A publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne


Journalism vs the Big Banks with Adele Ferguson

The 2019 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism was delivered by leading investigative reporter Adele Ferguson, who is largely credited as the instigator of the royal commission into the banking sector.

The 2019 AN Smith Lecture

A long-time journalist and columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review, Adele Ferguson AM has won numerous awards, including the Gold Quill and the Gold Walkley. Several of her awards were for cross media projects she helmed with the ABC’s Four Corners program.

Her A.N.Smith lecture asked why journalism stepped up to protect the public from corporate greed while regulators failed, despite the huge financial constraints under which the media is currently operating. Adele’s investigations uncovered myriad scandals within the banking sector, exposed misconduct within franchising, and also unearthed wrongdoing within the retirement home industry. She also looked to the future by asking what can be done to ensure journalism continues to fulfil its vital role.

She is currently writing a book – Banking Bad: How greed and broken governance conspired to break our trust in corporate Australia – to be published by HarperCollins Australia. It will build on more than four years of reporting into bad behaviour by the banks.

The A.N.Smith, first held in 1938, is made possible by a generous bequest from the Smith family. Arthur Norman Smith was a founder of the Australian Journalists’ Association, who served as its first general president, and for five years as its general secretary.

Read a summary of the lecture here.




About The Citizen

THE CITIZEN is a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. It has several aims. Foremost, it is a teaching tool that showcases the work of the students in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism programs, giving them real-world experience in working for publication and to deadline. Find out more →

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