Deakin's Journalist Life

Deakin started out in his professional life as a barrister. But he soon decided to use his significant literary skills to earn much needed capital by accepted a job as a journalist for The Age Newspaper.

 

George the editor of the Leader called his brother, David Syme early in 1878 and told him that he had found a young genius. When David Syme one of the most influential business people of the era meets Deakin, his first words are "Aha! So this is your genius".

Deakin started out in his professional life as a barrister. But he soon decided to use his significant literary skills to earn much needed capital by accepted a job as a journalist for The Age Newspaper.

 

George the editor of the Leader called his brother, David Syme early in 1878 and told him that he had found a young genius. When David Syme one of the most influential business people of the era meets Deakin, his first words are "Aha! So this is your genius".

This meeting proves to be an important turning point in young Deakin's life and David Syme's influence will eventually propel Deakin into Victorian Colonial politics and then into the fight to protect Australian workers and businesses from international competition.

This meeting proves to be an important turning point in young Deakin's life and David Syme's influence will eventually propel Deakin into Victorian Colonial politics and then into the fight to protect Australian workers and businesses from international competition.

Deakin was originally a free trade proponent, but after many daily discussions as David and Alfred walked the streets of Melbourne to David's home, Alfred's mind was convinced and he became a strong voice for Protectionism. They became good friends and Alfred would often visit Syme's private country house in Macedon, edited two of Syme's books and assisted Syme's lawyer in a liable case.

 

Deakin said later "I owe it to Syme and to a series of conversations, walking with him, that I became a convinced Protectionist"

Deakin was originally a free trade proponent, but after many daily discussions as David and Alfred walked the streets of Melbourne to David's home, Alfred's mind was convinced and he became a strong voice for Protectionism. They became good friends and Alfred would often visit Syme's private country house in Macedon, edited two of Syme's books and assisted Syme's lawyer in a liable case.

 

Deakin said later "I owe it to Syme and to a series of conversations, walking with him, that I became a convinced Protectionist"

A special note on history is that Alfred Deakin's 2nd journalistic assignment for The Age was to report on the wreck of the Loch Ard ship that struck a reef on 1st June 1878 in the area now known as the 12 Apostles close to Port Campbell. 

A special note on history is that Alfred Deakin's 2nd journalistic assignment for The Age was to report on the wreck of the Loch Ard ship that struck a reef on 1st June 1878 in the area now known as the 12 Apostles close to Port Campbell. 

Alfred was also intimately involved with reporting on the actions, capture and hanging of Ned Kelly and it is believed that Deakin personally interviewed Kelly for the Age Newspaper and attended the execution at the Old Melbourne Gaol.

Deakin continued his journalistic interests much later when he became Prime Minister. In 1904 he agreed to write monthly political articles for the London National Review Newspaper and this continued until 1914. It was strictly anonymous which enabled Deakin to inform the British public of Australian political events and gave him the freedom to even be critical of his own Prime Ministerial decisions. (see National Review UK Editor letters)