Walkley Awards 2020: winners

ABC's Mark Willacy wins Gold for a report on alleged acts by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

ABC investigative journalist Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations team have won the Gold Walkley Award for the Four Corners report, Killing Field, having worked for more than a year to get to the truth about alleged unlawful acts by Australia’s elite soldiers in Afghanistan.

The report also won the Walkley for Investigative Journalism.

“This story was extremely sensitive and a difficult one to crack,” Willacy said. “We were dealing with allegations of criminal acts in a distant land by our most secretive and lethal special forces.

“For us to not only get a witness on camera, but to obtain and broadcast what we believe is the first footage of an alleged Australian military war crime, was a massive task – one that really underscores the ABC’s commitment to investigative journalism.

“This work built on some very brave reporting by my colleagues Dan Oakes and Sam Clark in their series “The Afghan Files”. Also thanks to everyone in Four Corners who supported this work so brilliantly.

“I’m really proud to be part of the ABC Investigations team started by Gaven Morris and led by Jo Puccini. It’s still a relatively new team and it’s breaking some big stories and proving it’s a real powerhouse in quality journalism.”

Amongst other TV wins were Seven News, Nine News, The Feed, 60 Minutes and Sarah Ferguson doco Revelation.

Seven’s Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were awarded for US protests which to them being assaulted by police.

“This story was never about us. It’s about the people who were peacefully and legally protesting. We’re grateful and humbled that our coverage drew attention to what happened that day. It was a confronting moment for America and certainly for us. We hope this serves as a reminder of the important role of the media and the need for us to do our jobs safely.

“Tim and I appreciate the ongoing support of the team at Seven and the recognition of the Walkley Foundation. I, personally, appreciate Tim’s professionalism, camera work and, most of all, friendship through those days and weeks in Washington, and the many years in the US.”

Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said: “You shouldn’t become the story by simply doing your job but in the chaos the world witnessed there are circumstances you have no control over. Amelia and Tim produced fearless and measured reporting across a frantic 24 hours. The award is a tribute to their courage and poise under extreme pressure.”

Simon Hobbs, 9News Sydney News Director, said: “Adam Bovino is an incredibly talented cameraman and journalist. This award not only honours his incredible work in Minnesota but also a career of outstanding stories.”

Kirsty Thomson, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, said: “The Faceless Man was an extraordinary piece of television journalism. Nick McKenzie, Joel Tozer and Sumeyya Ilanbey’s investigation of branch-stacking and political corruption in the Victorian Labor party had undeniable impact. Daniel Andrews held a press conference to announce Adem Somyurek’s sacking and expulsion from the ALP. Two other ministers also resigned. The story was also another example of the power of collaboration between 60 Minutes, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Congratulations to all involved.”

TV & related categories (winners in bold):

Television/Video Camerawork
Adam Bovino, Today and Nine News, Nine, “George Floyd Protests”
Scott Morelli, 60 Minutes, Nine, “Permafrost”
Aaron Smith, ABC TV and ABC iView, “Revelation”

Television/Video News Reporting
Amelia Brace and Tim Myers, Sunrise, Seven News and The Latest, Seven Network, “Beat the Press: Journalism Under Attack”
Alex Hart, Seven News Sydney, Seven Network “New South Wales Fires”
Chris O’Keefe, Nine News, Nine Network, “The Ruby Princess Emails”

Television/Video Current Affairs Short (Less Than 20 Minutes)
Marc Fennell, Ninah Kopel and Joel Stillone, The Feed, SBS, “Stuffed: Inside Australia’s Biggest Museum Heist”
Adele Ferguson and Chris Gillett, 7.30, ABC, “Alinta Exposed: Power, lies and privacy breaches”
Dylan Welch, Suzanne Dredge and David Maguire, 7.30, ABC, “Battlescars”

Television/Video Current Affairs Long (More Than 20 Minutes)
Nick McKenzie, Joel Tozer and Sumeyya Ilanbey, 60 Minutes, Nine, “The Faceless Man”
Louise Milligan, Mary Fallon and Lauren Day, Four Corners, ABC, “Boys Club”
Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “Killing Field”

Public Service Journalism
Nina Funnell, Kerry Warren and Lori Youmshajekian, news.com.au, The Herald Sun, NT News and The Mercury, “#LetUsSpeak: Victoria blocks sexual assault victims from using real names”, “Give Rape Survivors a Voice” and “Gang rape victim becomes first Tasmanian to speak out following gag law reform”
Chris Vedelago, Sumeyya Ilanbey and Cameron Houston, The Age, “The man who made a toxic waste disaster,” “What happened to us in West Footscray? Firefighters call for answers after toxic fire” and “’Don’t fight’: CFA told to stay home if chemical stash explodes”
Elise Worthington, Lesley Robinson and John Stewart, Four Corners, ABC, “Please Don’t Judge”

Coverage Of Indigenous Affairs
Stan Grant and the Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “I Can’t Breathe”
Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian, “Kill or Be Killed? The incarceration of Jody Gore”
Calla Wahlquist and Lorena Allam, Guardian Australia, “Rio Tinto explodes Juukan Gorge, and BHP’s 24-hour backdown”

Sports Journalism
Peter Badel, Travis Meyn, Robert Craddock and Kate Kyriacou, The Courier-Mail, “Fall of the Brisbane Broncos”
Jessica Halloran and Julian Linden, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, “On Thin Ice: Katia’s story”
Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Amy Donaldson, Fred Shaw and Justin Stevens, 7.30, ABC, “The Final Race”

Casey Briggs, Andrew George, Ryan Kerlin and Peter Matejcek, ABC, “The Curve: COVID-19 data journalism”
Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “Black Summer”
Visual Stories Team, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, “Invisible Crime – Are we failing victims of sexual violence”

Scoop Of The Year
Samantha Maiden, The New Daily, “Hawaii Two-O: Scott Morrison’s bushfire holiday”
Nick McKenzie, Joel Tozer and Sumeyya Ilanbey, 60 Minutes, Nine, “The Faceless Man”
Paul Sakkal and Chloe Booker, The Age, “Hotel quarantine”

Coverage Of A Major News Event Or Issue
ABC News and ABC Regional and Local Team, ABC, “ABC Bushfire Coverage”
Richard Baker and The Age hotel quarantine news team, The Age, “Hotel quarantine”
Stan Gorton, The Islander, “Kangaroo Island bushfire coverage”

Business Journalism
Adele Ferguson, Lesley Robinson and Lauren Day, Four Corners, ABC TV and The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Nine Network, “Immoral and unethical”
Jared Lynch and Nick Evans, The Australian, “Ending business payment rorts”
Michael Roddan, The Australian Financial Review, “#AMPToo – sexual harassment at AMP”

Investigative Journalism
Jacqueline Maley and Kate McClymont, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, “‘Dirty Dyson’: a harasser on the High Court”
Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters, 60 Minutes, Nine, “Secrets of War”
Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “Killing Field”

Walkley Documentary Award Shortlist
Against Our Oath, Heather Kirkpatrick, Waratah Films
Revelation, Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Tony Jones, ABC and In Films
Storm in a Teacup, Nia Pericles and Celia Tait, ABC and Artemis Media

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