Mungo MacCallum: IA's case for Press Gallery inclusion 'superior'

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Mungo MacCallum is one of Australia's most distinguished and respected political journalists.
Mungo MacCallum
Mungo MacCallum

According to Wikipedia, he

'...covered Australian federal politics from the Canberra Press Gallery for The Australian, The National Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, Nation Review and radio station 2JJ / Triple J in the 1970s and 1980s.'

In a message to IA editor David Donovan, Mungo expresses his strong support for IA's bid for a place in the Canberra Press Gallery, suggests a way through and says this publication 'certainly' has 'a case superior to some of those currently ensconced'.

The following is Mungo MacCallum's message in full:

A couple of points about the press gallery.

For starters,  nowadays (though never in my day) half the offices are occupied by industry journos, meaning, effectively, lobbyists: they have little or nothing to do with the dissemination of news to the general public. Indeed, they are all about serving their clients, meaning those who pay their salaries.

SkyNews reporter David Speers
SkyNews reporter David Speers

To my mind this is a simple misuse of space and facilities which should be allocated to those with a broader public agenda. It might be worth making this point to Speers.

And he is not, in fact, the ultimate arbiter: the court of appeal is not the parliamentary departments (which, like shiny bums everywhere, are unlikely to rock the boat). Everything within the parliament building is the domain of the presiding officers: the speaker of the house and the president of the senate. To my personal knowledge they have intervened at least once on the past, to secure space for SBS in its early days.

You may not have quite that sort of clout but you certainly have a case superior to some of those currently ensconced. I would strongly recommend you press it before September 14.

All the best,

Mungo MacCallum

This message has been published with the author's permission. Read about how David Speers shut out IA from the Canberra Press Gallery here.

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