The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jack Cowin: Claims Rinehart wants to hire/fire editors are propaganda

Interesting and seemingly sensible remarks from Jack Cowin in the AFR today:

Asked if the company’s largest shareholder wanted the right to hire and fire editors, he said: “I don’t think so. I think that has become sensationalised"...

Mr Cowin said Mrs Rinehart does not want to directly interfere editorial matters in mastheads such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “From a Fairfax point of view, you have to have an orderly management, and you can’t have directors calling you up and saying, Ben, write this story.

“There’s got to be an orderly process. And that certainly is the case with any public company I’ve had anything to do with,” he said. Mr Cowin has been on the Ten Network board as an independent director for two decades.

Mrs Rinehart also sits on the Ten board and owns 10 per cent of the TV broadcaster. Mr Cowin said he wants to be an independent director for Fairfax “because if I disagreed, I didn’t want to be in a position whereby I was directly in opposition to her voice.”

He said the role of a director was “to maximise shareholder wealth”. “I think the emphasis has been put on journalistic independence, and I think that’s a side show,” he said. “If the patient doesn’t live, this has all been for nothing,” he added. “The main focus should be, how do we make this company successful?”