Christie Murray, David

david christie murrayDavid Christie Murray (1847 – 1907) was an English journalist and novelist.  The son of a printer, Christie-Murray first wrote for Fleet Street papers the Daily News, the World, and for the London Times, reporting on the Russo-Turkish conflict as a ‘special correspondent’.

By 1889 he was a well known novelist. While on his lecture tour of Australia that year, he wrote a series of reports for the Age on Australian topics, such as attending the Melbourne Cup, and travelling the Blue Mountains.

Murray disappeared after his lecture tour, only to re-emerge five months later, telling friends he’d been staying with Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa. He spent the remainder of his life in England and travelling the lecture circuit of the USA.

Representative articles






Bedford, George Randolph

George Randolph Bedford 1868 – 1941 was first captivated by the idea of journalism at the age of 18. In his autobiography, Naught to Thirty Three,  he  writes, ‘I saw my first copy of The Bulletin and entered a new world. The only journalism I had seen before was dull and horribly respectable…and now here was The Bulletin, all the rich record of Australian life suddenly finding publication’ (1944:80).

His first newspaper job was in Bourke, but his fascination with the mining industry saw him move to the Broken Hill Argus in 1888. After a stint on the Adelaide Advertiser, he worked at the Age, becoming its crime reporter. In 1896, he launched the Clarion, a literary and mining journal, with Lionel Lindsay as part-time editor and illustrator. His later journalism included articles on mining and other topics for Lone Hand.

Bedford wrote a small work of literary journalism,  “The Retail Brand of Gentleman” (1893) for The Bulletin, then a series of articles about London (1902/1903).

Like so many journalists of the era, Bedford also wrote novels, plays and short stories. He was also drawn to politics. He joined the Queensland parliament in 1917 and remained in parliament until his death in 1941.

Representative articles


  • Bedford, Randolph (1944 / 1976), Nought to Thirty Three, Currawong Publishing Company, Melbourne

Lawson, Henry

henry lawsonHenry Lawson (1867-1922) is known primarily as a short story writer and balladist, however he was also a prolific journalist. Throughout his writing career, and parallel to his fiction and poetry, Lawson wrote articles that ranged from social commentary to vivid literary journalism.

Prior to 1901, Lawson wrote articles for The Bulletin, The Australian Star, The Worker, The Boomerang, Louisa Lawson’s Republican, and The New Zealand Mail.  J.F Archibald, founder of The Bulletin, encouraged Lawson in both fiction and non-fiction by funding a rail ticket to drought stricken Bourke in 1892, which remained a central influence on Lawson’s writings for years to come, including the literary journalism works, “In a Wet Season” (1893) and “In a Dry Season”(1892)  published in The Bulletin. Some of this literary journalism is included in Lawson’s best known book, While The Billy Boils (1896).

His literary journalism was most vivid when he was travelling, in which he replaced opinion with narrative, dialogue and characterisation; from exhaustion in the Australian bush, idling on a ship outside the Sydney Heads, living in West Australia and New Zealand, and stopping in exotic ports en route to London, in which he wrote “A Stroll To The Strand” (1903).

Lawson died in 1922, aged 55, and he was given a State Funeral which was at odds with his poverty stricken life. A memorial statue, sculpted by George Lambert, is in the Domain, Sydney.

Representative Articles:
  • “Albany before the Boom”, Australian Star 30 September 1899
  • In A Wet Season” The Bulletin, 2 December, 1893
  • In A Dry Season” While The Billy Boils, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia 1896
  • “Coming Across, A Study in Steerage” The New Zealand Mail serialised 18 and 29 December, 1893
  • Some Reflections on a Voyage across Cook’s Straits” (N.Z.) [Across the Straits] Worker, 12 January 1895 
  • “A Stroll To The Strand”, The Bulletin, 19 November 1903

Paterson A B (Banjo)

banjo-paterson-at-campsite-1Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson  (1864-1941)best known as a bush poet, was also a journalist and war correspondent.  He began writing journalism in the 1890s, contributing prose pieces about his travels through the Northern Territory and other places to the Sydney Mail, the Pastoralists’ Review, the Australian Town and Country Journal, the Lone Hand and the Bulletin.

In 1899, he sailed to South Africa to cover the Boer War for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age as their war correspondent. While there, he was attached to General French’s column from where he reported on the capture of Pretoria, the relief of Kimberley and the surrender of Bloemfontein. Because of the quality of his reporting, he was appointed a correspondent on the war for Reuters.

Paterson returned to Sydney in 1900 and sailed to China the following year as a roving correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald. From 1903 till 1908, he was editor of the Sydney Evening News. When World War 1 broke out, he sailed to England hoping to cover the fighting from Flanders, but this was not to be. He returned to Australia in 1915 and was commissioned in the 2nd Remount Unit, Australian Imperial Force and served in the Middle East.

After the war ended, Paterson continued his journalism, contributing articles to both the Sydney Mail and Smith’s Weekly before becoming editor of the Sydney Sportsman in 1922.  In 1934, his memoir of famous people he had met on his travels over the previous four decades was published as Happy Dispatches. In1939, the year he was appointed C.B.E, he wrote reminiscences for the Sydney Morning Herald. Two years later, he died after a short illness and was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Collected Prose by A B “Banjo” Paterson, Project Gutenberg. e-book.
  • Off Down the Track: Racing and Other Yarns, Campbell, R and Harvie, P (ed’s), Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, 1986.
  • From the Front: A. B. (Banjo) Paterson’s Dispatches from the Boer War, Droogleever, R.W.F (ed), Pan Macmillan: Sydney, 2002.

A number of Paterson’s non-fiction stories, particularly concerning his favourite sport, horse racing, can be found in Haynes, J (ed), The Best Australian Yarns and Other True Stories, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2013.

Representative examples:

Town and Country:

Boer War Reporting: