Breaking News

It is now more than 30 years since Graham Perkins tragically premature death, but his legacy lives on in every corner of the Australian media. Perkin was, without question, the countrys greatest editor of the 20th century. In his nine years at the helm of The Age, he transformed a venerable but moribund rag into a paper regularly voted one of the worlds ten best broadsheets, alongside such great titles as The Washington Post and The Times of London. He changed forever the way that the media looks at society, and the way that people relate to the media. In this insightful, vigorous biography, veteran investigative journalist and Walkley Award winner Ben Hills who worked under Perkins editorship for six years chronicles the life and times of Australias most influential newspaper editor, and the history of the newspaper to which he devoted his tremendous talents. From a little town in Victorias dusty Mallee to the door of the Fairfax boardroom, from the twilight of the Menzies era to the death throes of the Whitlam government, from formulaic, moth-balled reportage to socially responsible investigative journalism, Breaking News paints a vivid picture of Graham Perkins remarkable career. It is biography at its best, and the personality and energy of this big, bluff cyclone of a man jumps from the pages. Most of all, however, it is a portrait of media power, of the last of the great editors who, by the force of their convictions, made a difference to society a breed for whom there is no place in todays corporate media conglomerates, with their focus on cost-cutting and the short-term bottom line. A cracking story in its own right, Breaking News is an engrossing read, not only for those who remember Perkin and the golden age of Australian newspapers, but also for everyone who reads the paper or watches the news today.