These Walkley categories recognise the best work in any medium - for social equity, sport coverage, community and regional reporting, outstanding interviewing and more.
Links are provided to finalists’ entries wherever possible. These will be updated so please check back. Please note, in some cases entries comprised a number of stories, and the links show a sample of the entry.
Coverage of Indigenous Affairs
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Martin Butler, ABC TV, "Contact" (link to ABC Shop)
Frank interviews, filmed at the site of contact in the Western Australian desert, recount a significant event in recent Australian history when 20 Aboriginal Australians came into contact with white man and the modern world for the first time.
Liz Jackson, Janine Cohen, Lorna Knowles, Four Corners, ABC TV, “A Dog Act”
A probing investigation of the murder by five young white men of an Aboriginal man near the Todd River bed. The program uses hard-won access to reconstruct events surrounding the murder and to examine the effects on the community of causal violence, alcohol and racism.
Ali Russell and Kirk Docker, Hungry Beast, ABC1, “The Gang of 49”
Fearless reporting of a media-fabricated myth: the “Gang of 49”, a South Australian crime ring that never existed. The report showed a myth that had been perpetuated by media and politicians alike to boost ratings.
Social Equity Journalism
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Tom Allard and Jason South, The Sydney Morning Herald and theage.com.au, “Chained to a Life of Madness”
The wretched lives of the mentally ill in Indonesia, both at home or in state-run hospitals and shelters, was exposed in a powerful news story, feature article and narrated slide show.
John Blades, 360, ABC Radio National, “The Too Hard Basket”
A confronting documentary exploring the often taboo subject of disability and sexuality, from the deeply personal perspective of a journalist with multiple sclerosis.
In-depth coverage of the impact of sex abuse on a family, decades after the event. A team in three states, over two years, exposed the legal limitations for abuse victims in Queensland.
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Linton Besser, The Sydney Morning Herald, “The wrong stuff”
An investigation into the annual $25 billion budget of the Department of Defence revealed that very little went into the government’s deployment in Afghanistan.
Sophie McNeill and Geoff Parish, Dateline, SBS TV, “Questions from Oruzgan”
Held the Australian Defence Force to account over February 2009 killing of six Afghan civilians, including four children and one teenager.
Mark Willacy, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, "The Catch" (Transcript)
Exposed alleged corruption at the highest levels of Japan’s so-called scientific research whaling program. Candid interviews with Japanese whaling crew members turned-whistleblowers helped lay bare systemic theft by crew and cover-ups by managers.
Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, Four Corners, ABC TV and The Age, “Dirty Money”
Outstanding Continuous Coverage of an Issue or Event
Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, “Sri Lankans threaten to set fire to boat”
Risk-taking reporting about a boat of Sri Lankan asylum seekers that led to a diplomatic standoff. Fitzpatrick even tossed a mobile phone on to the ship, strapped with written instructions in English and Indonesian to call him.
John Garnaut, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Revealed: Inside Stern Hu’s Prison Cell”
A series of interviews with veterans of the Chinese prison system and also officials and family friends of Stern Hu help build a picture of what life on the inside is like for the Rio Tinto salesman.
Sky News team, Sky News, “Federal Election 2010"
Live and in-depth multi-media coverage of an extraordinary election cycle.
Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique
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Andrew Cornell, Australian Financial Review, “Once Bitten: how Australia’s banks dodged the crisis”
Forensic investigative series which argued that Australian banks’ savage brush with debt in the late 1980s gave them the experience to weather the Global Financial Crisis.
Jane Cowan, abc.net.au, “Brumby’s Frankenstein”
Serious and in-depth but infused with colour and courtroom drama, a series of analysis pieces from the only reporter to cover both the Black Saturday bushfires and every day of the resulting Royal Commission.
Tony Walker, Australian Financial Review, “Abbott: Why I’m Ready to be PM”
Prescient features on Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard written back when he was still a long-shot and she a loyal deputy to Kevin Rudd.
Broadcast and Online Interviewing
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Important campaign-trail interviews from Curtis, who had no prep time before securing candidate Tony Abbott’s pledge to “not now, not ever” change industrial relations laws.
A video series of interviews titled “Counterspin” with a format designed to get answers to questions more easily avoided by politicians at press conferences.
Searching candidate interviews that featured heavily in the election news cycle.
Russell Robinson, heraldsun.com.au, “The Life and Crimes of Leigh Robinson”
Sarah Ferguson, Michael Doyle, Karen Michelmore, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Smugglers’ Paradise”
An expose on people smugglers, drawing on Hussain Nasir, an Iraqi refugee in Indonesia who, period of five months, arranged meetings with and their helpers, posing as a well-connected using hidden cameras.
Mary Ann Jolley and Andrew Geoghegan, Correspondent, ABC TV, “Fly away children”
A groundbreaking investigation into the international adoption industry in Ethiopia with significant effects. The stories triggered a US adoption industry soon after the investigation was aired the Australian government suspended its Ethiopian adoption and ordered a review.
Paul McGeough, The Sydney Morning Herald, smh.com.au, “Humanitarian flotilla heads to Israel”
Reporting in fraught circumstances (first a commando raid, then imprisonment and finally being airlifted Israel by the government of Turkey), McGeough readers inside a crisis that might have been hidden the world.
Sally Sara and Wayne McAllister ABC TV News, ABC TV, “Baby Benazir”
Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs
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Andy Drewitt, Diamond Valley Leader, “A trail of lost souls”
Working with a Melbourne genealogist, Drewitt helped re-establish the identities of former inmates of Victoria’s mental asylums. People isolated by years of illness and treatment were reconnected with their pasts and their families.
Nicole Hasham and Laurel-Lee Roderick, Illawarra Mercury, “Fund collapse ruins families”
A series of articles exposed the devastating consequences that the collapse of Trio Capital had for Wollongong investors.
Michael McGuire, The Advertiser (Adelaide), “Not for sale”
Magazine and news stories examined, from many perspectives, the feelings of people in the Adelaide Hills town of Mt Barker as they face the prospect of massive growth.
Jodie Ann Duffy and Vincent O’Farrell, Illawarra Mercury, “Drawn Out: A Cartoonist’s Long Battle With Bipolar”
Best Sports Journalism
Andrew Hamilton, The Courier-Mail and Herald Sun, “A punt too many as game rules Fev”
Earning the trust of Brendan Fevola through fair and balanced reporting, Hamilton secured the initial exclusive and several follow-ups on the sad facts of the AFL player’s gambling addiction.
Mike Hurst, The Daily Telegraph, “Tests prove tragic truth of a world champion”
Obtaining sex verification test results Hurst broke the news worldwide that athlete Caster Semenya was an hermaphrodite or intersex.
Adrian Proszenko, The Sun-Herald, “Melbourne Storm rorts salary cap”
In a number of scoops, Proszenko lifted the lid on Melbourne’s salary cap rorting.
Wendy Page, Australian Story, ABC TV, “Pay it Forward”
Best Scoop of the Year
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Laurie Oakes, Nine Network, “Labor leaks”
Oakes received inside information on two big stories: that Julia Gillard had reneged on a deal with Kevin Rudd about a leadership challenge, and that she had opposed paid parental leave and pension rises. The stories became significant issues in the election.
Mark Simkin and Chris Uhlmann, ABC TV, “The Scoop” (analysis Chris Uhlmann)
Uhlmann and Simkin broke the spectacular news, on the 7pm bulletin, that Kevin Rudd’s position as prime minister was under threat. Said MP Joe Hockey of the scoop’s primacy: “Kevin Rudd didn’t even know about it until he saw it on the ABC...”
Lenore Taylor, The Sydney Morning Herald, “ETS off the agenda until late next term”
The scoop that Kevin Rudd was to shelve action on climate change astonished the public and rocked the Labor Party.
Patricia Karvelas and Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, “Poll the key as mutineers circle Rudd”
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Michael Bachelard, The Sunday Age, “The shadow side of a cardboard king”
After philanthropist and business tycoon Richard Pratt was given a hero’s send off by Kevin Rudd et al, Bachelard set about re-examining his legacy, revealing, in a yearlong investigation, a series of unpleasant truths about a character euphemistically described as “unconventional”.
Adele Ferguson, The Age, “Something rotten in the state of insolvency practitioners”
The fruit of a three-year investigation of liquidator firms revealed widespread price-gouging, industry regulator failures, a litany of complaints and the systematic abuse of trust when people were at their most vulnerable.
Susannah Moran, The Australian, “Tax office misses its share of $2.3bn Myer float”
Following a courthouse tip, Moran broke news that a group of investors in Myer had bypassed the Australian tax system, sending some $678 million in investment offshore. Moran stayed in front of the story, following the money to Luxemberg and beyond.
Paddy Manning, The Sydney Morning Herald, “The planet-saver that’s still just a pipe dream"