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About the writer

Me2I spent some 46 years in journalism and publishing, in general news reporting, local councils, State and Federal politics, industrial relations and some work in various Arts fields.

I switched back and forth between reporting and sub-editing. Each time I went back to writing I noticed an improvement as a result of working as a sub-editor. For example, I didn’t make the errors that I spent all day or night correcting in the work of the reporters. Curiously, none seemed to learn from reading their edited work, endlessly repeating the same mistakes.

I am not saying I’m perfect, but I do love to write occasionally — when I feel I have something to say. Here’s an insight I have into writing, writer’s block or not being able to write clearly. This usually is related to the subject not being clear in your mind. When it is, the thoughts flow quickly and easily.

Working in the news media is tough. Deadlines are a nightmare. In fact, I still have nightmares that end in a confrontation with an impossible deadline. There’s also the pressure that comes from finding an original story, or a scoop, and hoping you’ll get it on air or into print before the competition does. Or, even worse, not being able to find a story to write.

I often became bored with journalism and took jobs in other fields, teaching computing and writing/reporting/publishing skills, selling various products and services, office work, security guarding, driving cabs, courier vans, buses and eventually as a driving instructor. Working as a news reporter teaches you how to write to a formula. Working in other fields adds more colour and first-hand knowledge to your work. Before retiring (and for a few more years) I did rescue work with the State Emergency Service, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

My favourite form of relaxation is solitary camping in remote locations; just me, nature, the elements and my camera.

Desktop publishing, which appeared in the late 1980s, finally allowed me to become self-employed doing something I understood completely and utilising all the skills I had learnt. One of the magazines I produced dealt with the craft of writing and marketing your work. In 1987 I produced a magazine on a floppy disk (possibly a world first) and in 1992 I sold my Lotto system over the Internet — an exhilarating experience that I must write about one day.

Now retired, but still busy, I operate the Action Front for Truth in News Media Resource Centre, which is my contribution towards combating and correcting deterioration in news reporting standards and obvious bias in the Australian newspapers of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and our national broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Some of the stories that appear here will relate to this struggle for truth and democracy.

  1. Thanks Barry for the personal insight-very interesting and something I hadn’t had a chance to read before. I’m on long service leave and catching up on a lot of things

  2. “Early in the peace” Barry – not “early in the piece”.

  3. Barry, I came across your interesting blog when looking for an image of a spotted gum (Two Pillars, 2 April 2014). May I have your permission to use the first image in my blog please – it will be full attributed to you and I will include your url. I write a local history blog on Hamilton, Newcastle, and am doing a post on Hely Brothers, which used hickory timber, and spotted gum, for the manufacture of tool handles. My blog is With thanks Ruth Cotton.

    • Ruth: Thanks for your interest in my article and best wishes for the success of yours. I apologise for the delay in responding; I haven’t visited my website for a while.
      You may use my photograph, if you can’t find a better one that suits your purpose. If I Google plants or critters + pictures, I find it leads to pages of good shots.

  4. Thank you Barry. Interestingly yours was the best I found for my purpose, but I will remember your tip in future. Ruth.

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