ACM has today announced details of its comprehensive editorial plan for the upcoming federal election, including a partnership with Garry Linnell (left in main photo) under its new national bulletin brand The Echidna.
ACM’s editorial director Rod Quinn said: “Our 2022 election coverage will combine the expertise of ACM’s federal political team with the deep local knowledge of our 600 journalists in towns and cities around the country.”
“Our chief political correspondent Karen Barlow leads an outstanding team of 10 reporters and analysts in Canberra. We will be following the key players around the country and exposing, analysing and explaining the policies, the posturing and the pork-barrelling. We will also be aiming for those exclusive stories that will make the ACM network and our mastheads such as The Canberra Times, the Newcastle Herald and The Examiner in Launceston a must-read during the campaign.”
“More than 7000 of our readers responded to our recent election survey to tell us the issues that are important to them. Our team will be pursuing those issues with candidates and leaders on behalf of ACM’s constituents — the people of regional Australia.”
“And now with the addition of our new daily national bulletin, The Echidna, we’re set to add a bit of fun and irreverence to our coverage. With its tagline ‘Sharp and close to the ground’, The Echidna will be the refreshing start to the day for keen election watchers and also for those weary of the same old politics.”
Published each weekday morning, The Echidna will initially take the form of an email newsletter beginning from March 14. It will feature the wit and insight of celebrated Australian writer Garry Linnell and the whimsical cartoons of Fiona Katauskas. Linnell is a Walkley-award winner and former editor of The Bulletin, The Daily Telegraph, editorial director for Fairfax and has also been a successful commercial radio host.
These days a full-time author, Linnell jumped at the chance to return to daily writing. As he tells it, election campaigns can be a drag. That is, unless you lean in on the daily stunts, outlandish campaign promises and those unpredictable moments of absurdity. “In the past couple of years we’ve had to cope with a global pandemic, the effects of global warming and a Russian president with global ambitions, and now they’re inflicting a federal election campaign on us.”
“The echidna is a pretty unconventional animal and we aim to be the same. We plan to make you smile – but we also want you to make you think.” said Linnell.
Joining Linnell is freelance cartoonist Fiona Katauskas (right in main photo), whose work has been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Bulletin, The Guardian, New Matilda, the ABC and many more. Katauskas has been a Walkley Awards finalist and her work frequently appears in the Behind the Lines exhibition of Australia’s best political cartoons.
A keen political observer, Katauskas is excited by the chance to occupy a place in subscribers’ daily routines – and hopes to enjoy some back-and-forth with newsletter readers. “With all the fat cats, dog whistles and general monkey business, election campaigns can be pretty beastly affairs. But if you’re after a bit of spiky to keep you in the picture (drawn with a quill pen!) then The Echidna is the only political animal you need.” Katauskus said.
The Echidna will be free to subscribers and will be promoted across ACM’s network of 140 mastheads. In addition to Linnell and Katauskas’ take on the quirks of the campaign, the bulletin will provide readers with ‘need to know’ stories from the political trail.
Readers can sign up to receive The Echidna in their inbox each weekday morning from March 14 by visiting theechidna.com.au.
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