Democracy's Watchdogs - David Wilson

David Wilson (Profile) from Democracy's Watchdogs on Vimeo.


The latest Democracy's Watchdogs video is live, an interview about the career of Age investigative journalist David Wilson.

David Wilson led The Age’s Insight team of investigative reporters in the 1980s and 1990s. He passed away in 2008 after a short illness. David pioneered what today would be described as data journalism. He built large data bases related to organised crime and corruption. In the pre-internet era, the databases stemmed from his extensive contacts in police intelligence units, commissions of inquiry, Royal Commissions and other sources. With these data bases he was able to cross-reference the activities and histories of individuals and various organised crime groups.

He is best remembered for his work with Lindsay Murdoch in publishing what became known as the Age Tapes. The stories entangled the then controversial High Court judge Lionel Murphy in years of inquiries and court cases, and led to the prosecution of high-profile judicial and criminal elements. David earlier worked with Ben Hills to expose corruption and rorting in land deals on the fringes of Melbourne.

Democracy’s Watchdogs founder Bill Birnbauer interviewed Michael Smith, David’s former editor at The Age and later his business partner, in a tribute to one of Australia's former leading investigative journalists. The interview can be seen on the Democracy's Watchdogs website here.

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