Be brave, be honest: Q&A with journalist Jack Marx

Journalist Jack Marx. Photo courtesy Jack Marx

Jack Marx is a journalist and author, well-known for his Walkley Award-winning story ‘I was Russell Crowe’s stooge‘, and a controversial biography of legendary muso Stevie Wright. Q&A by Dylan Berg.

10 things that happen when you fall in love

BY HARRY ASHFORD-COX @harryashford15

We all know the feeling … weak knees, butterflies in the tummy, an inability to think about anything or anyone but bae <3 Harry A-C has done some research to find the definitive list of what actually happens to us when we find true love.

  1. Your appearance matters

Obviously when you go on a date, you don’t want to turn up in basketball shorts and a shirt with a cat on it. People will tend to make sure they look in top condition to impress their date by shaving, using extra deodorant and losing weight, all in hope to find The One.


  1. You try more things outside your comfort zone

Most people in relationships have some common interests, but there are always a couple of things one half is reluctant to do. If you’re single and are afraid of heights you probably won’t go skydiving, but if you have a daredevil partner you will be open to trying new things to connect with them.


  1. You buy them stuff

It could be their birthday, Christmas or any other holiday, or maybe you just feel a little generous and buy them a gift for no reason at all except that they make you happy.


  1. You must be with them

You have this new person in your life and all you want to do is be with them ALL DAY EVERY DAY whether watching Netflix or going for a walk.


  1. You meet more people

This one comes with any person you meet really, but when you fall in love with someone you are more likely to meet more people. Their parents, friends, co-workers and other family.


  1. You can’t stop looking

All you want is to keep looking at them because they are that spark in your life and you appreciate them so much and you’re just SO IN LOVE. When your eyes are making contact with something they are fixated, so if you are looking at them for a long time it’s either love or something weird’s going on. Probably love.


  1. You sing and dance

When you’re in love obviously you’re happy and sometimes you get that urge just to unleash your inner Tom Cruise and go full-on Risky Business. Because that’s what love can do.


  1. Your hormones go wild

Cheeks blush, hearts beat faster, palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. All of these things happen (maybe not the last two) when you are in love. You probably might even feel high because of all the euphoric feelings you’re having.


  1. Your heart rates synchronise

No, they really do. The University of California at Davis conducted research that revealed couples when couples are connected to monitors their heart beats and breathing were in sync.


  1. You now care (even) more about the future

Ok, you’re in a relationship and now you must think about the future. Are you going to get married? Have kids? Get a dog? It might all still be up in the air but at least you have something to look forward to and plan for.


Data: How many cars in the world?

BY MAEGAN HAMILL @actualmaegy

Practically everyone you know owns a car, right?

The data in this map was compiled by the World Health Organisation between 2010 and 2014, and details the number of registered vehicles worldwide.

Registered vehicles facts:

  • Only seven per cent of the world’s population actually own a car
  • Between 2010 and 2013 the number of registered vehicles worldwide rose by 16 per cent
  • In 2010, Vietnam had more than 31 million registered two- and three-wheelers, compared with only 500,000 cars
  • In 2011 the United States had 245 million registered cars, compared with only 8 million registered two- and three-wheelers
  • There are twice as many registered vehicles in Bolivia than in Botswana
  • There is a similar number of registered heavy trucks in Australia and in Switzerland

Data from The World Health Organisation’s Global Health Observatory data repository.

Interview with The Guru: 10 questions with Dave Faulkner

Dave Faulkner is the singer/guitarist of legendary Australian band Hoodoo Gurus. He currently writes about music for The Saturday Paper. He chooses to write about alternative and relatively unheard of artists, introducing them to a broader audience. Two of his recent articles feature Melbourne post-punk act Gold Class and Newcastle producer Szymon. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave this month and learned a thing or two about both the music and journalism industries. By ANDREW READ

Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner. Photo: Facebook
Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner. Photo: Facebook

How did you get into journalism? Was The Saturday Paper your first journalism job?

Initially the role of music critic for The Saturday Paper was offered to Tim Freedman. Tim expressed misgivings about the demands of the job and he recommended that I help share the workload. I had never done anything like it before but Tim had enjoyed reading my acerbic comments about music in emails when we were both serving as judges for the Australian Music Prize (the AMP), a role that I still perform today. After contributing one review to The Saturday Paper, Tim decided to step aside for a while to concentrate on a stage show he was devising about Harry Nilsson and I have continued doing it in his stead ever since. I’m not sure why Tim hasn’t contributed any more articles since his first one but he was very complimentary about my writing when a rang me after my second review was published, something I very much appreciated at the time. As you can see, I pretty much “fell” into the role. If The Saturday Paper’s editor had approached me alone I probably would have declined the offer.

Are there any specific journalists or articles that made you want to get into writing?

To be honest, no. I’ve enjoyed reading a lot of music journalism, in particular Lester Bangs and Richard Meltzer but, as a musician myself, I’ve often felt I’ve been misunderstood or treated shabbily by “hacks”. There is a great deal of suspicion, if not enmity, between musicians and the critics who are appointed to sit in judgement upon them. 

Your artist choice is always great — often not mainstream, but still appealing to a broad audience. What’s your usual process of deciding a topic/artist to review?

I just write about the albums and artists I enjoy. They may be artists that are familiar to me or ones I’m discovering for the first time. I discuss my choices with my editor but we have an implicit understanding that I will only review albums that I really like. I would find it too difficult to do anything else. I’ve always had a very broad taste in music, something that would probably surprise people given my long, single-minded career spent writing for my band, Hoodoo Gurus. Being able to “turn on” the readers to a wide variety of music has been one of the pleasures of this (part-time) job. I have no rules about age, era or genre, and I will happily talk about an interesting reissue from a long-established artist one week and a debut album from a neophyte the next. The only thing i won’t do is review an album simply because the rest of the music industry (or a vocal part of it) deems “important”. A lot of contemporary music, whether mainstream or “indie” (a term I hate), feels like a rehash to me and I steer clear of it. That said, I do feel an obligation to keep pushing our readers towards new music and I search high and low to find records that inspire me amongst the deluge of new releases. I strongly believe that great music can be discovered in any genre or era, including the current 

Did you used to write back in the early days of Hoodoo Gurus? Ever written an interview with yourself to get published for band promotion?

No, the only prose I’ve written since leaving high school has been the liner notes for a couple of our albums, oh, and a lot of Facebook posts on the Hoodoo Gurus page.

How is the current state of the music scene in Sydney? What’s the difference between here and Melbourne?

Music is always in a state of crisis, particularly since the advent of wholesale theft of artist’s work online. That Pandora’s Box will remain open, unfortunately, and for most artists their survival depends entirely on their ability to make money through performing live. Melbourne appears to have a healthier live scene than Sydney but Sydney’s is certainly vibrant and nothing to sneeze at. A flourishing community of musicians can lead to interesting collaborations but it can also lead to a self-congratulatory “groupthink” (everyone says so-and-so is good so they must be). Most of the interesting artists and art throughout history has been created outside the mainstream by mavericks and pioneers who ignored prevailing wisdom and sidestepped obstacles they found in their way. To be blunt, I’ve heard a lot of boring music coming out of Melbourne from people celebrated by their peers and the Melbourne “music mafia”. Unlike viticulture, geographical origin is no guarantee of quality.

Journalists and police ministers saying Sydney’s ‘live music industry is dead’ is a big hindrance to the success of the city’s live music scene. What are the differences between the industry now and in the 70’s and 80’s in Sydney/Australia? Any ideas on what would improve Sydney’s music culture to help it thrive?

This is too big a subject to answer in a couple of sentences. Here’s a link to a keynote address I gave on the subject two years ago at Sydney Town Hall as part of the City Conversations series presented by the Sydney City Council.


Of all the songs you’ve written, which is your favourite? And what makes that one stand out in your mind?

I don’t have any favourites, but I always use ‘What’s My Scene?’ as a textbook example of what I consider my strengths as a songwriter: a strong melody matched with economical, comprehensible lyrics (conversational in style). Lots of energy and momentum in every department.

What is a great piece of writing you have read recently?

I’m frequently amazed by the journalism I find in The Saturday Paper. I know that sounds glib but it’s true. In particular, the recent series of articles focusing on the inhuman conditions people have experienced in our government’s offshore refugee detention centres have been remarkable.

There are so many clickbait style ‘news’ sites out there now. Are there any bad journo techniques or styles that frustrate you, or any things that future journalists should avoid doing?

Superficiality is a curse. Lightness of touch is a gift. If you can balance those two opposing forces you’re doing well. I have no advice to offer on journalistic ethics than to be scrupulously honest with yourself first and foremost, the rest will follow naturally from there. The question for anyone is always, does it pass the sniff test?

Any advice for journalists wanting to get a job in the industry?

I have no journalism-specific career advice other than what I would give anyone embarking on any career: don’t do it simply because you can, do it because you just can’t stop yourself. A couple of quick clichés to finish: 1. The ends don’t justify the means, but the means should justify the ends. 2. Starting a career is easy, sustaining one is the challenge.

Q&A: Paola Totaro, gun for hire

Paola in Italy with Antoine, who migrated from the Ivory Coast. Photo: Ella Pellegrini (click on the photo for more photos from Ella's website)
Paola in Italy with Antoine, who migrated from the Ivory Coast. Photo: Ella Pellegrini (click on the photo to see more of Ella’s work)

Paola Totaro (@p_totaro) is an Australian freelance journalist living in London. She writes for numerous media organisations including Fairfax, News Corp, The Guardian, The Independent, the BBC and Tina Brown’s Women in the World in the New York Times. One of Paola’s powerful stories this year reveals the exploitation of immigrants working in the lucrative tomato industry in Italy, the world’s third-largest exporter of tinned tomatoes. She also broke the story of alleged safety and security breaches resulting from cost-cutting at the Australian embassy in Iraq, featured in a series of front-page stories in The Australian.

Paola has been nominated for a prestigious Walkley Award twice, and has just finished two years as president of the London-based Foreign Press Association. She spoke with JASMINE SUTHERLAND (@JazMamone)

What is your role in the media industry?

I am currently a freelance foreign correspondent, living and working in London. I arrived in the British capital in 2008 as Europe Correspondent for the SMH and The Age and when I was asked to return to head office, chose to remain in the UK to freelance. I now work for anyone, a kind of gun for hire, and am in the unusual position of working for both Fairfax and Murdoch (The Aus etc.) as well as The Guardian, BBC, NYT and other publications (or whoever will take my story pitches!) A sample of my work is on my journalism page at

What tasks are you given in this role?
I primarily pitch my own stories although increasingly, I am asked to conduct interviews and cover stories in the UK and Europe when the staff correspondents are busy or in the field, I interview, profile, cover breaking news – pretty much anything needed and often at a moment’s notice.

What experiences have you had working as a journalist?
I have 25 years working as a journalist and editor under my belt. I’ve interviewed Prime Ministers, covered elections in places as far away as East Timor and Italy, travelled on a plane with the Pope, been the only Australian journalist in Westminster Abbey when William and Kate married. It’s been a blast. And continues to be! Yesterday, I went to dinner at Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court that from medieval days trained barristers before they were called to the bar. I met a good number of the British High Court judges and when they are having a drink and relaxing it’s great fun! I also now that some of my most rewarding work has been telling the stories of those who are less fortunate, in refugee camps, in prisons, the homeless, victims of crime and more. Journalism allows you to be comfortable talking to anyone – and finding stories in every human being.

How did you become a journalist, and how old were you when you started?
It was a fluke. I was studying arts at Sydney Uni and decided to defer in my third year (I was also doing law and I hated it). I worked for a small media company and wrote a little piece about cliques at uni. My boss liked it and unbeknown to me, sent it to the SMH. I was called in for an interview and offered a three year cadetship. I never, ever looked back. (And finished my degree aged 41!). Two years ago, I went and did a Master’s with my redundancy money from the SMH! I started at the age of 21 at the SMH.

Is there any advice you would give to a future journalist who is looking to pursue the same career?
Write. Write. Don’t talk about writing. Write. And don’t fear asking questions. Be uninhibited, ballsy, and write some more.

Paola filing a story from St Peter's Square in Rome. Photo courtesy Paola Totaro
Paola filing a story from St Peter’s Square in Rome. Photo courtesy Paola Totaro

Report card: the course so far

Petersham TAFE’s Certificate IV class … sinking their teeth into journalism. Photo: Ed Brown



Twenty students have just experienced their first two weeks at Petersham TAFE in Sydney and are almost a day through their third. The course is Certificate IV Screen and Media (Journalism) and it is for people “who want to acquire knowledge and skills to pursue employment and/or further training in news media in the area of journalism,” as stated on the website. The course covers multiple parts of journalism, how to write both soft and hard stories, how to research for stories, the basics of interviewing and more.

The course is very multimedia, opening up various options for people who are not sure what kind of journalism they want to get into. It is also very accessible, as there are no entry requirements. Anybody and everybody can study here.

The feedback on the course has been positive. “So far I’ve enjoyed the course, yeah, quite involved in it. I’ve written about six stories so far,” says Paul, who is 24 years old. Paul has leapt right into news writing, with a growing collection of completed articles under his belt. “I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into journalism and actually getting out there with my work,” he said.

When it comes to parts of the course they really like, students say they like the social aspect of studying at TAFE. “What I enjoy the most is finding people that have the same interests as I do,” says Abdul, aged 18.

“The high point for me is getting to meet new people,” says Peter, who also thinks that the social aspect of the course is the best part.

Many of the students think they have learnt a lot so far, while some feel that they will need to wait a bit longer before saying that. “I think I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve started,” Abdul says.

“It makes me feel a lot more confident,” says Traudy, who also thinks she has a learnt a lot. Traudy was a bit scared of technology before starting, but now two weeks in she is feeling much better when it comes to using computers and various social media sites.

On a less positive front, some students admitted that they wished the course was a bit more practical, although there are practical parts of the course, such as radio class on Tuesdays, when the students practise interviewing each other. The positives strongly outweigh the negatives, however.

This group of Certificate IV students is definitely thinking about what they want to do after they have completed the six-month course. Some are considering doing the Diploma and going on to university. Others want try get work, and some just are not sure yet. “This is essentially a way of building a foundation in order to be a journalist,” George says.

All in all, the students are clearly enjoying themselves and are looking forward to the months to come.


Sam Alexander, Daily Tele intern

My time at The Daily Telegraph cannot be correctly described to represent how much of an amazing an experience it really was. In what was an amazing, eye-opening, invaluable opportunity, I give my never-ending thanks to my TAFE teachers and the Telegraph’s very own Josh Massoud.

Beginning on Monday (21/04/14) I was amazed at the initiative I was allowed to take, in that you really did your own work – you had to make the effort.

The Telegraph blessed me with some of the most incredible opportunities I never saw myself experiencing. Allowing me to independently attend media conferences, go to games and access change rooms after the match, interview players and coaches, make phone calls to sources and use the information to create my own articles, it has helped me grow as a person and student.

Creating my own story ideas using independent research was amazing in itself, but the publishing of these stories in the paper, with my name printed above absolutely blew me away. The sense of accomplishment that I have so rarely felt at an academic level will not be forgotten.

Finally, my formal thanks to The Daily Telegraph. I cannot describe how much I appreciate their provision of such an opportunity.

Sam continues to write sports reports for the NRL’s Big League Magazine and online site Sportal. He has completed a Certificate 4 in Screen & Media (Journalism), and is enrolled in the Diploma of Screen & Media (Journalism) in semester 2, 2014.

Kira-Lea Dargin, journalist & businesswoman

I am a 24-year-old businesswoman, entrepreneur (so they say) and mother of three. I have a background in modelling and Cert III qualification in Hair & Makeup. During 2011 I started out as a beauty assistant to the beauty editor with in Australian publication Pacific Magazines, based with in Prevention Magazine.

Following on from this I developed my own small business known as Aboriginal Model Management Australia, which over the past 2 years has flourished and since seen me named in the Stanfords Who’s who 2013 as a rising entrepreneur.

I have also gone on to study a Diploma of Business in Public Relations and a Diploma in Screen & Media Journalism at Petersham TAFE. In 2013 I became the first ever Australian Indigenous Fashion & Beauty columnist, currently contributing monthly style articles to the South Sydney Herald. I have covered every national runway show in Australia including Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Sydney, Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Adelaide Fashion Festival, Perth Fashion Festival, Perth Caged Fashion Event plus many others. I also covered my first international event during New York Fashion Week 2013.

In the last 12months I have featured in Cleo Magazine, Inspire Magazine, South Sydney Herald, NITV, SBS and Channel 7. Aside from my love of fashion I spend two days a week with Beauty PR house ‘PR Chicks’ where my duties include media liaison, press release development, monthly mail outs, client reports and event planning. I am also the Australian Agent for ‘The Synergy Events Emerging Trends Shows’ in London, Boston & NYC contracted bi-seasonal.

Kira-Lea starts (another!) job as a Fashion Assistant at InStyle Magazine this week.

Tina Zunic, journalist

I’m currently working at the Cooma Monaro Express as a journalist. I’ve been here for seven weeks now and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. Because it is a small office, I find that I experience a lot of hands-on work which I love! I’m often running around interviewing people and taking photos, then when I get back to the office I can type it all up and submit it for the paper. It may sound like a lot of work, but it is extremely rewarding seeing your piece of work in the paper for the community to see and when you get feedback from the community that’s even better. 

I find that TAFE prepared me well as it was practical and extremely hands on (Voxpoppin’ is probably one of the best things we could have learnt, because you face A LOT of rejection as a journalist. Also, our ‘interviews’ class, because it helped me develop so many skills that I use now when interviewing people everyday). 

I finished my degree of Communications and Media at UOW last year. It sounds crazy but I learnt more in my one year at TAFE than my two years at uni and I don’t hesitate to tell EVERYONE that!

Tina completed the Diploma of Communications and Media (Journalism) in 2012.