Law in the digital era: What goes into creating investigative podcasts?



This podcast is now available to listen to here.

The phenomenally successful ‘Serial’ and other investigative podcasts have ushered in a new age in journalism and focused the public mind on the legal process in a whole new way.

Listen to this one-off podcast to hear from the people behind TRACE (Rachael Brown) and Phoebe’s Fall (Richard Baker), together with ABC Radio National’s The Law Report (Damien Carrick), as they discuss the intricacies and hurdles in producing an investigative podcast in today’s legal landscape, and how this format can raise public awareness of law enforcement and the justice system.

Hosted by Lynne Haultain, Executive Director of Victoria Law Foundation and former ABC broadcaster.

This podcast is presented by Victoria Law Foundation as part of Law Week 2018, an events festival that makes learning about the law easy for Victorians. More than 200 Law Week events will run this year, so there’s something for everyone – view the full program here.

Our guests

Rachael Brown, TRACE

Rachael Brown is a journalist for the ABC based in Melbourne, and the host and creator of the true crime podcast TRACE.

Mother of two Maria James was stabbed to death in the back of her suburban Melbourne bookshop in June 1980. Her killer has never been found.

Was it a scorned lover? A random stranger? Or was the murder tied up in the sins of the Catholic Church?

Presented by ABC investigative reporter Rachael Brown, TRACE sifts through evidence to see whether police missed anything at the time, revisits suspects, and finds a new one of its own.

Richard Baker, Phoebe's Fall

Richard Baker is one of Australia's most experienced and decorated investigative journalists, with 12 years in The Age newspaper's investigative unit. He has many times been the recipient of Australia's major journalism awards, including multiple Walkleys, the Melbourne Press Club's gold quill and more than a dozen other quills, a Kennedy award and the George Munster prize for independent journalism. Together with colleague Nick McKenzie, Richard has broken major international and national corruption scandals. He also writes regularly on politics, business, crime, sports affairs, defence and intelligence and social affairs. In 2016, he created and co-hosted the awarding winning six part podcast series, Phoebe's Fall.

Phoebe Handsjuk was 24. Complex and beautiful. She lived 12 storeys above with her boyfriend Antony Hampel, a son of Melbourne's legal establishment.

But on that night, Phoebe died the most horrific death.

She had plunged 40 metres, feet first, down the garbage chute.

She survived the fall. But the garbage compactor at the bottom had virtually severed her right foot. Phoebe bled out in the dark, alone, her jeans around her knees.

But how did she get into the chute? And why?

The Coroner decided she had climbed in herself. He recorded death by misadventure. But there were no fingerprints at the top, and no CCTV footage. Her family doubts the Coroner's version was even physically possible.

The mystery remains.

Now, for the first time, Fairfax tells the full story of the short life and brutal death of Phoebe Handsjuk.

Damien Carrick, The Law Report

Before his career in media, Damien Carrick worked as a lawyer. Since jumping into journalism, he has won numerous awards, including the UN Media Peace Prize for Radio, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Radio Award and the Victoria Law Foundation Legal Journalist of the Year Award.

His work on the Law Report has been twice nominated for the Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism. He has also been awarded a number of fellowships, including the Qantas-European Union Journalism Award (2004) and the ABC/Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism Fellowship at Oxford University (2012).

His additional work at the ABC includes reporting for ABC Radio Current Affairs, guest hosting the Sunday Extra program, and co-production of an Australian Story: 'Suddenly One Summer'.

The Law Report, which airs on the ABC’s Radio National, presents informative, jargon-free stories about law reform, legal education, test cases, miscarriages of justice and legal culture. The Law Report makes the law accessible.

The Law Report airs live on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, is repeated on Wednesdays at 5:30 am and Thursdays at 11:00 am, and can be downloaded as a podcast here.

Event information

Event dates
Monday 14 May 2018
Tuesday 15 May 2018
Wednesday 16 May 2018
Thursday 17 May 2018
Friday 18 May 2018
Saturday 19 May 2018
Sunday 20 May 2018

Cost

Free

Enquiries

Victoria Law Foundation
Tel: 03 9604 8100

Bookings

Bookings not required
This page was last updated on May 15, 2018