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cover art for The writer's craft and the state of contemporary discourse in the public square

Critical Line Item with Tom Ravlic

The writer's craft and the state of contemporary discourse in the public square

Journalist, author and broadcaster Justin Smith speaks about his three books written in recent years including his most recent yarn, called Good as Gold, and he touches on the things that inspire him as a writer. He gives us a unique perspective into his work as well as a broader chat about the troubles of discourse in the community. Can we actually speak freely and have a proper debate?

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  • A view on the Israel-Gaza conflict

    17:32
    Kenneth Katzman is a national security expert from the Soufan Center in the United States who has spent many decades studying the Middle East, its politics, and American foreign policy as it relates to the region. He shares his take in this podcast on the Israel-Gaza conflict and what he believes is necessary in order to bring some kind of return to negotiation in that region.
  • What factors contributed to the shootings in Wieambilla in December 2022?

    25:56
    Author John Kerr has a suite of true crime publications to his hame and his most recent book, The Wieambilla Shootings, sets out his take on the death of two police officers and a Wieambilla local when they were gunned down by conspiracy theorists. Kerr talks about the book and some of the implications of the shootings for the broader communmity.
  • 2023 - the year of kicking consulting firm tyres

    24:59
    Australian Greens' upper house representative Abigail Boyd has cooked up a storm in the NSW parliament as the chair of a committee looking at the way in which consultants are used by the government. The committee is due to report in the new year with only a handful of hearings left. Boyd tells Tom Ravlic that there are a few things the committee will recommend, and some ideas she thinks have merit. What are they? No spoilers - listen up!
  • What the heck are these sustainability standards? And where do they come from?

    35:55
    There are corporations and other entities that will be doing their best to understand and implement new standards for narrative disclosure. Sue Lloyd is the deputy chair of the Interational Sustainability Standards Board, and she provides a helicopter view of what this process for setting standards is - and the various implications of the new things people will see when the leaf through corporate reports.
  • Mute the noisy galahs in the Voice debate

    24:25
    The Hallway is a boutique advertising agency that had a great idea and its chief creative office Simon Lee tells Tom Ravlic how this idea - an ad to try to get respectful conversation happening on the Voice - came about. The ad features a kangaroo, an emu, and some noisy galahs. Listen ot the poddie and then watch the short video at https://www.noisygalahs.com/ ,
  • Boyd and the NSW edition of consultants behaving badly

    35:41
    The Commonwealth Parliament has been looking at consultants but it is not the only legislature in the country giving the public service and its outsourced brains a good look. Australian Greens' Abigail Boyd is a member of the NSW Upper House. She is the chair of a committee looking closely at how the NSW government engages and deals with consultants. She reveals the motivations behind the inquiry and talks about some of the things that surprised her even given her experience as a corporate lawyer dealing with banking regulation. Boyd also says that the public service and the consultants it hires are not going to have a quiet time of it. The inquiry will keep on gong until they stop having things to look at ....
  • Psychosocial hazards in the workplace

    18:45
    Rehab Management chief executive officer Renee Thronton spends her time looking at workplace issues and she joins Tom Ravlic to explain what the new WorkSafe rules are around the issues of making a workplace psycholofically as well as physically safe for employees.
  • More on consultants behaving badly .... a view from Senator Pocock

    24:22
    Consulting and accounting firms have been under fire for much of 2023 thanks to the curiosity about their operations expressed by the individuals such as Senator Barbara Pocock, a member of a committee considering what to do with consulting practices that receive government contracts. She updates listeners on her thinking about the sector and the issues that continue to surprise.