Mark Kenny and Marija Taflaga discuss dodgy grants, a hollowed-out public service and what the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation ruling means for journalism.

What impact are ‘sports rorts’ and this week’s revelations about community health grants having on public trust in policy-making?

With the government’s reliance on consultants in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons, can the public service re-establish itself as a source of ‘frank and fearless’ advice? And was the Ben Roberts-Smith verdict a ‘last gasp’ victory for investigative journalism?

On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Professor Mark Kenny and Dr Marija Taflaga discuss the issues plaguing Australia’s public service and why the recent defamation ruling in favour of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times might pull investigative journalism back from the brink.

Marija Taflaga is the Director of the ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a Lecturer at the ANU School of Politics and International Relations.

Mark Kenny is a Professor at the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to

This podcast is produced by The Australian National University.

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