Mark Davis, former presenter for the Special Broadcasting Service international current affairs program, Dateline, is about to go back on the road, returning to what he does best as a sole-camera investigative journalist. After two years presenting for the program he looks forward to again travelling and attending the whole production of sole camera journalism – research, interviewing, camera and editing.
Before becoming a television journalist Davis was a documentary filmmaker and before then, a lawyer. He is one of Australia’s foremost sole operating camerajournalists, after significant stories with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affairs programs, Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners. He has won five Walkley’s (Australian award for excellence in journalism), including the prestigious Gold Walkley for Blood Money - a sole camera ‘brand-name’ report on the funding of pro-Indonesian militias in East Timor.
In 1997 he won a World Medal at the New York Film and Television Festival for his television current affairs journalism in Afghanistan. His other Walkley Awards were for stories on the famine in North Korea, the aftermath of the tsunami in Papua New Guinea and Blood on the Cross, a remarkable investigation into the killing of West Papuan villagers by British SAS, with the complicity of the Red Cross.
Arriving into current affairs through an across profession osmosis, Davis has a range of perspectives and skills of use to journalism. Documentary filmmaker and journalism educator, David Blackall filed this report after an interview with Davis in a Sydney alfresco café on a sunny Tuesday November morning, as a nationally significant horse race in Melbourne was getting underway.
Recommended CitationBlackall, David, The last of punchy current affairs: Profile interview: Mark Davis, Dateline, Special Broadcasting Service, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 15, 2004, 201-206.