The crumbling estate

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  • Published 20090901
  • ISBN: 9781921520761
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

NEARLY FIFTY YEARS ago I walked into the Dickensian editorial offices of The Age in Collins Street, Melbourne, to start a cadetship in journalism. Old men in green eyeshades sat around a horseshoe-shaped subeditors’ table shuffling papers and grumbling. Rowdy correspondents, full of beer and arrogance, scuffled for the few broken typewriters available in the reporters’ room.

The place was worn and grubby, the air full of shouts and curses and cigarette smoke. I was assigned the daily Shipping Movements list (Due Today, Due Tomorrow, Sailing Today, Sailing Tomorrow, In Port) and the Weather, Mails and Train Times. From that first morning I was captured by the idea of unearthing, explaining and commenting on the affairs of the day.

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About the author

Geoffrey Barker

Geoffrey Barker is a defence and foreign-affairs columnist for the Australian Financial Review and a visiting fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre...

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