Election 2013 media panel

An unpredictable panel is a good panel

Could the producers of the ABC’s Q&A have predicted that the election would be called last Sunday?

Yes. So could they have predicted that you’d need a little more, well, balance on the first election Q&A? Well, yes.

So, heavy-hitter for heavy-hitter. And experience for experience. Labor senator Doug Cameron accounts for Liberal MP Greg Hunt (one for each major party).

But then the panel was like one of those seesaws with three kids on one side and the toddler on the other, stuck in the air.

  • Grahame Morris, federal director of Barton Deakin, famous for letting us know: “Well, Leigh [Sales] can be a real cow sometimes when she is doing her interviews.”

  • Pam Williams, whose book Killing Fairfax has had prime coverage in mainstream media since its launch; and whose employer excerpted the editorial on page one, making it quite clear it advocated a change of government (all the attention yesterday was on The Daily Telegraph’s front page but the Fin did it too, although with less bravado).

  • And Yassmin Abdel-Magied, founder of Youth Without Borders, the one surprise element of the evening’s panel, but whose views were clearly progressive.

Marina Go, publisher at Private Media, wrote about her brush with #qanda selection; and said that the producers were looking for fresh, strong women to be panellists. It’s a beef of mine - not just because I’m a feminist, but because diversity makes for lively telly.

And in the run-up to this election, I’m desperate for more difference and not more of the same.