Young Journalist of the Year Awards
Overall Young Australian Journalist of the Year
ABC TV journalist Jake Sturmer (@JakeSturmer) was awarded the 2012 Television/Video Journalism Award and named the 2012 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year for “Katanning Hostel Abuse,” the confronting story of child sexual abuse victims. Sturmer’s interviews detailed the significant emotional and psychological damage inflicted on four now-adult victims of widespread sexual abuse at a youth hostel in Western Australia, where the state government has since launched an inquiry that was recently widened to include another hostel. Sturmer’s piece also encouraged other victims of child sexual abuse to come forward. Jake now works for ABC News and Current Affairs in Sydney as the national science and technology reporter.
“Winning the trip to global news operations helped me to make valuable contacts and network with senior news executives at the BBC and CNN. While on the trip I was able to assist at the ABC’s Washington bureau during the presidential election as well as file a story as a VJ about Hurricane Sandy from New York … it was an amazing insight into the inner workings of the organisations and I learnt a great deal that I’ve been able to incorporate into my reporting.” – Jake Sturmer
Judges were impressed with Sturmer’s ability to secure these interviews and the manner in which he conducted them. They praised his great skill and empathy in helping the victims speak publicly about their ordeals. “These pieces were of great national interest and demonstrated public benefit,” the judges said.