By Mike Welsh
I first encountered Francis Keany (he’s difficult to ignore) when he phoned my radio program after spotting “suspicious” activity at an embassy near his Canberra home. I can’t recall the precise details of the incident but I do remember predicting a bright future for the young man with loads of initiative and an eye for a story. Eventually Frank and I became colleagues.
Even as a rookie radio journalist all those years ago it was obvious to anyone that Francis Keaney would become a successful journalist. There was little doubt about it. It was simply a case of when and where not if and how. Frank’s inquisitive and restless nature and relentless pursuit of a career in serious journalism beyond the woefully under resourced and rightfully disrespected Capital Radio newsroom was palpable. Indeed Frank’s career path was set in stone when as a kid he developed a habit of taking notes and writing stories. Unsurprisingly, among Frank’s basic details in a High School year book among Fave Foods and Bad Habits , JOURNALIST was the reply to “Most Likely to Be”.
Via 2GB, 2UE and the ABC, Frank, as most call him, is now not only a member of the prestigious Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery but a successful author. All by the ripe old age of 33. In Follow The Leaders Frank provides an old style campaign diary of his experiences covering the 2013 Federal election campaign.
“Francis Keany’s book adds weight to political coverage and should be read by every news junkie , fan and critic of so called mainstream media” (James Massola)
Fairfax Chief Political correspondent James Massola officially launches “Follow The Leaders” (how to survive a modern-day election campaign).
Massola, who for the five weeks of the campaign also criss-crossed the country in the wake of the tightly choreographed campaigns of Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd, suggests Follow The Leaders is a rare book. One which “explodes the myth that reporting from the campaign trail is nothing more than a boozy magical mystery tour”.
Massola says Frank “writes with wit and with heart both of which are in short supply in Australian politics at times”.
The Manuka bookstore Paperchain which hosted the launch sold out of all copies of Frank’s debut work within hours, but stocks are being replenished.
Follow The Leaders may well provide some entertaining respite for weary Journos during the up coming marathon election campaign.
Follow The Leader
By Francis Keany