Paul Barry

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Paul James Barry (born 24 February 1952) is a British-born, Australian-based journalist, who has won many awards for his investigative reporting. He previously worked for the BBC on numerous programs, before emigrating to Australia.


Barry started his journalistic career in London, as an economics correspondent for Investors Chronicle. In 1978, he joined the BBC as a reporter for The Money Programme, Newsnight, and then Panorama. In 1986 he moved to Australia and started work with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

From 1987 to 1994 he worked as an investigative reporter for the ABC's flagship current affairs program Four Corners specialising in economic matters, government departmental failures and corporate governance. A series of reports on disgraced businessman Alan Bond (and his company Bond Corporation) brought his work to national prominence in 1993. He also wrote the book The Rise and Fall of Alan Bond and a TV report on the Wittenoom industrial disaster, "Blue Death".[1]

In 1995, Barry joined the Seven Network to present a short-lived news program The Times. He was later the presenter of the current affairs program Witness in 1997. He then returned to the ABC to host the Media Watch program in 2000. He was effectively sacked from this show by ABC head Jonathan Shier after a controversial interview with ABC Chair Donald McDonald on the subject of government funding for the ABC.[2] However, in August 2010, Barry acted as Media Watch's temporary host for three months while Jonathan Holmes took long-service leave.[3]

In 2001 he published a book, "Going for Broke – How Alan Bond Got Away with It". For the next two years he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald, winning an additional Walkley Award exposing a tax scam involving prominent barristers in Sydney. He has served as a Walkley Award judge[4] and on a past Walkley advisory board.[5] He also wrote a book Rich Kids, documenting the collapse of One.Tel. In 2004 he moved to Channel 9 to work as an investigative reporter for 60 Minutes . In February 2011, Alan Bond published a rebuttal[6] of an article written by Barry in December 2010 about Bond's investment in Global Diamond Resources Plc.[7]

In 2006, Barry released a biography on Australian cricketer Shane Warne, called Spun Out. Extracts of the book were published in The Age's Good Weekend magazine, and some of the content was controversial.[8]

During October 2009, Barry was the subject of criticism from Australian business identities for his 2009 unauthorised biography of media and gambling mogul James Packer. The book details relations between the younger Packer and his father Kerry, citing anonymous sources as stating the pair had a difficult relationship, and that James was "relieved" by his father's death. Business leaders and friends of the Packers including former Nine Network CEO Eddie McGuire and mining tycoon Andrew Forrest defended James Packer.[9] Upon launching the book, Barry dismissed the criticism, calling the book "fair" and "considered"[10]

In August 2011 Barry was appointed as a senior writer at Private Media's The Power Index, "a free website [which] offers daily news, views and features about power and influence in Australia."[11]

On 3 July 2013, Barry returned as the host of Media Watch following the earlier decision of Jonathan Holmes to leave the show.[12][13]

Political views[edit]

When conservative broadcaster Andrew Bolt described Barry as "of the Left" upon his re-appointment to the Media Watch program in 2013, Barry said: "I would certainly describe myself as to the left of Andrew Bolt, so on that basis I am left-wing. But in no other basis do I think I’m left-wing. I believe in the free market, I believe in freedom of speech, I believe actually in privatisation, I believe in an awful lot of things that would make me a free-marketeer and, you know, a liberal."[14]


  • 1993 Logie Award for Best Public Affairs Report, ABC Four Corners "Other People's Money"
  • 1993 Walkley Award for Best Business Report, ABC Four Corners "Rich man, poor man"
  • 2001 Walkley Award for Best News Report, Sydney Morning Herald "Tax Cheats"
  • 2011 Blake Dawson Business Literature Prize[15]


  • 1991: The Rise And Fall of Alan Bond, ISBN 1-86359-037-4
  • 1994: The Rise And Rise of Kerry Packer, ISBN 1-86359-338-1
  • 2000: Going For Broke : How Bond Got Away with It, ISBN 1-86325-197-9
  • 2001: Going For Broke : How Bond Got Away with It (Revised and Updated), ISBN 1-86325-198-7
  • 2002: Rich Kids : How the Murdochs and Packers Lost $950 Million in One.Tel, ISBN 1-86325-338-6
  • Rich Kids : How the Murdochs and Packers Lost $950 Million in One.Tel (Revised and Updated), ISBN 1-86325-339-4
  • 2006: Spun Out : the Shane Warne Story, ISBN 0-593-05662-0
  • 2009: Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? : the James Packer Story,
  • 2013: Breaking news : sex, lies & the Murdoch succession, ISBN 978-1-74175-978-5


External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Richard Ackland
Presenter of Media Watch
Succeeded by
David Marr
Preceded by
Jonathan Holmes
Presenter of Media Watch