News

O'Brien relates years in spotlight

Kerry O’Brien.
Kerry O’Brien. Contributed

LIFE on the Northern Rivers seems to suit investigative journalist Kerry O'Brien.

"It's like no other place I can think of in Australia," O'Brien told the audience at Byron United's business breakfast yesterday.

But he has been surprised by our persistent sub-tropical rain.

"You've got to take the bad with the good and I do quite like the rain," O'Brien laughed.

The discussion between O'Brien and radio's Phil Daly gave insight into Australia's most trusted current affairs interviewer.

And when it comes to the modern media it's clear O'Brien has a dim view of the 24-hour-news cycle.

"The question is, is the news of a higher quality? No. Is it more superficial? Yes," O'Brien said.

"I suspect deep down we are less satisfied with what we're getting."

In his 46 years as a journalist, O'Brien has interviewed everyone from Nelson Mandela to Margaret Thatcher and Bette Midler.

But he said his favourite person to interview was politician John Button and that interviewing President Barack Obama was a breath of "fresh air" in comparison to Australian politicians.

He also discussed war reporting and said reporters embedded with US troops in the second Gulf War failed to cover the civilian side of the story.

"To me it felt eerily like war as entertainment," O'Brien said.

He also recalled the pressure of being one of around 500 correspondents trying to upload vision of the US invasion of Grenada.

O'Brien said he still remembered the thrill of knowing his pictures were "hitting living rooms" in Australia.

"It was magic then and to me, it's still magic," O'Brien said.

Topics:  byron united, current affairs, journalist




Child killer claims constant fear of violence in jail

Warren Ross boards a police car at the King Street Court in Sydney in May 2014.

Ross once boasted he could make the child scream just showing a belt

Parents' worst nightmare: Daughter, 6, could be deported

The family of six-year-old Lennox Head girl Sienna Tippett have applied for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene so she doesn't get deported for having an undiagnosed mystery illness.

A Northern Rivers family has started the fight of their life.

Avocados drop to 79 cents each

Avocados advertised at Farmer Charlies in Lismore for 79 cents each

Holy guacamole! Avocados in Lismore are how much?

Latest deals and offers

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Metal havoc this week at New Tattersalls Hotel

Only Machines Remain play Lismore on 6th August. Photo Contributed

Only Machines Remain to play Lismore this week

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started