Mark Riley submitted three balanced, well-constructed and moving columns. Built on a political correspondent’s expertise and leavened with personal experience, Riley added a human touch to the news he broke.  He challenged readers’ assumptions and revealed that key members of Malcolm Turnbull’s faction were disappointed by his failure to win electoral support. One leading member told Riley that Turnbull no longer had the numbers. All three pieces drew strong reader and viewer feedback. Some agreed, some didn’t, but they all started valuable discussions about issues that matter.

Mark Riley is political editor with Seven News and a columnist with The West Australian. He started in journalism with The Newcastle Herald in 1979 and worked for The Sydney Morning Herald before joining Seven News in March 2004. Riley was the first television journalist to win the Press Gallery’s Journalist of the Year Award. This is his first Walkley.

Judges’ comments:

Mark Riley uses personal anecdote and his expertise as a well-connected political correspondent to produce fresh perspectives on the major political stories of the past year. His crisp and engaging columns challenge reader assumptions, and his revelation of an important dynamic in the subsequent leadership challenge was significant.