News Corp's national defence writer Ian McPhedran retires from journalism

By Briana Healey in Media News on
National defence writer Ian McPhedran recently announced his retirement as a long-term correspondent at News Corp, having reported news firsthand from the scene of active international war-zones for over forty years.
The Sydney-based journalist and author has become an industry fixture for his stories on conflicts and diplomacy, which have appeared across all News Corp mastheads such as the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, The Advertiser and NT News.
He is also the author of five best-selling books including his scintillating non-fiction works "The Amazing SAS" and "Soldiers Without Borders".
Reflecting on his career to Influencing, McPhedran said the twenty years he spent writing on defence for News Corp was the most rewarding period of his professional life.
“Covering conflicts such as the 2003 ’shock and awe’ bombing of Baghdad can be confronting but it lays bare the human condition and exposes the worst and best traits of our species,” he said.
“I travelled the world and covered some of the biggest stories in recent history and was privileged to observe members of the Australian Defence Force doing their jobs in places as diverse as East Timor, Cambodia, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Preferring to switch tack from news publishing to full-time authoring, McPhedran said that after forty-one years in the business, it was time for a change and to renew his focus on book writing.
“I have published five books so far, including several best sellers, and have a few more that I want to write. The media game has also changed dramatically in recent times and much of the fun appears to have gone from the business of journalism as click bait takes over the world,” he said.
McPhedran said the most important stories he published throughout his career were those which resulted in a change for the better.
“In many cases that meant going into bat for war veterans or others who had received a raw deal,” he explained.
“The one story that stays with me was the luckiest baby in the world who I met during the PNG Vanimo tsunami tragedy, when I found a woman and her newborn who had been washed high into a palm tree by the wave and so survived while the rest of the family perished. It was an incredible human story.”
Notably, McPhedran was the recipient of the United Nations Association peace media award in 1993 and his expose of the navy's Collins class submarine fiasco won the Walkley award for best news report in 1999.
McPhedran added that he has been fortunate to work with, and against, some incredible colleagues.
“I was lucky to strike editors such as Chris Mitchell, Peter Blunden and Mel Mansell and snappers such as Dave Highet, John Feder and Gary Ramage,” he said. “I also worked alongside great reporters including Lindsay Murdoch, Mark Dodd, Sally Sara and Steve Lewis."
“Journalism has been very good to me and after forty-one years I look back with fond memories of great times, terrific yarns, wonderful mates and a business that might not pay as well as others but offers more fun than any job I know.”

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Bauer Media’s last issue of Money will be for April 2019. Current Money editor Effie Zahos stays on with Bauer as its finance editor and financial literacy advocate, but magazine chairman and chief commentator Paul Clitheroe will shift to Rainmaker. Zahos aid with the transition effort alongside deputy editor Maria Bekiaris. Bekiaris, however, is exiting Bauer after the transition; she had been with the magazine since February 2001.

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