Adrian Nesbitt

Headline Journalism

Herald Sun

Adrian Nesbitt’s headlines for the Herald Sun’s tablet and smartphone app display a clever wit and a penchant for classic cinema, seamlessly integrating cultural references into deceptively simple headlines.

His headline “Easy, rider” for a story on the arrest of Bandido boss Toby Mitchell references both the 1969 counterculture film Easy Rider and the article’s accompanying photograph, with a police officer placing his hand on Mitchell’s shoulder, as if to calm him. With “The long kick goodnight”, Nesbitt connected the pressure facing Melbourne Demons coach Mark Neeld from within the club, and the film The Long Kiss goodnight, in which a former secret agent realises her old colleagues are planning to kill her. “Caucus interruptus” headed a story on Kevin Rudd’s “knife-proof” reforms to the election of Labor party leaders.

Sydney-born Nesbitt packed his bags after university graduation and, inspired by Kenneth Cook’s Wake In Fright, headed to the bush looking for a frontier and a lost weekend or two. He found Dubbo and a cadetship. Journalism has since taken him to Canberra, Tokyo and back to Sydney. After nearly 10 years at Fairfax, Nesbitt now works at News Limited, where he is the deputy editor, devices.

Adrian’s Winning Work:

“Easy, rider”

easy rider

“The long kick goodnight”

long kick goodnight


“Caucus interruptus”



Headline Journalism award sponsored by


BHP Billiton

Adrian Nesbitt’s punchy headlines demonstrated wit and understanding of the accompanying stories which covered a diverse range of areas – police rounds, sport and politics. His seemingly simple insertion of a comma into the “Easy, rider” headline showed how important punctuation is to the meaning of a sequence of words. “Caucus interruptus” was cheeky but so appropriate for the story.

– Judges’ comments