Friday, May 15, 2020


I am very, very fortunate to be a member of a unique and very exclusive alumni – which now meets annually every January - to fraternize, relive old lies and stories, revive friendships, and pay respect to each other’s achievements.

This gathering goes by the name of the MEDIA MUSTER, and is made up of current and former automotive journalists, and by invitation, a group of former automotive public relations executives – whose lives were closely linked to each other in the performance of their work duties. We also enjoy the company of guests including racing drivers and motor sport personalities.

Just one half of the 2020 Media Muster

The Media Muster was conceived by one of Australia’s best known automotive reporters, in newspapers, radio and television, Will Hagon – who was best known perhaps as the long-serving motoring editor of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph. However, he is also a familiar voice to listeners to ABC radio, covering motor sport, motor cycles and new automobiles.

Left to right: Racer Colin Bond; Car industry veteran and racer, Bill Buckle (at 93 years young) and Will Hagon

Will decided a couple of years ago that as this group had such close ties, they should not lose touch with each other and retain the fraternity they enjoyed in their daily working lives.

The group does indeed form a pantheon of great Australian automotive journalists and we regularly see between 60 and 70 attendees, enjoying lunch and convivial drinks at the Moonee Moonee Club on the banks of the Hawksbury  River, about 70km north of Sydney.

I gain admittance as a former freelance automotive journalist; a Contributing Editor to RACING CAR NEWS; one-time Editor of MODERN MOTOR magazine; and a 40 year career as a global automotive public relations executive.

It is a highlight of my year as I am able to see friends I haven’t caught up with for many years, owing to serving overseas in a variety of public relations roles in the global car industry.

Max Stahl and JC
One man I was delighted to see this past January was Max Stahl who was the longtime owner, publisher and editor of RACING CAR NEWS with whom I shared a deep friendship, and a great working relationship. He has been in poor health and was warmly welcomed by the group.

I’m proud to belong to this group, and also proud of them and their achievements. It’s rare that both sides of an industry get to become close friends as well as interlocutors.

There are 'national associations' of journalists in other countries, but I do not believe there is anything quite like the Media Muster, and its welcome informality - so, thanks Will.

John Crawford

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