ABC journalist Jake Sturmer won the 2012 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year, in Sydney last night.
Sturmer also won the Television Award in the Walkley’s annual night for young journos.
Last year he broke the story of the systemic child abuse by a serial paedophile at Western Australia’s Katanning Hostel, which led to an independent inquiry.
Walkley judges noted: “It was confronting and compelling to see four victims of child sexual abuse reunite as grown men and share details of what they endured. Reporter Jake Sturmer showed great skill and empathy in securing these interviews. Having the victims walk through the location where the acts took place was innovative and haunting. The judges were particularly impressed with the sensitivity of the interview conducted with the father of the perpetrator. These pieces were of great national interest and demonstrated public benefit.”
ABC Director of News, Kate Torney said, “Congratulations to Jake for an outstanding achievement in receiving this award. To break a story such as this, takes courage, sensitivity, and accuracy. For Jake at this point in his career, to demonstrate such qualities, is a credit to him and his reporting skills, and is a fine example of excellent investigative journalism.”
Sturmer joined the ABC as a cadet journalist in 2009, covering radio, television and online.
From 2010 – 2011 he worked as a television current affairs reporter for the ABC’s Stateline and 7.30 WA programs. In 2011, his report exposing a land deal that left buyers millions of dollars out of pocket won the WA Media Award for best current affairs.
ABC Open producer Miranda Grant also won The Young Australian Journalist of the Year Online for her online feature, “What’s keeping you going Grantham?” following the Queensland floods.