Edit events

The Edit is about helping the next generation of Melbourne reporters, producers and editors hone their skills and develop their careers. At semi-regular functions at a CBD venue one or more guests discuss their craft and careers, offering insights, guidance and practical tips over a glass of wine or beer.

You can find more information about past Edit events below, along with links and resources associated with speakers and topics.

The Edit is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

Please note: The Edit is open to young and early career journalists, as well as journalism students.

The Edit: Encryption, Data and the Law

Who has access to your metadata? Can the government actually read your encrypted Whatsapp messages sent between you and your anonymous source? What does it mean to operate safely online in the post-Snowden world of data surveillance?

At the Edit's first event for 2019, we spoke data, privacy and encryption with tech and legal experts who coached us through techniques to understand the increasingly nebulous online world of metadata and Australia's controversial new encryption laws.


Electronic Frontiers Australia - Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation that has been promoting and protecting digital rights (civil liberties) in Australia since it was established in January 1994
Twitter: @efa_oz
Justin Warren: @jpwarren
Peter Tonoli: @peter_tonoli
Electronic Frontiers Foundation - A Leading US nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.The leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation. EFA is not affiliated with EFF.
Twitter: @eff
Minter Ellison Intellect Blog - Perspectives on technology, media and telecommunications from MinterEllison's leading TMT industry group
Veronica Scott: @V_Scott15
Cyber Secure Yourself - A website with a basic checklist of tools and behaviour changes that can help make you more cyber secure
Irish-Australian journalist Gerard Ryle directed The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Panama Papers leaks. It was a truly mammoth investigation involving years of work by journalists across over 80 countries. As such, it's an interesting case study in how to collaborate digitally whilst working with sensitive data. Read more here, here and here.

The Edit: The Art of Freelancing

At this Edit event in August 2018, our guest panel dove into the nitty-gritty of freelancing: how to get your foot in the door, what drives editors crazy and how to build a solid reputation as a freelancer. With special thanks to:

Jo Chandler, award-winning freelance journalist focusing on Pacific and environmental reporting
Erik Jensen, editor-in-chief of The Saturday Paper, journalist and author of Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen
Denham Sadler, freelance journalist and former editor at Private Media

Also, a warm welcome to new Edit moderator Rachael Dexter.


Anthropology@Deakin interview with Jo Chandler and Paige West. Wide-ranging discussion including some interesting insights into contemporary journalism: https://soundcloud.com/user-910866758/episode-12-paige-west-and-jo-chandler

The Garret Podcast with Erik Jensen: https://thegarretpodcast.com/erik-jensen/

The Freelancer's Year, a blog about freelancing writing: https://www.thefreelancersyear.com/

The Edit: with crime reporter Anthony Dowsley

Anthony Dowsley has been on the beat for NewsCorp for more than two decades. When he joined us in July 2018 he talked about handling some of Melbourne’s toughest crims and cases and shared his thoughts on the recent rash of reporting on youth crime gangs.


Twitter: @AnthonyDowsley

The Edit: Rachael Browne talking Trace

ABC journalist Rachael Browne was the driving force behind 2017 cold case murder investigation podcast series Trace and has won a slew of awards for it (including Melbourne Press Club 2017 Quill Awards for both Podcasting and Innovation). Rachael joined us at The Edit in April 2018, together with producer Sophie Townsend, to outline her initial interest in the case, her decision to adopt the podcasting medium, the crucial role played by production team members and Rachael's passion for seeing justice for the James boys, sons of the murdered woman who have waited more than three decades for answers about her death.


Trace: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/trace/

The Edit: Caro Meldrum-Hanna

Caro Meldrum-Hanna is one of Australia’s most successful and highly-decorated investigative journalists. The reigning Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year, her revelations about live-baiting brought the greyhound racing industry to its knees. Her expose on the brutal treatment of children in detention in the Northern Territory triggered a Royal Commission. She has won four Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley.

At this special year-end edition of The Edit Caro joined us for an exclusive off-the-record briefing on how she cracked some of the biggest scandals of recent years – and gave tips for handling stories.


'Australia's Shame' - July 2016 Four Corners report on the NT child detention system, which sparked a royal commission. 

'Callous Disregard' - May 2016 Four Corners report on the brutal death of a woman and her family's fight for justice.

'Jackson and Lawlor' - October 2015 Four Corners report on "the highly controversial world of Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawlor".

'Making a Killing' - February 2015 Four Corners expose on the prevalence of live baiting in the grehound racing industry. 

The Edit: with Andrew Quilty

A camera and a sense of adventure have taken freelance photojournalist Andrew Quilty from Sydney to the global stage. He is now based in Afghanistan and his coverage of the country’s recovery from war has featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and last year won him the Gold Walkley.

This very special Edit event was run in partnership with the Walkley Foundation’s Storyology festival and with support from Nikon. Andrew discussed his work as a freelancer in Afghanistan and how the tools of the trade have changed with social media.

The Edit events are open to all early-career journalists, as well as journalism students. This forum was hosted by ABC reporter Stephanie Anderson.

Links and materials:

'28 Days in Afghanistan: A Photo Journal by Andrew Quilty', SBS website.

Andrew Quilty's website

 The Edit: FOI Masterclass

For our first event of 2017, Herald Sun's FOI Editor Fiona Hudson answered all manner of questions about freedom of information journalism, how to get the most of your bureaucratic entanglements and what to do when it all goes awry.

Links and materials:

This handy FOI Cheat Sheet was put together by The Edit moderator Ashlynne McGhee from the night's discussion.

A short bio of Hudson from the Herald Sun website.

 Crime Night: with Sly & Rule

Throughout their illustrious careers, John Silvester and Andrew Rule have turned the torch on some of Melbourne's seediest scenarios. At the final Edit event for 2016, the authors of Underbelly: The Gangland War and the long-running ‘Naked City’ column in The Age talked about career paths, journalistic methods and maintaining relationships with sources.

Links and materials:

John Silvester moderated an MPC lunch event in 2017 with former Police Commissioner Ron Iddles (see video here). Silvester covered Iddles' entire homicide police career. Talk about maintaining relationships with sources.

Andrew Rule on his literary and cultural influences, for RN's Books and Arts show

Post Traumatic Stress
In September The Edit assembled a special panel to discuss post-traumatic stress. The panel, made up of veteran foreign correspondent Peter Cave, director of the Dart Center Asia Pacific Dr Cait McMahon, and lawyer Heidi Edwards (who sheltered as gunmen attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Kenya) shared their experience and offered valuable advice on reporting on, and dealing with, trauma.
Links and materials:
Dr Cait McMahon recommended some good places to go for help dealing with trauma:

1. Find a Psychologist
A database run by the Australian Psychological Society. Cait suggested searching trauma - then interviewing the psychologist to make sure they know their stuff.

2. Traumatic Stress Clinic
Based at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, UNSW - but they work remotely and can at the very least give you some advice about a good psychologist to see in Melbourne.

3. Phoenix Australia
Phoenix Australia is a not-for-profit organisation and national centre of excellence that promotes recovery for the 15 million Australians affected by trauma. Phoenix Australia can refer you to qualified support.

Paul Farrell
Guardian journalist Paul Farrell, who has been intensively investigated by the Australian Federal Police for his reporting on national security and asylum seeker policies, joined The Edit in July and spoke candidly about his hard-hitting investigations, his experience of state surveillance and the problem with section 70 of the Crimes Act and other gag laws that threaten public interest reporting in Australia. 
Links and materials:
The tale of Farrell uncovering the AFP investigation into his national security/refugee reporting (The Guardian).
The heavily redacted AFP records, obtained through an FOI request.

 Adele Ferguson

A mere mention of Fairfax investigative reporter Adele Ferguson strikes fear into the hearts of unscrupulous corporations, sets politicians running and has PR crisis managers working overtime. Edit guests got a rare insight into her Walkley and Quill award winning investigations when Adele joined us in May to talk frankly about leaks, sources, relationships and how she got into the investigative business.

Watch the Four Corners investigation into 7-Eleven wage exploitation that won Adele the 2015 Gold Quill.

 Leigh Sales

 The Edit kicked off for 2016 in January, when industry veteran and legend Leigh Sales joined us from the world of Sydney television to talk about her career trajectory, interviewing technique and experience at the helm of the country's premier prime time TV current affairs program.

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