Politics, journalism and a dash of satire


It wouldn’t be Byron Writers Festival without a good dose of political probing. Last year’s Festival pondered the potential of a world with Trump at the helm. This year we’re daring to delve deeper into the world’s complex geo-political pulse, confronting the reality of Trump, Brexit and other major global political realities.

All three days will offer up plenty of sessions for the more politically inclined amongst us. First-up on Friday is ‘Australia: Still Lucky?’ with Rebecca Huntley, Laura Tingle and David Marr; peppered throughout the day are conversations with Tony Jones, John Safran and Roger Cohen, who will later be joined by celebrated investigative journalists Mei Fong, Christina Lamb and Kerry O’Brien to bravely tackle ‘The State of the World’.

Get in early for our Saturday morning favourite The Saturday Paper over coffee with David Marr and editor Erik Jensen. Back-to-back sessions will allow you to catch Mei Fong in conversation with Caroline Baum, hear Peter FitzSimons give his ‘Case for a Republic’ in the annual Thea Astley Lecture, then join New York Times columnist Kenan Malik, David Marr and John Safran as they joust on local and international extremism in ‘Depends What You Mean by Extremist’. Want the inside scoop? Then let Jensen take you behind the scenes in ‘How the Media Makes the News’ with Malcom Farr, Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Laura Tingle.

Sunday early birds will get the juiciest of worms as David Marr unravels the second coming of Pauline Hanson in ‘The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race’. Take in the view from ‘Balcony over Jerusalem’ with Sylvie Le Clezio, John Lyons, Edna Carew, or gain perspective on the world’s refugee crisis in ‘Offshore: Stories from Behind the Wire’ with Roger Cohen, Medline Gleeson, Morris Gleitzman and Adam Shoemaker.

This is just a brief roll-call of the journalists and commentators who will be taking the stage. One thing is for sure: Whatever your political agenda, the 2017 Byron Writers Festival will no doubt open new perspectives on the issues facing our ever-changing world.

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Learn more at byronwritersfestival.com