Radio/Audio: News & Current Affairs

The sounds of mortars and relentless machine-gun fire are a constant reminder of the risks Matt Brown faces to take listeners to the front line of the war against IS. From news pieces edited in the field to working contacts and investigative, shoe-leather reporting, Brown brings the war on IS home to Australians. 

It’s no mean feat to convey all the stress, violence and humanity of war in three minutes, but Brown manages it with stories that are brave, gripping, and make the best of the immediacy of the audio platform. “Mosul Front” was recorded and edited in the field and filed an hour before broadcast; “Mosul Battle” takes the listener into the city itself to hear from citizens; “Turkey Terror List” revealed a long list of names being watched, including more than 400 Australians. It’s an immense and complex ongoing story with a high degree of difficulty, and the judges thought Brown ticked every box. 

Brown is the ABC’s Middle East correspondent and this year won the prestigious Lowy Institute Media Award for his reporting on the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul. Before moving to Beirut, Brown served two stints in Jerusalem, and was previously the ABC’s Indonesia correspondent and national security correspondent. This is his fifth Walkley Award. 

Judges’ comments:

Matt Brown’s reporting from the IS front line of Mosul was international reporting at its very finest. Brown went where no other reporter or media organisation dared and brought home to Australians the horror of an Islamic fundamentalist war and the battle to defeat it. Adhering to the best of journalism’s traditions – accuracy and impartiality – Brown was our eyes and ears on a story that has frightened and mesmerised us in equal measure.