Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales is an award winning journalist and author.  She anchors Lateline on ABC1 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.  She has held a number of senior reporting roles at the network, including National Security Correspondent and NSW Political Reporter.  From 2001 to 2006, she was based in Washington DC as North America Correspondent, covering major stories including the aftermath of September 11, the Iraq War and the 2004 Presidential election.  In 2005, Leigh won a Walkley Award, Australia’s most prestigious journalism prize, for her radio reporting on Guantanamo Bay.  She was nominated again in 2006 for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

She is the author of two books.  Her first, Detainee 002: the Case of David Hicks, was published to widespread critical acclaim in 2007.  It won the George Munster Award for Independent Journalism and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize and the Walkley Non Fiction Book Award.  Her second book, On Doubt, was published in May 2009 as part of Melbourne University Publishing’s series Little Books on Big Themes.

Leigh’s writing has also appeared in The Australian, The Monthly, The Bulletin, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Diplomat. 

Articles by Leigh Sales

Well read-head’s best of 2010

Well read-head’s best of 2010

03 Dec 10 I could lay some line on you about it being that time of year again when I go to the…... Read more

Well readhead: the most arrogant interview ever

Well readhead: the most arrogant interview ever

19 Nov 10 I remember once going to Guantanamo Bay on assignment and reading “Lolita” on the military jet en route.  I didn’t…... Read more

Well readhead: relationships, conflict and creativity

Well readhead: relationships, conflict and creativity

05 Nov 10 Is conflict an essential ingredient in a successful creative partnership? Two memoirs released during the past fortnight beggar the question. …... Read more

iWant therefore iAm

iWant therefore iAm

22 Oct 10 Remember all the things you learned at school: the periodic table and calculus and Egyptian pharaohs and dangling participles and…... Read more

Well readhead: now with less schadenfreude

Well readhead: now with less schadenfreude

24 Sep 10 One of the things I’ve always loved about foreign languages is the way they throw up the perfect single word…... Read more

Well read-head: Throwing the book at literary snobs

Well read-head: Throwing the book at literary snobs

10 Sep 10 One recent evening, my husband posed the question: If you only had three months left to live, what would you…... Read more

Well readhead: the politics-free zone

Well readhead: the politics-free zone

27 Aug 10 With the whole nation absorbed in post-election intrigue, I’m declaring today’s reading list a politics-free zone.  But before I do,…... Read more

Well readhead: Everyone’s talking about parenting

Well readhead: Everyone’s talking about parenting

16 Jul 10 There’s been some buzz around a recent article in New York magazine titled: ‘All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents…... Read more

Well readhead: the illusion hard work alone triumphs

Well readhead: the illusion hard work alone triumphs

02 Jul 10 Our society puts great stock in the merits of hard work.  You know how it goes.  If you work hard…... Read more

Well read-head: Getting stars off message in interviews

Well read-head: Getting stars off message in interviews

18 Jun 10 In The Wizard of Oz, the Great and Mighty Wizard is exposed as a fraud when Dorothy and Toto discover…... Read more

Well Readhead: Hitchen’ my wagon to the Prat Pack

Well Readhead: Hitchen’ my wagon to the Prat Pack

04 Jun 10 In his new memoir Hitch-22, the public intellectual Christopher Hitchens writes that he now drinks ‘relatively carefully’.  By that, he…... Read more

Well read-head: Too much of a good thing

Well read-head: Too much of a good thing

21 May 10 My old neighbour once sent her husband out to rent a video for them to watch together.  He returned with…... Read more

Well readhead: There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

Well readhead: There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

07 May 10 The other day at dinner, my friends and I were discussing the Ten Commandments.  It’s party, party, party when you…... Read more

Well read-head: predicting the future a recipe for stress

Well read-head: predicting the future a recipe for stress

23 Apr 10 Are you scared about the world’s future?  Worried that so many things could go wrong?  One of the smartest people…... Read more

Well read-head: I’ve got worms

Well read-head: I’ve got worms

09 Apr 10 There’s nothing wrong with the Beach Boys per se. The album “Pet Sounds” routinely shows up on best-of-all-time lists. But…... Read more

Well-readhead: The memoir boom

Well-readhead: The memoir boom

26 Mar 10 When tennis legend Andre Agassi won Wimbledon for the first time, he telephoned his father afterwards. “Pops?  It’s me!  Can…... Read more

Well readhead: Take a look at my bookshelf

Well readhead: Take a look at my bookshelf

12 Mar 10 Take a look at my bookshelf: Judging from the available space, any books purchased after 2013 will need to be…... Read more

Well readhead: Avatar, Dylan and Monty Python suck

Well readhead: Avatar, Dylan and Monty Python suck

26 Feb 10 Today I’m going to be a curmudgeon.  Let’s start with Avatar.  I hated it.  Before anyone starts:  yes, I know…... Read more

Well readhead: breathing life into anniversary journalism

Well readhead: breathing life into anniversary journalism

12 Feb 10 Note: This Well Readhead entry by Leigh serves as an introduction to the special one-off piece she has filed, which…... Read more

Dominique Goode’s first day of school

Dominique Goode’s first day of school

12 Feb 10 It’s Dominique Goode’s first day of school. She’s wearing a pretty fuchsia dress and her brown hair is in a…... Read more

Well readhead: Summer holiday reading and viewing

Well readhead: Summer holiday reading and viewing

16 Dec 09 Last fortnight, I posted my ten favourite links from the year’s Well-readhead. This time, I’m going a step further with…... Read more

Well-readhead: I’m a sucker for a “Best Of” list

Well-readhead: I’m a sucker for a “Best Of” list

02 Dec 09 The people who run my local coffee shop must think I’m a freak.  I fear I’m the only patron who…... Read more

Well-readhead: How and why I use Twitter

Well-readhead: How and why I use Twitter

18 Nov 09 I recently gave an address at the Media 140 Conference in Sydney about the impact of social media on journalism. …... Read more

Well-readhead: Don’t make me publicly humiliate you

Well-readhead: Don’t make me publicly humiliate you

04 Nov 09 I regularly find myself chairing panels at writers’ festivals or in bookshops and I give a standard spiel at the…... Read more

Well read-head: It wasn’t as good as the book

Well read-head: It wasn’t as good as the book

21 Oct 09 Last week, I saw the film ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’.  My verdict?  It was good but not as good as the…... Read more

Well read-head: ‘Dear Diary’

Well read-head: ‘Dear Diary’

07 Oct 09 Is there any way I could convince you to read aloud in public from a diary you kept when you…... Read more

Well read-head: The Time of My Life

Well read-head: The Time of My Life

23 Sep 09 Not long before Patrick Swayze died, I watched Dirty Dancing, partly for fun and partly searching for an answer to…... Read more

Well read-head: Does reading make you a better person?

Well read-head: Does reading make you a better person?

09 Sep 09 Are people who read better people than those who don’t? That’s the view of a well known Italian writer who…... Read more

Well read-head: Just answer the question

Well read-head: Just answer the question

26 Aug 09 When viewers offer feedback about interviews on Lateline, easily the most common complaint is about politicians not answering questions. Nothing…... Read more

Well read-head: Antidotes to people who spoil your day

Well read-head: Antidotes to people who spoil your day

12 Aug 09 Recently, an oily looking salesman in a shopping mall unexpectedly grabbed my hand and starting rubbing some cream into it.…... Read more

Well read-head: Julie and Poh inspire a cookbook trip

29 Jul 09 Julie and Poh know what to do with century eggs, tempered chocolate and rabbit hindquarters, but even they might struggle…... Read more

AMARKEEGO spells GEEK-O-RAMA: Well read-head

15 Jul 09 Recently, a stranger walked up to me in a café. ‘Is that The Sydney Morning Herald you’re reading?’ she asked. …... Read more

Well read-head: my peeps are pensioners in ponchos

01 Jul 09 My husband and I have a running gag about trying to find our ‘peeps’ (as in people).  We’re from Queensland…... Read more

Well read-head: back off or I’ll throw the book at you

17 Jun 09 Why is it that some people obviously consider reading to be “doing nothing”?  Many a time I’ve been on a…... Read more

Well read-head: Three cheers for the world wide web

03 Jun 09 Some people are obsessive about cleanliness.  Others can’t leave the house without checking the stove twenty eight times.  My compulsion…... Read more

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