81 journalists round off Victorian hall of fame

The third and final induction of foundation members for the Melbourne Press Club’s Victoria Media Hall of Fame, has seen 31 journalists added for a membership of 81 – including proprietors and editors.

The guest of honour at the induction ceremony was News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson, who was one of the Hall of Fame inductees.

Others included political correspondents Laurie Oakes and Michelle Grattan, editors Peter Blunden and the late Creighton Burns, sports columnists Caroline Wilson, Mike Sheahan and Gideon Haigh, newspaper proprietors Ranald Macdonald and Peter Isaacson and business journalists Alan Kohler, Terry McCrann and Robert Gottliebsen.

In his speech at the ceremony, Mr Thomson said that “collectively we’ve been far too passive in the face of what is profound change”, but this change, by definition, also brought opportunity.

“There really has not been enough vigorous assertion of the social worth of journalism or the sanctity of content rights,” he said.

Mr Thomson referred to the enduring importance of basic journalistic skills, but reporters and editors needed to “continue to understand how the platform permutations of our age have changed”.

“The lessons I learnt as a copy boy after typing in the sugar and copper prices remain relevant – be accurate, make more calls than you think you need to find and cultivate sources, prioritise, make the narrative engaging – and those characteristics will endure across platforms and across the ages.”

Other inductees included investigative reporters Andrew Rule and Ben Hills, TV journalists Jana Wendt and John Sorell, photographers Bruce Postle and Terry Phelan and radio presenters Neil Mitchell and Phillip Adams.

A book on the 81 foundation members of the Victorian Media Hall of Fame was launched at the dinner, titled Media Legends: Journalists Who Helped Shape Australia (edited by Michael Smith and Mark Baker). An exhibition of the Hall of Fame will be installed at the State Library of Victoria.

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

Leave a comment