Macdonald was the last of the Symes to run The Age in Melbourne. Appointed Managing Director at age 26 in 1964, he resuscitated the slumbering broadsheet by appointing the dynamic editor Graham Perkin and giving him the resources and corporate encouragement to transform it into one of the world’s great newspapers. Macdonald was the chief instigator of the Australian Press Council, a self-regulatory body that was imperfect but for many years provided a bulwark against government regulation of the media. He provided his paper’s expertise for the launch of the China Daily when the People’s Republic opened its door to the world at the end of the 1970s, but like many other Western business hopefuls of the time, was politely thanked but not rewarded.
Watch the video tribute (0:49)
Receiving award at 2014 Hall of Fame dinner (1:46)