ABC's Four Corners takes gold in the 2011 Walkley Awards
You can find a full write-up of all the winners, as well as their work, and the judges' comments, here.
Sarah Ferguson, Michael Doyle & Anne Worthington have won Australian journalism’s top honour – the Gold Walkley Award – for their shocking report on animal cruelty in Australia’s live cattle export trade.
“A Bloody Business” was the product of a seven-week Four Corners investigation which verified footage shot by the animal activist group Animals Australia showing cattle being eye-gouged and whipped and dying slowly after being improperly slaughtered. The team obtained their own footage from abattoirs in Java and Sumatra as they examined the scope and nature of the problem.
The Walkley judges said: “‘A Bloody Business’ and its repercussions had an enormous impact on the Gillard government, which scrambled to be seen to be doing something in a bid to staunch the fierce criticism of its previous failure to act,” said the Walkley judges.
“Export bans announced by the government were subsequently withdrawn as the industry moved to ensure animals in Indonesia would not suffer cruelty similar to that shown in the Four Corners report.”
The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Hillyard was named Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for knockout sporting images, action shots and portraits full of unexpected, fleeting moments.
“Hillyard has shown his versatility, ranging from brilliant sporting images to posed portraits and beautiful moments of daily life, including the stunning image of a seagull snatching a chip,” the judges said.
ABC journalist Paul Lockyer was posthumously awarded the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership.
“Journalists, like saints, aren’t always fully appreciated in their own lifetimes. So it was with Paul Lockyer, largely because of his own modesty. He was trusted by his colleagues and his audience. If Lockers told you something you could believe it.” the Walkley Board said.
Wikileaks was awarded the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism for showing a courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency.
The Walkley trustees said: “WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup. Its revelations, from the way the war on terror was being waged, to diplomatic bastardry, high-level horse-trading and the interference in the domestic affairs of nations, have had an undeniable impact.”
The inaugural Walkley Documentary Award went to Darren Dale, Tony Krawitz and Chloe Hooper for their film, The Tall Man
“The ultimate selection of this work from such a large field of entries came down to the quality of its journalism through exhaustive research, combined with the art and skill of documentary film making: editing, sound, cinematography and music,” judges said. “The Tall Man objectively deconstructs the circumstances surrounding the death of Cameron Doomadgee.”
Russell Skelton was awarded the Walkley Book Award for King Brown Country: The betrayal of Papunya.
“Skelton writes beautifully, employing an authoritative narrative style. He avoids the common pitfall in reporting Indigenous affairs of exaggeration or sensationalism,” judges said.
The 56th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 34 categories.
More than 700 journalists and media identities gathered at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the gala event, hosted the SBS’s Yalda Hakim and the Nine Network’s Lane Calcutt.
Highlights of the ceremony were broadcast on SBS from 10pm SET, and were tweetcast live by the Walkley team on @walkleys.
The Walkley Awards, administered by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, have a proud history of celebrating the year’s winning stories and images. The awards were established in 1956 by Sir William Gaston Walkley, founder of Ampol Australia.