Australia has produced extraordinary journalists across three generations: Wilfred Burchett (deceased in 1983), John Pilger (80 years old but still active) and Julian Assange (48 years old, currently in London’s Belmarsh prison).
Each of these journalists made unique contributions to our understanding of the world. Although Australia is part of the western world, each of these journalists exposed and criticized Western foreign policy.
Wilfred Burchett lived from 1911 to 1983. He was a farm boy and his experience in the depression shaped his dislike of oligarchs and preference for the poor. He went to Europe trying to volunteer for Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but that did not work out. Instead, he assisted Jews escaping Nazi Germany.
Burchett became a journalist by accident. Having seen the reality in Germany, he started writing many letters to newspaper editors. One of the editors took note of his fluid writing style and intensity. They contacted him to ask if he would like to report for them. Thus began a forty year writing career.
He covered WW2, first stationed with British troops in India then Burma. Then he covered the Pacific campaign stationed with U.S. troops. He was the first international journalist to report on …