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The Fifth Estate responds to the most important stories of the day and reignites those that have fallen off the front pages.

The Fifth Estate responds to the most important stories of the day and reignites those that have fallen off the front pages.
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The Fifth Estate responds to the most important stories of the day and reignites those that have fallen off the front pages.




Political Wrap 2018

For the final Fifth Estate of 2018 – and in the wake of the Victorian election and its recriminations – we look back at the year in Australian politics with series host Sally Warhaft and seasoned political observers George Megalogenis and Gabrielle Chan. Our panellists unpack and reflect on the issues that have monopolised domestic headlines – from yet another leadership spill to the banking royal commission and the senate’s controversial ‘It’s OK to be white’ vote. They examine the major...


Kerry O'Brien

Sally Warhaft and Kerry O'Brien — Photo: Jon Tjhia Kerry O'Brien at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Jon Tjhia ‘We absolutely cannot make any assumptions about the future of democracy in this country.’ He’s interviewed Nelson Mandela, David Bowie, Margaret Thatcher, Herbie Hancock and Mikhail Gorbachev. As a journalist, he’s watched 13 Australian prime ministers come and go and he’s personally interrogated most of them, live on The 7.30 Report. Kerry O’Brien is a singular figure in...


US Midterms and Beyond

Sally Warhaft, Bob Carr and Dennis Altman The 2018 midterm elections in the United States will be held on Tuesday 6 November. In the heated, highly partisan atmosphere in Washington – and indeed across the whole of the United States – the stakes feel higher than ever. Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, the midterms are a test of his often controversial administration. In the lead-up to the big day, Sally Warhaft dissects the polls, candidates and analysis with former Foreign...


Foreign Affairs

Sally Warhaft and Stephen Smith — Photo: Scott Limbrick As we hurtle towards the end of 2018, it’s clear we’ve entered a period of increased volatility and uncertainty in global relations. The world's two major powers are locked in a trade war, the European Union is looking decidedly shaky and much of the Middle East is still mired in conflict, partly due to the interventions of powers outside the region. How can Australia negotiate this shifting and unpredictable landscape? And...


Christianity Today

Sally Warhaft and Greg Sheridan In 1966, 88% of Australians identified as Christian in the census. By the 2016 census, the proportion had dipped to 52%. The number of Christians who attend church regularly is even lower. How has Christianity gone from being at the centre of Australian cultural and social life to something that's important to a dwindling number of Australians? In this Fifth Estate conversation, host Sally Warhaft is joined by journalist and author Greg Sheridan, whose...


Media, Police and Crimes Against Women

How is journalism changing when it comes to reporting on crimes against women? Why do some crimes, and some victims, get more press than others? And how does media coverage affect police investigations and the pursuit of justice in specific criminal cases? For this Fifth Estate conversation, Sally Warhaft is joined by former Victoria Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon and veteran crime journalist Andrew Rule to discuss prejudice and perception in media and police work. How does...


Katharine Murphy

Sally Warhaft and Katharine Murphy at The Fifth Estate ‘Conflict is not a new commodity in news,’ Katharine Murphy has written. ‘ … But media disruption has intensified the conflict cycle, compressing it into smaller, louder, intraday bursts, and those constant interruptions have a material impact on political decision-making, both here and around the world.’ As the Guardian Australia’s political editor, and a veteran of the press gallery in Canberra, Murphy has viewed the decline of...


David Neiwert

Sally Warhaft and David Neiwert — Photo: Sophie Quick At Melbourne Writers Festival, journalist, author and acknowledged expert in American right-wing extremism David Neiwert speaks with Sally Warhaft about journalism, media and politics in the context of the alt-right in Trump’s America.


Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen is an award-winning author and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She speaks to Sally Warhaft about The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, her non-fiction 2017 National Book Award-winning work that charts the coming-of-age of four Russians born in the early 1980s. Masha Gessen and Sally Warhaft, live at Deakin Edge, Federation Square — Photo: Sophie Quick Presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival.


Whitewash: Crops, Corruption and Cancer

Glyphosate is the most widely used weed-killer in the world. It’s the active ingredient in Roundup, the flagship agricultural herbicide sold by Monsanto, and it’s used in more than 130 countries including Australia. Glyphosate is in our parks, gardens, golf-courses and playgrounds. And it’s in our food and water. Veteran investigative journalist Carey Gillam has spent decades exploring the links between big business, biotech and agriculture in America. In her new book, Whitewash, she...


Les Hinton

With Sally Warhaft, Les Hinton – Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man for more than 50 years – talks about the past, present and future of the mainstream press … as well as life alongside the man he calls ‘an authentic colossus’. Sally Warhaft and Les Hinton — Photo: Jon Tjhia Hinton has enjoyed both a close-up and a long view of the radical changes that have swept through the newspaper business. His new book, The Bootle Boy, is a memoir of his progress through the ranks of the Murdoch...


Tracey Spicer

For this episode, Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft welcomes Tracey Spicer to the Wheeler Centre for a conversation about her accomplished, diverse and fearless life and career in Australian journalism – and the challenges and opportunities arising from the popular movements seeking to correct entrenched sexist behaviour in the media and beyond. Sally Warhaft and Tracey Spicer — Photo: Jon Tjhia In a journalism and media career spanning three decades, you could say Tracey Spicer has...


Public Health and Drug Policy Today

Sally Warhaft, Richard Di Natale and Fiona Patten in discussion at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Jon Tjhia In the 1980s, Australia was an early adopter of free needle syringe distribution programmes. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, this controversial harm-reduction strategy played a crucial role in mitigating the spread of HIV among Australian injecting drug-users. Despite our history of success with harm-reduction approaches, legislators – and large portions of the public – remain...


Katy Tur: Reporting Trump

Sally Warhaft and Katy Tur — Photo: Jon Tjhia Katy Tur, sometimes known as ‘Little Katy, third-rate reporter’, is an award-winning NBC News correspondent. She covered Donald Trump’s campaign from day one and quickly made an enemy of the future president. Tur travelled to 40 states during the campaign and made more than 3,800 live TV reports. Trump didn’t appreciate her direct interview style or her scrupulous attention to facts, and took to singling her out at rallies. He repeatedly...


Derryn Hinch

Sally Warhaft and Derryn Hinch — Photo: Jon Tjhia Derryn Hinch is among the Australian media’s most controversial and unpredictable characters. He’s the former editor of the Sun and the former New York bureau chief for Fairfax. He’s been sacked from high-rating shows on Channel Seven and 3AW and he’s received on-air death threats from gangsters. He’s written 14 books, been jailed twice, married five times, toured with The Rocky Horror Picture Show and undergone liver transplant...


Australia's #MeToo

Left to right: Sally Warhaft, George McEncroe and Kate McClymont — Photo: Emily Harms How do headline-grabbing stories about powerful figures in the media affect the broader Australian culture? The #MeToo movement began in the US – with the Harvey Weinstein revelations in October 2017 – and it quickly spread around the globe. In this discussion, we’ll look at how #MeToo is playing out here in Australia with two guests who approach the subject from very different angles. Investigative...


The President's Pen

Pat Cunnane — Photo: Jon Tjhia ‘What’s a POTUS?’ Pat Cunnane, aged 22, asked a co-worker this question on one of his first days working at the White House. It’s safe to say he figured out the answer pretty quickly, rising from his first job as White House media monitor to become the senior writer and deputy director for messaging for the POTUS himself, Barack Obama. In Cunnane’s new book, West Winging It: An Unpresidential Memoir, he gives fascinating insider’s account of his six...


Jacqui Lambie

Sally Warhaft and Jacqui Lambie — Photo: Jon Tjhia Jacqui Lambie is hot-blooded, unpredictable and often startlingly candid. Rising to public office with the Palmer United Party in 2013, she quickly outplayed her billionaire party leader, and struck out on her own as an independent for Tasmania in the Senate. In her new memoir, Rebel with a Cause, she shares her story in detail. Hailing from north-western Tasmania, one of the most disadvantaged pockets of the country, Lambie has fought...


Political Wrap

For the final Fifth Estate of 2017, Sally Warhaft and guests George Megalogenis and Alice Workman look back at the year in Australian politics. The panel dive deep into the issues that have dominated this year’s domestic headlines, from energy policy to housing affordability. They look at the major events that have attracted international attention, too: the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the same-sex marriage postal survey and the crisis following the closure of the Manus Island detention...


Sam Dastyari

Senator Sam Dastyari is among the youngest politicians in Canberra, but in just a few years, he’s attracted more attention than many politicians garner over their entire careers. The combination of compelling backstory – told in his new book, One Halal of a Story – and industrial-strength audacity has meant he’s never far from the limelight. Dastyari was born in Iran to student activists and arrived in Australia aged four. He joined the ALP shadow cabinet in his early 30s and quickly rose...