Democracy’s Watchdogs with Chris Masters, Part 1


Chris Masters is one of Australia’s best investigative journalists. He reported about 100 episodes for the ABC’s Four Corners program, exposing political, police and judicial corruption. His reporting triggered two Royal Commissions and other inquiries. In one international scoop, he revealed that French intelligence agents had blown up the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s flagship, in Auckland Harbour. Another episode, called ‘The moonlight state’  led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption involving illegal gambling and prostitution. After the inquiry reported, the Queensland Premier was charged with perjury and later resigned, the Police Commissioner was convicted of corruption as were many other high-profile politicians.

More recently, Masters has worked with Nick McKenzie on war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

Part 1 of my interview with Masters has great tips for student journalists – “the only way to obtain trust is to be trustworthy” – as well as observations about the role of journalism: “good journalism is essentially about good citizenship”.

You can watch the interview and see Masters’ career timeline and access additional resources on Democracy’s Watchdogs.  Part 2 will be posted shortly.

I am very pleased to announce that Democracy’s Watchdogs will again run an award this year for student investigative reporting in two categories, print/online and video/audio.  Details will be available soon. The deadline will be in early November so you have plenty of time to get those stories up. The prize is $1000 in each category and a trophy.

  • Bill Birnbauer, Founder, Democracy’s Watchdogs