Sophie Black talks to respected journalist and social commentator David Marr, and satirist, documentarian and writer John Safran about the politics of fear in Australia today. David’s Quarterly Essay The Quarterly Essay: The White Queen examines the power of the fearful in this confident and prosperous nation, while John’s Depends What You Mean By Extremist explores the world of misfits who propelled the second coming of Pauline Hanson and foreshadowed the era of Trump. This is an insight into contemporary Australia and its extremes. 

David Marr (Australian)

Marr, David c Christopher Ireland.jpg

David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia and The Monthly. He has been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is the author of five bestselling Quarterly Essays.

John Safran (Australian)

Safran, John c Penguin Random House.jpg

John Safran is an author and documentary maker. His debut book Murder In Mississippi won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime and iTunes iBook Best Non-Fiction for 2013. In 2015, John hung up his headphones after co-hosting Sunday Night Safran (Triple J) for ten years with Father Bob Maguire before returning to our screens in The Goddam Election! for SBS. Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going Rogue with Australian Depolorables is his second book.

Sophie Black (Australian)

Black, Sophie c Elaine Reyes.jpg

Sophie Black is the content strategist at the Wheeler Centre where she has also acted as head of programming. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up the titles Crikey, Women’s Agenda, SmartCompany, StartUpSmart and Property Observer. In 2013 she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. She has written on subjects such as immigration, the publishing and advertising industries, climate change, the media, Indigenous affairs, US and federal politics. Sophie was also deputy editor of the weekly magazine The Reader after working in film and TV production.