determination

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Fine line

Fine Line

A Text Revision Lecture


Episode 1
Episode 1

  • Topic explored – The Interview

  • Key Theme – how should journalists treat their subjects?

  • Frank Walker – Trinity Grammar

  • Persuasive techniques “the art of persuasion.”

  • Determination

  • Quote “It takes a little bit of a mongrel, I suppose, in a human being.”Sally Loane


Episode 1 cont
Episode 1 (cont.)

  • Liz Jackson – match fixing – interview gains trust outside

  • Feels no guilt in manipulating subjects this way

  • ‘Cop It Sweet’ – Jenny Brockie

  • Police in Redfern – seduction and betrayal – Kate McClymont

  • Closeness between journalists and interviewees

  • Who does the journalist owe allegiance to? Brockie feels ‘uneasy’

  • Quote “…your job isn’t to save them from themselves.”

  • “the business of winning trust…always carries with it the possibility of betrayal.”


Episode 1 cont1
Episode 1 (cont.)

  • Toni McCrae, John Cleary and the Jim Cairns ‘confession’

  • 2003 Cleary interviewed Cairns previously Federal Treasurer (1975)

  • JunieMorosi was an influential member of his staff - supposed affair

  • McCrae never asked Cairns about the affair

  • Cleary got the story from Cairns and refused to edit it out after finding out about perjury

  • Quote “.. Sometimes decency and ethics in journalism can appear, from the outside, to lead you right into the gutter” Fanning to Cleary


Episode 2
Episode 2

  • The Interview

  • Pauline Hanson interviews – Fanning and McKew discuss interviews with Hanson

  • McKew’s ‘hostile’ interview with Hanson – Hanson was ‘diminishing the process’

  • Hanson uses inaccurate statistics and ‘facts’

  • Fanning says she ‘never intended to be fair’ wanted to expose inaccuracies in Hanson’s public statements

  • Audience reaction

  • McKew tells about not knowing her audience


Episode 2 cont
Episode 2 (cont.)

  • Virginia Trioli interviews Peter Reith

  • Children Overboard affair

  • Reith went on the attach to stop Trioli interviewing him – he made it seem as if she was calling him, and the navy, liars

  • Some of the audience sided with Reith

  • Audience does not like aggression in female interviewers

  • Hysteria in public about refugees

  • Trioli caught on back foot


Episode 2 cont1
Episode 2 (cont.)

  • Sally Loane and Philip Nitschke

  • Euthanasia – Crick Case bowel cancer – none found

  • Loane aggressively attacked Nitschke

  • Loane admits that she “crossed an objectivity line”

  • Personal experience of suicide in family

  • ‘Don’t strive to be objective, strive to be fair’ – SydDeamer

  • Kerry O’Brien – allegations of bias against him – favouring Labor politicians

  • He gives himself 10 out of 10


Episode 5
Episode 5

  • Theme – Taboos

  • Sexism in Aboriginal communities - McKew at Aurakun

  • Went to Cape York to report on self determination movement and found violence and sexism

  • Agonised over report – didn’t report on it and regrets it

  • Tony Koch interference in black communities - “a blind desire to address the problem immediately”.

  • Seagulls

  • Andrew Rule – Geoff Clark

  • Fanning says that the story probably “did more than any other to break the taboo

  • around reporting of the abuse of Aboriginal women and children by Aboriginal

  • men.”

  • Clark accused him of racism


Episode 5 cont
Episode 5 (cont.)

  • Ray Martin and Wilcannia – went to report on school

  • Found abuse in community

  • Background is Hanson – Martin says reconciliation ‘had been dear to him for many years’

  • Elders consulted before story told

  • Teachers had to leave their jobs

  • Peter Charlton – Terry Lewis

  • The Courier-Mail paid Lewis$30,000 for his exclusive story.

  • Charlton says cheque “changes everything” and was “easily the worst thing” he’d ever done

  • Jennifer Byrne – Chequebook Journalism

  • Witches of Warwick


Important quotes episode 1
Important Quotes – Episode 1

  • “I actually don’t have a big problem with knocking on someone’s door…and offering the opportunity for them, if they’re in the news, to put their side of the story…” (Peter Lynch)

  • “You are trying to work out what it is that might persuade people that they want to tell the story that you want told.” (Liz Jackson)

  • “If you start doing that you start being a player…It’s certainly not in the public interest.” (Jenny Brockie)

  • “I thought about it… but very quickly said no.” (Toni McRae)

  • “…the ethics and the decency coincide as closely as possible.” (John Cleary)


Important quotes episode 2
Important Quotes – Episode 2

  • I had never intended to be fair to the woman; I had only wanted to appear to be so.” (Ellen Fanning)

  • “I’m a journalist. I’ll question anything until I get the truth.” (Virginia Trioli)

  • “…I think still you have to strive to be objective, I really think you do.” (Sally Loane)

  • “I’ve tried very hard to walk a straight line…and I suppose I am my own biggest critic.” (Kerry O’Brien)


Important quotes episode 5
Important Quotes – Episode 5

  • “I saw the much bigger issue of racism…” (Maxine McKew)

  • “Indigenous people in communities call us - politicians, journalists - seagulls, because we fly in, shit on them and leave. And that’s what you’ve got to avoid.” (Tony Koch)

  • “The basic ethics is you have to treat everybody the same.” (Andrew Rule)

  • “You are on the edge of a dilemma. At what stage do we say, “We’ll turn a blind eye to that domestic crime…to the fact that these kids are being abused, and are being raped.” (Ray Martin)

  • “It was easily the worst thing I had ever done, and I don’t ever want to go through that kind of experience again.” (Peter Charlton)

  • “I would prefer never to interview anyone who had received any money at all.” (Jennifer Byrne)


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