Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leadership, but as the planet warms and the pandemic persists, democracies are faltering and true accountability seems somewhat lacking. Triple J Hack’s Shalailah Medhora leads a panel of renowned journalists in a conversation ranging from how governments do (and don’t) take responsibility when things go bad to accountability in the face of reporting sexual misconduct and leaders’ divergent responses to COVID-19. Ultimately, they ask: who’s in charge? And where does the buck stop? Featuring The Guardian’s David Marr, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Kate McClymont (Dead Man Walking) and The Monthly’s Nick Feik.

This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers' Festival.   

This recording is available on all major podcast platforms.


Nick Feik (Australian)

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the Editor of The Monthly magazine. As a writer, he has contributed to The AgeThe Saturday PaperThe Drum and the Economist Intelligence Unit on politics, environmentalism, economics and popular culture. Prior to The Monthly, he was programmer at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

David Marr (Australian)

David Marr

David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for The Guardian. He’s published a couple of biographies and a number of books about politics, censorship and immigration. Over the last 10 years he has written a number of Quarterly Essays. His latest is The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race. He previously presented Media Watch and appears regularly on Insiders and The Drum. His most recent book is My Country, an anthology of essays.

Kate McClymont (Australian)

Kate McClymont

Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald. She is a seven-time winner of journalism’s most prestigious award, the Walkley, including the Gold Walkley for her coverage of the Bulldogs salary cap rorts. She was named the 2012 NSW Journalist of the Year for her investigations into the fraudulent activities of Michael Williamson, the head of the Health Services Union, and the business activities of former NSW Labor minister, Eddie Obeid. In 2017, she was inducted into the Media Hall of Fame for her contribution to the industry. Her latest book, Dead Man Walking, tells the complete story of the lives and shoddy business deals of Michael McGurk and Ron Medich. It was Kate in whom millionaire businessman Michael McGurk confided that he feared for his life, just one week before he was fatally gunned down outside his Sydney home.

Shalailah Medhora (Australian)

Shalailah Medhora

Shalailah Medhora is the Political Reporter for Triple J's current affairs program, Hack. She has been working in the Press Gallery of Parliament House for ten years, first for SBS, then The Guardian before returning to where it all started for her – radio. Shalailah believes politics should be accessible and relevant to all voters.