2009 Walkley Awards: nominees

hack-half-hourUPDATED: The ABC and the Seven Network dominate the television nominees in the 2009 Walkley Awards.

The ABC and Seven lead the pack with SBS and Nine also nominated. Sky News received a commendation.

Amongst the television nominees for the country’s annual journalism awards are the controversial Four Corners report on sex in sport, which led to Nine standing down NRL commentator Matthew Johns. A Current Affair‘s Tracy Grimshaw is nominated for her interviews with Johns, Nick D’Arcy and Simon Cowley.

Seven’s new Sunday Night also lands two nominations and the ABC’s Hack Half Hour is also recognised.

Television News and Current Affairs Camera
Tim Hawkins, Sunday Night, Seven Network, “Volcano Hunter”
Following volcano chaser John Seach to PNG, Hawkins’ pictures captured all the ferocity of the eruptions and even footage of a rare lightning strike within an eruption.

Robert Hill, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Kashgar: The Uighur Dilemma”
Visual insight into a part of China generally inaccessible to media, capturing the tensions that later escalated into deadly riots.

Tim Noonan, Today Tonight, Seven Network, “Street Gangs”
Shooting alone, Noonan earned the trust of street gangs, graffiti gangs and street racing syndicates to tell their stories gonzo-style.

Television News Reporting
Greg Jennett, Simon Johnson and Chris Uhlmann, ABC News, “Our Man Godwin”
Coverage of the explosive case of Godwin Grech in a highly pressured environment that dramatically changed the course of political debate over the Ozcar affair.

Chris Reason, Seven News, “The Tapes”
Series of reports on Cronulla Sharks CEO Tony Zappia that ultimately forced his resignation and investigation of the club, prompting and accountability review across the NRL.

Seven News Victoria team, “Black Saturday Bulletin”
Graphic, comprehensive coverage of the unfolding bushfire catastrophe in an extended hour-long bulletin.

Commended: Jane Cowan, ABC News, “Marysville Gone”

Television Current Affairs, Feature, Documentary or Special (more than 20 minutes)
Anna Broinowski, SBS TV, “Forbidden Lie$”
The dramatic documentary about Chicago fraudster Norma Khouri, whose Jordanian memoir Forbidden Love was exposed as a hoax.

Steve Cannane, Antoinette Chiha, Kath Earle and Brendan Hutchens, The Hack Half Hour, ABC TV2, “Fight”
Explores the nature, attraction and repercussions of fighting, with an audience of street fighters, bouncers, victims, campaigners, social workers and more.

Anne Connolly, Sarah Ferguson, Ivan O’Mahoney and Kate Wild, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Code of Silence”
Blew the cover of Rugby League’s off-field culture of group sex and attitudes to women with forensic research and hard to find sources.

Television Current Affairs Reporting (less than 20 minutes)
Ross Coulthart, Sunday Night, Seven Network, “Ice Man”
A police informant on the run was tracked down, and spoke about the drug-making operations of an Australian bikie gang.

Andrew Geoghegan and Mary Ann Jolley, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Zimbabwe, Left to Die”
Exposed the extent of Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic and asked why the Mugabe regime hadn’t acted earlier to prevent the disease’s spread.

Matthew Peacock, The 7.30 Report, ABC TV, “Killer Carpets”
Research into James Hardie revealed that asbestos sacks used as carpet underfelt could pose lethal domestic risks.

In the All Media section Television nominees include:

Social Equity Journalism
Aaron Lewis, Dateline, SBS TV, “The Skin Trade”
Told the story of the albino communities of East Africa, where life-saving sunscreen is a luxury and fear and ignorance led to a spate of savage murders.

Yaara Bou Melhem, Dateline, SBS TV, “Jordan: Jailing the Innocent”

Coverage of Indigenous Affairs
Janine Cohen, Liz Jackson and Kate Wild, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Who Killed Mr Ward?”
Heavily researched, forensic account of the events that led to an Aboriginal man’s death in a prison transport van in Western Australia.

Murray McLaughlin, 7.30 Report, ABC TV, “Young Love”

Best Sports Journalism
Anne Connolly, Sarah Ferguson, Ivan O’Mahoney and Kate Wild, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Code of Silence”
The story that shook the NRL by revealing the pervasive attitudes that led to numerous off-field scandals.

Outstanding Continuous Coverage of an Issue or Event
James Thomas, Seven Network and Yahoo Seven, “War Criminal At Large, Government in Hiding”
Tenacious coverage of an East Timorese alleged rapist, torturer and war criminal living in Sydney, near the family of an 11-year-old he allegedly tortured to death.

Commended: A Current Affair team, Nine Network, “Kinglake Ground Zero”

Business Journalism
Sarah Curnow, Liz Jackson and Steve Skinner, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Tax Me if You Can”
A rare insight into the methods the super-rich employ to avoid paying tax, as a protected witness reveals the financial secrets of hundreds of captains of industry.

International Journalism
Matthew Carney, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Pakistan on the Brink”
Investigates the Taliban’s moves from mountain strongholds to major cities, taking a stranglehold on secular Pakistan, and the implications for the war on terror.

Fouad Hady and Geoff Parish, Dateline, SBS TV, “City of Widows”
Iraqi refugee Hady brings a unique perspective to this tour of a war-torn Baghdad searching for its future after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Li Bin, Robert Hill, Stephen McDonell and Jiang Xin, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “China: Crisis and Control”
Despite the Chinese Government’s attempts to control foreign correspondents, this team filed reports on Kashgar, Tibet and the ailing economic juggernaut.

Commended: Belinda Hawkins, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “One Night in Sofia”

Investigative Journalism
Michael Best, Peter Doherty, Michael McKinnon and Neil Warren, Seven News, “Police Corruption”
Revealed allegations of widespread police corruption on the Gold Coast after a tip-off, FoI requests and months of interviewing victims of “dodgy” warrants.

Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Sally Sara, Four Corners, ABC TV, “The Many Faces of Brother Paul”
An Australian man arrested on child sex charges in India had a history of abuse and fraud, yet the charity he worked for stood by him.

Broadcast and Online Interviewing
Sarah Ferguson, Four Corners, ABC TV, “The Dishonouring of Marcus Einfeld”, “Code of Silence”, “Buying Back the River”
Interviews with victims of rugby league sex scandals, disgraced Einfeld, and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong broke through spin and pre-prepared answers.

Tracy Grimshaw, A Current Affair, Nine Network, “Simon Cowley”, “Nick D’Arcy”, “Matthew Johns”
Garnered both sides of the Nick D’Arcy assault case and explosively probed Johns and his wife after he was implicated in a group sex scandal.

Liz Jackson, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Eye of the Storm”, “Who Killed Mr Ward?”
Jackson drew out Glen Fiske, captain of the Marysville CFA, on the bushfires that claimed his wife and youngest child, and took to task the Justice of the Peace and Minister for Justice responsible for the death of an indigenous man while being transported in a prison van.

Commended: David Speers, Sky News, “Mark Arbib”, “John Howard”, “Joe Hockey”

The winners will be announced Thursday November 26th.

You can read more at Walkley Awards


  1. well that’s good news for SN getting 2 walkley noms in its first year. ross coulthart is very deserving.

    7 have scored themselves some good bragging rights here with their 5 nominations spread across 3 news programs that are head to head with similar programs on 9 that weren’t nominated.

    4 corner is worthy of a nomination, but for the rugby sex scandal? there have been much better stories than that imo.

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