Business Journalism finalists announced for Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism

The three finalists in the prestigious Business category of the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were announced today in Sydney, at a lunch hosted by ING Direct.


The 2016 finalists for the Walkley Award for Business Journalism are:

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodolou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC Four Corners, “CommInsure scandal”

Commonwealth Bank’s chief medical officer was fired after he blew the whistle on practices in the bank’s life insurance division that put profits before customers, including pressuring doctors to change their opinions, using old medical definitions to deny claims, and delaying or denying claims to boost profits. This joint investigation, based on leaked internal documents, victims’ stories and the whistleblower’s testimony, led to a Commonwealth apology and changes in practices, and calls for a royal commission into banking.

Heartless Attack
CBA’s heartless act
Money for Nothing

Panama Papers Team, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Australian Financial Review and ABC Four Corners, “Panama Papers”

The ICIJ gathered more than 100 media outlets to investigate 2.5 terabytes of documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca that detailed how the rich, powerful and criminal hide money in offshore tax havens. The AFR and ABC revealed that 800 Australians were under investigation by the Australian Tax Office, and that leading companies working in Australia were using the offshore networks. The project led to a reconvening of the Senate Tax Inquiry and a multi-agency inquiry in Australia, changes in New Zealand disclosure laws and huge protests in Malta.

The Panama Papers: secrets of the super rich

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano, The Age, “Sold out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Age reporters discovered that under deals between some of Australia’s biggest retailers, fast-food giants and the shop assistants’ union, low-income workers had been underpaid billions of dollars, and that the Fair Work Commission had approved non-compliant workplace agreements. The series resulted in millions more for workers each year and the review of dozens of workplace agreements.

Macca’s workers underpaid by millions
Big win for Coles workers
Sold out: quarter of a million workers underpaid in union wages scandal

The judges selected the finalists from more than 35 entries, and said this year’s entries demonstrated the value of business journalism done well.

The winners of the 61st Walkley Awards will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday, Dec. 2, in Brisbane. The ceremony will be broadcast live on SKY’s APAC channel and streamed live on from 7pm.

The judges for the 2016 Walkley Business Journalism Award were:

  • Catherine Armitage, senior writer, The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Eric Johnston, editor, Business Review, The Australian
  • Helen Westerman, Monash Business School and former business & economy editor, The Conversation 

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