We Never Got To Run His Best Headline


1. How many people do you reckon work at newmatilda.com office on an average day? (The winner gets a jar of jellybeans.)
I’ll say seven. (Actually I know it’s only four, but right now we can’t afford the jellybeans I’d win for getting it right.)

2. Does anyone have a climate change policy you agree with? Who?
In Australia the Greens are the only party to have actually approached the problem in a sincere way, and I think that’s a start.

3. Who’s your favourite retired Australian politician?
She’s no longer with us, but I have to say Janine Haines. I thought she was awesome.

4. Name a political writer who deserves a promotion.
Kevin Rudd.

5. Fill in the blank in this sentence: "I’m sad that newmatilda.com has hit the skids because their articles occasionally stuck it to the ___ … and those people give me the creeps."
Motivational speakers. (Although I admit I’m conflicted here, because if you watch some of them long enough they get kind of endearing.)

6. Who deserves a bigger tax break: banks or mining companies?
Actually, better than a tax break, we should just put them jointly in charge of all tax revenue and let them take as much as they feel they need. This would cut out a few messy steps that seem to be slowing the current system down.

7. What subject should be compulsory in primary schools?
Advanced Op-Ed Writing.

8. What annoys you about journalists?
Behaving like they (we) know everything, when it’s perfectly clear to ourselves and to the public that we don’t.

9. When was the first time you changed your mind on something important?
Well you see, I’m a journalist, so that just doesn’t happen.

10. Is the Australian media getting better, worse, or staying the same?
A bit from columns A, B and C. But it’s definitely also getting more interesting. So don’t give up on it yet.

11. Are you part of the latte belt?
I am the latte belt. Some mornings I’m even the matching latte shoes and dangerously swinging latte handbag. Don’t mess with me or I will stain you.

12. What was the newmatilda.com headline you always wanted to see on the site?
The headline I have in mind wasn’t publishable when the event occurred, and unfortunately it’s still not publishable now, since it’s too defamatory, vulgar, and didn’t really work with the article. Funny though.

13. Who was the newmatilda.com commenter who annoyed you most? How did you deal with that emotion?
That’s a tough one to pick, because as with any site that allows comments, we’ve had plenty of wing-nuts. But dealing with them was made a lot easier sometimes when my mum would ring and say, "Who is (Commenter X)? He’s quite a fool isn’t he …

14. When did you first start reading newmatilda.com?
Shortly before starting work at newmatilda.com.

15. Now that he’s gone, will you miss the Kevin Rudd-style self-directed rhetorical question, and the effect it has had on the way so many of us speak?
Yes, absolutely.

16. Do you make any apology for that?
No, I do not.

17. If you could pick one public figure to deliver live commentary on Election Night, who would it be?
Peter Russell-Clarke.

18. Is that 20 questions yet?
No, still a couple to go.

19. Do you have any secret political crushes you’d like to tell us about?
Not really — I’m more into newsreaders. I know some people find power attractive, but it’s always struck me as a little bit gross. I had a friend who reckoned she’d happily sleep with Graham Richardson because of the scent of power that he gave off. I thought she had a problem.

20. Any last words?
I’d like to thank all our contributors who worked damn hard for us, improving the level of public debate through their writing, often to tight deadlines and for little or no cash. They make a difference, and I think we’re lucky they do it.


Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.