George Megalogenis, former journalist at The Australian and author of The Australian Moment, has won a Walkley for long-form journalism this week.

The Greek Australian author and media commentator left The Australian this year to follow other pursuits.

This week, Megalogenis spoke with RRR breakfast team this week who started by asking him, if he chose to leave The Australian because with the state of newspapers in this current climate, it’s a “sinking ship”.

“The paper is still really strong, in fact people complain it has too much power,” says Megalogenis of the newspaper.

“Newspapers themselves are facing a number of structural challenges but the most noticeable one and notable is pretty appalling managers over the last couple of years.”

Megalogenis was employed at The Australian for 21 years and has worked for Rupert Murdoch for 27 years.

With the Fairfax problems that have unfolded this year, he said the problems stem from the top.

“It has been quite painful to watch as a journalist to see people look at a structural problem and try to ignore it, and then overreact after a number of years which is the story of Fairfax at the moment that they think with two thirds less staff and produce the quality.

“The big debate in my house at the moment is whether we renew any subscription to any newspaper.”

He said that politician Malcolm Turnbull made the point that “at some point, governments are going to have to think about some sort of subsidy to maintain print assets.

He added that he thinks this could be dangerous because you don’t’ want media to be beholding to government.

“Maybe we need to start reinventing the wheel and thinking about how to keep papers viable, because in the absence of papers people go into their tribes, their echo chambers and start telling each other things that may not be right.”

Megalogenis was questioned about the lack of Australian media coverage of the speech made by Prime Minister Julia Gillard against Tony Abbott referring to him as a misogynist. He said that as a journalist he has never written a story that said a prime minister did a good thing, and said the journalists in the gallery were doing the same. He said that they must not take sides, they can refer to the speech being powerful, and acknowledged it was a big event. He also said that they may have difficulty dealing with a female prime minister.

The RRR journalist then asked if it was time for fresh blood in political reporting in Australia?

He said although when he first joined the gallery in 1981 and felt that it was time for the stalwarts of political journalist to move on, in hindsight he says they need to stay.

“Nothing can replace their corporate memory,” he says, “you will feel their absence more then you will revel in who comes next.”