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Chris Masters on joining Four Corners

By ACMI, 2009 2:23 minutes

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Chris Masters did not come to Four Corners via the usual current affairs career path. As a result, he felt less constrained by established conventions. His first story, ‘The Big League’ (1983), began as an inquiry into the New South Wales Rugby League, but it grew into a much larger investigation that revealed systemic corruption and eventually led to a Royal Commission. In this case, putting the program together was only the first part of his role as journalist; the next step was defending his allegations in response to subsequent legal action.

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Discussion Points

The ABC’s Four Corners program has a long history, and by the time Chris Masters joined the team it had a strong reputation. The program is still one of the ABC’s flagship television productions.

  • What is the role of current affairs television?
  • How important is reputation in current affairs television?

Chris Masters comments that his lack of experience in news and current affairs meant that he “didn’t know what you couldn’t do”.

  • How could this be an advantage in investigative journalism?
  • What does Masters mean when he says that ‘The Big League’ was his first experience of a program with ‘a long tail’?