Herald Sun’s “Lawyer X” wins 2019 Gold Walkley Award
Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon have won Australian journalism’s highest honour in Sydney tonight, for their reporting of the “Lawyer X Informer Scandal” for the Herald Sun.
A deep and sustained investigation, years in the making, Dowsley and Carlyon produced the definitive explanation of a scandal that recast Melbourne’s gangland wars: how lawyer Nicola Gobbo was recruited by Victoria Police to inform on clients. The investigation exposed an unprecedented legal scandal that triggered an inquiry and continues to have serious implications. Gobbo’s alias, “Lawyer X”, is now a byword for the secret abuse of power. The story also won the Investigative Journalism and Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue categories.
The judges were impressed by Dowsley and Carlyon’s dogged pursuit of the story and the Herald Sun’s commitment to it, saying: “In its scale, its scope and its ongoing impact, ‘Lawyer X Informer Scandal’ is an act of journalistic persistence that has changed Australia. That’s what a Gold Walkley is all about.”
Chris McGrath from Getty Images was named the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a timely, dynamic and powerful body of work spanning Turkey, Syria, Kosovo and Hong Kong. Leigh Sales’ Any Ordinary Day (Penguin Random House Australia) won the Walkley Book Award. Stan Grant’s film about Adam Goodes, The Australian Dream (GoodThing Productions, Passion Pictures UK and ABC), was named the winner of the Walkley Documentary Award.
The senior award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism went to Sue Spencer, pioneering producer, documentary-maker and mentor who has made it her mission to speak truth to power. Spencer would never seek out the limelight, but her seven years as executive producer ABC Four Corners was a golden period of investigative journalism, recognised with 14 Walkley Awards, including three Golds.
The 64th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 30 categories. 800 journalists and media identities gathered at the International Convention Centre Sydney for the gala event, with the support of the NSW Government.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian MP paid tribute to this year’s finalists and winners.
“In the age of 24/7 media and mass consumption, institutions like the Walkley Awards are more important than ever to remind us of the importance of timely information and the public interest,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Every nominee has thrived in 2019, bringing their audience something unique. The words you wrote, story you presented or photographs you captured have been powerful to the viewer or reader. You have inspired, entertained and informed.”
Premier Berejiklian also announced the 65th Walkley Awards gala dinner will be hosted in Tamworth in November 2020, as part of the NSW Government’s two-year partnership with the Walkleys.
Chair of the Walkley Judging Board, Lenore Taylor, praised the range and depth of this year’s winners.
“At a time when our profession is under threat from upended business models, legislative overreach and those who are very deliberately seeking to de-legitimise our work, it is more important than ever to promote and celebrate the very best of what we do. We all know that a Walkley Award is the measure of Australian journalistic excellence. Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”
The list of winners is published below.
2019 Walkley Awards Category Winners:
PRINT/TEXT NEWS REPORT
Award Partner Media Super
Michael Koziol and Jennifer Duke, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Guthrie ordered to sack top ABC reporter”, “ABC chair’s ‘bias’ email” and “Revealed: ABC boss’ secret dossier”
HEADLINE, CAPTION OR HOOK
Award Partner Qantas
Baz McAlister, The Courier-Mail, “Time to Haul Ass”, “Give ‘Em a Finch and They’ll Take a Mine” “Halal… Is it Meals You’re Sooking For”
COVERAGE OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
Award Partner PwC Indigenous Consulting
Lorena Allam, Guardian Australia Team and the University of Newcastle’s Colonial Frontier Massacres Project, Guardian Australia, “The Killing Times”
Pat Campbell, The Canberra Times, “Christchurch Fern”
Award Partner Nikon
Craig Golding, AAP, “Invictus Games 2018”
Award Partner Nikon
Matt Roberts, ABC, “The Second Coming of Senator Lambie”
Award Partner Nikon
Chris McGrath, Getty Images, “The End of the Caliphate”
Award Partner Australian Super
Paul Walker, Seven News, Seven Network, “Sydney Stabbing”
TELEVISION/VIDEO: NEWS REPORTING
Award Partner Seven
Seven News Sydney Team, Seven News Sydney, “Sydney Stabbing Rampage”
TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS SHORT (LESS THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner SBS
Ali Rae, Al Jazeera English “All Hail The Algorithm”
TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS LONG (MORE THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner TEN
Suzanne Dredge, Dylan Welch, David Maguire and Janine Cohen, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Orphans of ISIS”
WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD
The Australian Dream, Stan Grant, GoodThing Productions, Passion Pictures UK and ABC
WALKLEY BOOK AWARD
Leigh Sales, Any Ordinary Day, Penguin Random House Australia
NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nikon
Chris McGrath, Getty Images
MOST OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO JOURNALISM
Award Partner News Corp Australia
The 2019 Walkley Judging Board were:
- Chair: Lenore Taylor, editor, Guardian Australia
- Deputy Chair: Claire Harvey, deputy editor, The Sunday Telegraph
- Natalie Ahmat, presenter/producer, NITV News
- Michael Bachelard, investigations editor, The Age (abstained from 2019 judging)
- Michael Brissenden, reporter, Four Corners, ABC
- Mags King, managing photographic editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review
- Deborah Knight, news presenter, Nine
- Stella Lauri, network news director, WIN Television
- John Lehmann, editor, The Australian
- Hamish Macdonald, host, The Project, Network 10
- Mark Mallabone, deputy editor, The West Australian
- Heidi Murphy, senior producer, Mornings with Neil Mitchell, 3AW693
- Patricia Karvelas, presenter, ABC Radio National Drive
- Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, editor, ABC Life
- Tory Shepherd, state editor, The Advertiser
Media enquiries: Please contact Walkley Foundation communications manager Clare Fletcher on 0432 616 810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.