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Dennis Shanahan, Political Editor, The Australian

  • 26 May 2017 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel Sydney

With a lengthy career in the media spanning over forty years, The Australian Political Editor Dennis Shanahan has ridden the significant industry changes that have flowed from technological advancement remarkably well; changes that have also come to shape the flavour of Australian politics over the years.

His incisive analysis of events in Canberra and beyond has earned him not only a formidable reputation among peers in the field but also the respect of politicians from all sides of the political divide.

At the second of the Sydney Catholic Business Network events to be conducted at the Hyatt Regency this year, Shanahan’s nimble-footed navigation objectively cuts through the issues that have marked the move away from delivering news via traditional outlets to today’s fast-paced, content-hungry social media and the inevitable consequences. 

Politicians have especially felt the sting of instant public judgement as every misstep or perceived error is paraded for all to see. One of the results of which is that Australia has seen more prime ministers come and go than any other nation in recent times, and those who’d previously been on the fringes have gained political purchase.  Constituents’ low disappointment threshold means that now more than ever, there needs to be a clear communication of objectives and policies lest these get shot down amidst howls of protest, resulting in ineffectual decisions. 

Shanahan concludes that all forms of media have their place.  If we are to get the ‘best quality news’, using more than one source is the best approach, as is looking for the areas of expertise – for even as we consume what’s being produced out there, we owe it to ourselves to continually seek, question and analyse.