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Truthteller by Stephen Davis


STEPHEN DAVIS on how we can win the War on Truth

There's a war on truth, and the liars are winning.

So goes the warning of veteran investigative journalist Stephen Davis about the state of our media landscape. In his new book, Truthteller, Stephen reveals the 'toolbox' of methods used by governments and corporations to mislead the public and dodge accountability.

Here he tells Angus Dalton fascinating stories from his life as a journalist, from M16 agents and Russian threats to an unresolved case of alleged murder in Sydney, and how we foot-soldiers can contribute to the War on Truth.


Breaking and Entering



JEREMY N SMITH on befriending a powerful hacker called Alien

At a local playground where his daughter was playing, writer Jeremy N Smith met a woman who turned out to be a cybersecurity expert and a seasoned hacker. They got talking about her life and Jeremy quickly became fascinated.

His new book, Breaking and Entering: The extraordinary story of a hacker called Alien, is the result of that chance meeting. It's a fascinating profile of a daring hacker, a deep-dive into the history of cybersecurity, and a troubling wake-up call for those of us who'd rather not think about how vulnerable we are to hackers in our hyper-connected world. 

Here Jeremy tells Angus Dalton about the death-defying form of hacking Alien was introduced to at MIT, and reveals why he's ditched using Google as a result of hanging out with hackers.


The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper


CHLOE HOOPER on the Black Saturday bushfires: ‘It was like lighting a bomb’

On 7 February, 2009, hundreds of bushfires tore across Victoria, taking 173 lives and destroying over 40 000 hectares of bushland and private property.

In this podcast, we sit down with with Walkley Award-winning author and journalist Chloe Hooper to speak about her new book The Arsonist, a captivating and haunting retelling of the Black Saturday bushfires through the eyes of those who were there, as well as the subsequent investigation and trial of firebug Brendan Sokaluk.

Chloe shares her own experience of the fires that swept past her house in Northern Victoria, discusses the role and response of governments when it comes to managing fires on a rapidly warming planet, and helps to answer the burning question: what kind of person is an arsonist?


Home by Ben Quilty 


BEN QUILTY on the book that should be in every school, lounge room and library

In 2016, Archibald Prize-winning artist Ben Quilty travelled with Richard Flanagan to places where the Syrian refugee crisis was peaking. He had no idea what to make of the experience until he met a young girl named Heba, and asked her to draw him a picture of her home.


Follow the Leader by Laura Tingle



LAURA TINGLE on political chaos and YA fiction

As ABC political correspondent Laura Tingle put the finishing touches on her latest Quarterly Essay, Follow the Leader: Democracy and the rise of the strongman, Canberra descended into chaos. Dutton challenged, Turnbull fell, Morrison won.

After some lightning-fast edits, the updated essay came out in the wake of the turmoil, and it examines Australian politics and the leaders of Germany, America, and China in order to answer the question in the minds of many: What the hell is going on?

Angus Dalton quizzes Laura on the connections between political leadership and YA fiction, Trump’s Voldemortian qualities, and what needs to change in order for us to see a Prime Minister survive a full term.