PAUL Armstrong, the youthful and energetic new editor of The West Australian, has been ranked as the most influential person in the Western Australian media.
Mr Armstrong has been the driving force behind big changes at The West, which has a new look, style and personnel.
He has completely redesigned the paper, sought to rev-up the long-serving journalists, and recruited some new journalists, including Mark Drummond from The Australian Financial Review.
Mr Armstrong is also not shy about taking a stand, a fact illustrated by his successful campaign against the State Government’s plan to introduce partial taxpayer funding of political parties.
With Perth being a one-paper town, The West Australian’s influence can extend beyond its readers.
It also often sets the agenda for electronic media.
Two other journalists with influential positions are the competing hosts of morning talkback radio – 6PR’s Paul Murray, a former editor of The West Australian, and 6WF’s Liam Bartlett, a former host of The 7.30 Report.
Mr Bartlett leads the ratings, helped by the strong following of 6WF breakfast presenter Eoin Cameron.
The latest ratings figures for the 9am to noon period show 6WF had a 10.5 per cent rating while 6PR had a 9.6 per cent rating.
Mr Bartlett has the advantage of broadcasting to the entire State, which some people believe gives him an advantage over 6PR, which broadcasts to Perth.
Nevertheless Premier Geoff Gallop still has a weekly interview on 6PR.
Mr Murray has also made his presence felt in the pages of The West Australian, where he writes a weekly column and has contributed some hard-hitting news.
Other influential figures in WA include Peter Nattrass, who is currently serving his third term as Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, and the state’s governor, Lieutenant General John Sanderson.
On the sporting front, the chief executives of Perth’s two AFL teams, Cameron Schwab at the Fremantle Dockers and Trevor Nisbett at The West Coast Eagles, are major players.
Key media figures can also have a big impact on sport in WA, none more so than Channel 9 commentator Dennis Cometti.
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