World News – UA – ‘Master of political interviewing’ Paul Murphy dies at 77


Australian journalist Paul Murphy, best known for his ten-year tenure as ABC’s PM program host and SBS’s first Dateline host, has died at age 77

He was in the host’s chair at PM when Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster prison and during protests in Tiananmen Square

Murphy first joined ABC in the late 1960s and became a political reporter in the Canberra Press Gallery, before joining the groundbreaking ABC TV news show This Day Tonight

In 1994 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to public broadcasting and journalism In 2000 he received the Walkley Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism

Former 730 host Kerry O’Brien described Murphy as a role model for him and a dear friend

« Paul was a shining light in Australian public broadcasting; a man of fierce intelligence, rapier spirit and total integrity who paved the way, pursued scoundrels and was master of political interview « 

« The first thing you remember about him, of course, was his wonderfully rich voice, but beneath his brilliance and excellent timing and ability to ask penetrating questions, deep down like so many brilliant performers, he was rather insecure capacities ”, he says

Greg Wilesmith, a PM reporter in the late 1980s, said Murphy read, listened to and watched absolutely everything

Working for ABC turned out not to be enough for Murphy, and he took on the role of Dateline’s first host while hosting the PM

Andrew Potter explained that there was a period when Murphy finished at ABC at 6 p.m. daily and then crossed the Sydney Harbor Bridge at SBS to host the nighttime edition of Dateline

Greg Wilesmith eventually joined Murphy at Dateline and said his presenter was never « weak or meek »

He may have been a tough reporter, but Murphy is also remembered for featuring the less than tough segment of South Coast News on Triple J’s comedy show This Sporting Life with Roy and HG

ABC Managing Director David Anderson offered his sincere condolences to Murphy’s family and friends on behalf of everyone on the National Public Channel

« He will always be an important part of the history of ABC and Australian journalism »

« He had integrity, authority and was a natural communicator. He also had great warmth, which made him as appreciated by colleagues and the public as he was respected »

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Paul Murphy

World News – UA – « Master of Political Interviewing » Paul Murphy dies at 77



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