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by John Helmer, Moscow 

The last survivors of Australian journalism have succumbed to complications of Covid-19 infection.

Following the publication in the US at the beginning of this week of the first book to investigate  the pandemic lawlessness which has taken hold in Melbourne, the second city of Australia,  reporters for the mainstream Australian media and the alternative media have suffocated after opening the first pages of the book,  but before they were able to report its contents.

The fatalities are not considered suspicious, although in December a state-appointed commission of inquiry reported that officials of the Victorian state government had been negligent in their administration of pandemic emergency powers. Three resignations were forced; no corruption charges have been prosecuted. State MPs are trying to open a parliamentary debate on more than $200 million in unaccounted-for state spending on police, hospitals, hotels, lawyers, medical research units, and university think-tanks. 

An investigation was opened this week by the Judicial Commission of Victoria into the disappearance, loss, or possibly destruction of hearing records for the only case in the Australian courts to challenge the legality of the ban on Australians returning home from abroad, and the closure of Melbourne’s international airport.

Here is the list of the reporters who were diagnosed before they could report on the book; also the infection hotspots which readers are recommended to avoid. Genomic testing is still under way to determine which mutation has proved fatal to Australian reporters, half of whom are employed by Rupert Murdoch; they were immunocompromised before the pandemic started.   

Casualties   Media infection hotspot
Elias Visontay The Guardian
Melissa Davey The Guardian
Paul Karp    The Guardian
Neil Mitchell 3AW Radio (Fairfax media)
Danny Tran    Australian Broadcasting
Commission (state)
James Campbell Herald Sun (Murdoch media)
Rhiannon Tuffield  Herald Sun (Murdoch media) 
Peta Credlin   Sky News (Murdoch media)
Adam Creighton   The Australian (Murdoch media)
John Ferguson The Australian (Murdoch media)
Morry Schwartz Saturday Paper (Schwartz media)
Erik Jensen   Saturday Paper (Schwartz media)
Nicola Berkovic  The Australian (Murdoch media)
Margaret Simons  Freelance
David Estcourt  The Age (Fairfax media)
Tammy Mills        The Age (Fairfax media)
Paul Sakkal     The Age (Fairfax media)
Tom Cowie              The Age (Fairfax media)
Noel Towell         The Age (Fairfax media)
Latika Bourke  The Age (Fairfax media)
Katina Curtis     Sydney Morning Herald
(Fairfax media)
Rachel Clun        Sydney Morning Herald
(Fairfax media)
Caitlin Fitzsimmons      Sun-Herald
(Fairfax media)
Bernard Keane         Crikey.com.au
David Donovan    IndependentAustralia.net
Carly Williams  HuffPost Australia
Caitlin Johnstone  Melbourne blogger
John Pilger      documentary films
Henry Rosenbloom  Scribe Books

Amazon, the book’s publisher, is reporting that the book is currently the No. 1 new release in Australian and New Zealand politics.

It can be read in safety, so long as the rules ordered this week by the Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews are strictly observed—masks must be worn indoors, and in groups of no larger than 15. Fingertips should be sanitised and computer keyboards should be sprayed if the e-book edition is selected.

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