Paul James Barry (born 24 February 1952) is an English-born, Australian-based journalist, newsreader and television presenter, who has won many awards for his investigative reporting. He previously worked for the BBC on numerous programs, before emigrating to Australia.
Barry started his journalistic career in London, as an economics correspondent for the Investors Chronicle. In 1978, he joined the BBC as a reporter for The Money Programme, Newsnight, and then Panorama. In 1986 he moved to Australia and started work with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
From 1987 to 1994 Barry worked as an investigative reporter for the ABC's flagship current affairs program Four Corners specialising in economic matters, government departmental failures and corporate governance. A series of reports on disgraced businessman Alan Bond (and his company Bond Corporation) brought his work to national prominence in 1993. He also wrote the book The Rise and Fall of Alan Bond and a TV report on the Wittenoom industrial disaster, "Blue Death".
In 1995, Barry joined the Seven Network to present a short-lived news program The Times. He was later the presenter of the current affairs program Witness in 1997. He then returned to the ABC to host the Media Watch program in 2000. He was effectively sacked from this show by ABC head Jonathan Shier after a controversial interview with ABC chairman Donald McDonald on the subject of government funding for the ABC. However, in August 2010, Barry acted as Media Watch's temporary host for three months while Jonathan Holmes took long-service leave.
In 2001 Barry published a book, Going for Broke – How Alan Bond Got Away with It. For the next two years he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald, winning an additional Walkley Award exposing a tax scam involving prominent barristers in Sydney. He has served as a Walkley Award judge and on a past Walkley advisory board. He also wrote a book Rich Kids, documenting the collapse of One.Tel. In 2004 he moved to the Nine Network to work as an investigative reporter for 60 Minutes. In February 2011, Alan Bond published a rebuttal of an article written by Barry in December 2010 about Bond's investment in Global Diamond Resources Plc.
In 2006, Barry released a biography on Australian cricketer Shane Warne, called Spun Out. Extracts of the book were published in The Age's Good Weekend magazine, and some of the content was controversial.
During October 2009, Barry was the subject of criticism from Australian business identities for his 2009 unauthorised biography of media and gambling mogul James Packer. The book details relations between the younger Packer and his father Kerry, citing anonymous sources as stating the pair had a difficult relationship, and that James was "relieved" by his father's death. Business leaders and friends of the Packers including former Nine Network CEO Eddie McGuire and mining tycoon Andrew Forrest defended James Packer. Upon launching the book, Barry dismissed the criticism, calling the book "fair" and "considered".
Barry has been a contributor to Crikey, an online magazine published by Private Media (in which he has a minority share). He joined Crikey in December 2010, and was given around A$152,000 worth of new shares of Private Media in June 2012. In August 2011 Barry was appointed as a senior writer at Private Media's The Power Index, "a free website [which] offers daily news, views and features about power and influence in Australia."
When conservative broadcaster Andrew Bolt described Barry as "of the Left" upon his re-appointment to the Media Watch program in 2013, Barry said: "I would certainly describe myself as to the left of Andrew Bolt, so on that basis I am left-wing. But in no other basis do I think I’m left-wing. I believe in the free market, I believe in freedom of speech, I believe actually in privatisation, I believe in an awful lot of things that would make me a free-marketeer and, you know, a liberal." In 2014, Barry told Media Watch he had voted for Liberal Malcolm Turnbull as his local MP in the 2013 Election.
When Turnbull resigned as Prime Minister ahead of a leadership ballot in 2018, Barry's op-ed on Media Watch, called the Liberal challenge to his leadership "madness", and endorsed the analysis of Fairfax's Peter Hartcher that Turnbull's challenger Peter Dutton was "poison" and Kevin Rudd's analysis that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is a "cancer on Australian democracy". Barry denounced a "cabal of conservative commentators" including Tony Abbott supporters Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Paul Murray, Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt and Rowan Dean for criticising Turnbull's leadership.
- 1991: The Rise And Fall of Alan Bond, ISBN 1-86359-037-4
- 1994: The Rise And Rise of Kerry Packer, ISBN 1-86359-338-1
- 2000: Going For Broke : How Bond Got Away with It, ISBN 1-86325-197-9
- 2001: Going For Broke : How Bond Got Away with It (Revised and Updated), ISBN 1-86325-198-7
- 2002: Rich Kids : How the Murdochs and Packers Lost $950 Million in One.Tel, ISBN 1-86325-338-6
- Rich Kids : How the Murdochs and Packers Lost $950 Million in One.Tel (Revised and Updated), ISBN 1-86325-339-4
- 2006: Spun Out : the Shane Warne Story, ISBN 0-593-05662-0
- 2009: Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? : the James Packer Story,
- 2013: Breaking news : sex, lies & the Murdoch succession, ISBN 978-1-74175-978-5
- Four Corners – Blue Death (1988) at Australian Screen Online
- Colvin, Mark (30 November 2000). "ABC's Media Watch under the axe". ABC PM Archive.
- "Paul Barry to fill in as Media Watch host". ABC News. 21 June 2010.
- Walkley Award Judges 2008 at Walkley Foundation
- Meet the Walkley Advisory Board Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine at Walkley Foundation
- Alan Bond rebuts Paul Barry
- Bond backer demands his money at Daily Telegraph
- Murphy, Damien; Lewis, Daniel (31 July 2006). "Warnie's ex in spin over 'bunch of lies' in biography". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
- James Packer friends hit back at 'vicious' book
- Biographer's unsourced Packer talk 'worthless' at The Australian
- Burrowes, Tim (20 December 2010). "Investigative journo Paul Barry joins Crikey". Mumbrella. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Cook, Henrietta (25 September 2012). "Chief of Crikey publisher Private Media exits". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- About The Power Index Archived 22 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine official site
- "Paul Barry to return as Media Watch host". The Age. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "Paul Barry makes return to Media Watch look easy in first appearance". The Australian. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Media Watch: Episode 14, 6 May 2013; abc.net.au
- Media Watch offers another surprise: Paul Barry admits he did vote Liberal; www.dailytelegraph.com.au; February 6, 2014
- Turnbull's downfall; abc.com.au, Broadcast: Mon 27 Aug 2018, 9:15pm
- Blake Dawson announcement