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Working for Rupert


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Hugh Lunn's new book is a no-holds-barred account of his many years as a journalist in Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper empire. Based in the Queensland office of the Australian newspaper, he struggles for recognition, striving to produce stories of immediacy and value. As he hones his skills, his popularity within the empire decreases to the extent that his third (!) Walkley award is barely acknowledged by his peers. Lunn's `sin' was to insert himself into his stories: to express a point of view. He writes bluntly about the insularity of the Sydney management (always excepting Rupert, for whom he has well-reasoned admiration). There is sometimes a bitter tone to his reminiscences, particularly in relation to journalists and editors who toed the government line on such subjects as the Vietnam War, Irian Jaya and police corruption in Queensland. Names and anecdotes are larded through the text, rendering the book a very personal account of a professional life's highs and lows. I won't easily forget the story of Lunn being sent to investigate the degradation of Fraser Island by a Sydney-based editor who pictured the whole island covered in sandmining equipment, nor that of him receiving conflicting assignments from three competing news editors. Working for Rupert should have wide appeal for its wit, anger and humanity, and for its revealing insights into the world of Australian journalism. Max Oliver is manager of Lindfield Bookshop. C. 2001 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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