British Columbia up in flames

Every year fires rage across Canada, but this year is shaping up to be extreme. More than 4 million hectares have been burnt already – that’s double the average. The province of British Columbia has exhausted all its resources, and those of its surrounding provinces, and last week around 80 firefighters from Australia flew in to help out.

As 2SER’s “Canadian Correspondent” I checked in with The Daily on Monday morning to fill Sydney in.

I’m in a band!

As absolutely anyone would know by my incessant bragging, I’m learning the drums and was lucky enough to get asked to play with a band. We’re called The Go No!s.

This was the Open Mic night at Pauper’s Pub on Bloor St, last Thursday night.

And no, you can’t see me in the video but believe me, I was looking terrified because this was my first live performance ever. Well, not quite. I used to perform piano at every school assembly, but that was way less cool.

People in Toronto should like our Facebook page.

P.S. Playing drums is much harder, but even more fun than it looks!

Overnights on ABC Local Radio – Update from Toronto

Here is the podcast from my interview with Sally Knight over the weekend on Overnights. I’ve been giving updates while I’ve been away and this time around we talked about Rob Ford, Bloody Caesars and all the festivals happening in Toronto.

Monday Daily – From The Archives

I asked my wonderful producer Kim Williams to choose her favourite interviews from my time hosting The Daily every Monday morning on Sydney community radio station 2SER.

Oscars Buzz with Richard Gray – Monday March 3

The 86th Academy Awards were about to begin. Richard Gray from Geek Movie Club joined me to discuss the field and share his hot tips for 2014.  I started off by asking him if it might finally be the year that Leo DiCaprio won a gold statue. (Poor Leo.)

 

Peter Greste on trial – Monday March 10

Despite worldwide condemnation of the arrests from the White House down, the Egyptian government is pressing ahead with a trial that has already sparked global protests, with many seeing the new military government’s actions as a politically motivated assault on the freedom of the press.

I was joined to discuss both the Egypt case and the increasingly dangerous world environment for journalists by the Executive Director of the International Press Institute in Vienna, Alison Bethel McKenzie, who began by outlining the charges the Al Jazeera journalists were up against.

Unfortunately, the situation is pretty much the same now in June as it was in March.

 

How has the BBC handled claims of bias? – Monday February 10

By mid-February it had been a heady couple of weeks for the media following the ABC’s reporting of asylum seeker claims that the Australian Navy deliberately inflicted burns on asylum seekers.

The explosive story shone a light on the role of our national broadcaster: the line between its independence and duty to report the facts without political interference and its responsibility to report those facts truthfully and without bias.

The BBC is no stranger to politicians at times launching attacks on its objectivity, labelling it biased and calling for a review of its practices.

So how has it fared over the years in the face of such attacks? Angela Phillips, a reader in journalism at Goldsmiths University of London gave us her insight.

I began by asking her about an incident where London’s colourful mayor, Boris Johnson had a go at the BBC for being biased when during an episode of its hit show “Sherlock”, a mocked up newspaper flashed up on screen containing a story claiming the Mayor of London, in a hair-brained scheme, planned to turn the Thames into a motorway. Johnson wasn’t mentioned by name but he claims it was a thinly disguised attack by the BBC to portray him as dithering, incoherent and self interested.