The Sydney Morning Herald Launches Special Edition Celebrating 50 Years Of Economics Writer Ross Gittins

The Sydney Morning Herald Launches Special Edition Celebrating 50 Years Of Economics Writer Ross Gittins
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



One of Australia’s most respected economic writers, Ross Gittins, today marks 50 years as a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald

When Gittins started work at the Herald in February 1974 Gough Whitlam was prime minister, a typical worker was paid $119 a week, the value of the Australian dollar was set by a committee of bureaucrats, three-quarters of full-time jobs were held by men and Sydney’s median house price was about $30,000.

In the five decades of sweeping change that followed, Gittins’ knack for explaining economics in understandable language has been revered by Reserve Bank governors and readers alike.

His first column was published in September 1974. Four years later he was appointed the Herald’s economics editor and by 1983 he was writing three columns a week, which he still does. Gittins is the longest continuously serving columnist in the Herald’s 193-year history.

The Herald celebrates Gittin’s half-century with a special edition of today’s newspaper and a series of online content, including letters from readers and tributes by national figures from the fields of media, economics and politics. Staff will also gather to watch the official unveiling of the newly renamed Ross Gittins Conference Room, where key newsroom decisions are made each day.

“Ross is the doyen of Australian economic commentators,” said Bevan Shields, editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. “He has always been totally committed to the best interests of his readers, and they seem to adore him as much as he adores them”.

Many readers will be unaware of the role Gittins has played in training economics journalists. He has mentored (and in some cases selected) more than 20 reporters, many of whom have gone on to senior roles in national and international media organisations.

“Ross’ mentoring of young reporters has made a huge contribution to the Herald newsroom but also to quality journalism in Australia,” said Shields.

Australia has had 16 different federal treasurers during Gittins’ career. He has identified Paul Keating as the best he had seen. Peter Costello was ranked second best and Wayne Swan third.

“The truth is, I can’t believe the Herald’s been so good to me for so long,” said Gittins.

“I hope I’ve given them their money’s worth, but I’ve enjoyed almost every day of it. And the years of gratification I’ve had from our readers – the people stopping me in the street to say they like my work – is more than anyone could deserve.”

The Herald and Sydney University will host a special event at the university’s historic Great Hall on March 7. Gittins will also deliver a masterclass to media, economics and politics students on the same day.

“Over the course of fifty years at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross has made a huge contribution to the quality journalism, leadership and impact of our work for the community,” said Mike Sneesby, Nine CEO.

“I thank Ross for that contribution and congratulate him on an outstanding career. Most significantly we recognise how much our readers and audiences value his insights and analysis, and we look forward to that continuing at a time when often the community feels concerned or unsure in a rapidly changing world. Thank you Ross from all at Nine, we feel proud and honoured to have you as part of our team”.




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