It’s not so much a festival of democracy as a test of endurance
Follow the leaders: How to survive a modern-day election campaign
By Francis Keany
With a foreword by The Age National Affairs Editor Tony Wright
To be launched by Fairfax Chief Political Correspondent James Massola at Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka on Wednesday, April 27 at 5.45 for 6pm
With the 2016 federal election likely to be called within weeks, Editia’s latest title shines a light on the pressures facing journalists travelling with the leaders throughout the campaign.
Follow the leaders: How to survive a modern-day election campaign by broadcast journalist Francis Keany provides a rare and personal look into life on the hustings, based on his experiences in the 2013 poll.
Keany learns much about his profession, his peers and himself amid the maelstrom of Kevin Rudd’s brief comeback as Labor leader, following both the PM and his eventual successor Tony Abbott on the election trail.
Between abattoirs and bowls clubs, the travelling pack must battle political minders, punishing schedules, a lack of mobile phone reception and their own short tempers to bring the news of the day to their audiences.
Keany details the mechanics of electioneering and the politics of the media bus with the keen yet rapidly jading eye of a journalist covering his first campaign.
‘Follow the leaders’ is an essential read for followers of politics, aspiring journalists, and seasoned campaigners who will recognise some of the more bizarre scenarios that unfold throughout the campaign.
‘Follow the leaders’ will be published by Canberra digital first specialist non-fiction publishing house Editia on April 27, 2016 and retails for $19.99 in print, or $9.99 as an ebook.
The paperback edition runs to 178 pages. The print ISBN is 9781942189404, and the cover photograph by Alex Ellinghausen is published with the permission of the photographer and Fairfax Media.
This book has been published with the assistance of a Walkley Grant for Innovation in Journalism.
Stay tuned for details of our #followtheleaders competition, in which readers supply photographic evidence that the book is on the road with the leaders battling it out in this year’s Federal election.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with Keany, request a review copy or discuss extract rights.
About the author
Francis Keany was born in Canberra the year Bob Hawke became prime minister. As a child, Francis wanted to be a chef or town planner, but he grew up and came to his senses, realising journalism would be much more exciting.
Known as Frank in the halls on “the hill”, the thirtysomething broadcaster spent the first decade of his reporting life in commercial television and radio, including as senior political reporter for Fairfax Media’s 2UE at the time of the 2013 election.
Francis joined the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in 2012, and in 2014 was shortlisted for the Wallace Brown
Award for the best and fairest early career parliamentary journalist. He joined the ABC in 2015, and can be found on
Twitter at @fjkeany.
Booksellers, please order your copies of Follow the leaders through NewSouth Books.