SBS Dateline




Young Journalist of the Year Awards
Overall Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Television/Video Journalism

Then a 23-year-old foreign correspondent who had spent weeks working alone in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sophie McNeill was named the inaugural Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year and won the Television/Video Journalism for her SBS Dateline report, “Palestine; Divided it Falls” in 2008.

Sophie made her first documentary at 15 when she travelled alone to East Timor to film the health crisis crippling the country. She began studying politics at Curtin University, but deferred her degree for a position with Insight on SBS. Sophie won the Alliance’s Student Journalist of the Year Award in 2003, as well as being named Best Newcomer at the West Australian Media Awards and Best Emerging Director at the West Australian Screen Awards.

In 2005 Sophie was a New York Film Festival finalist for Shoot the Messenger, documenting the shooting of an unarmed, wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque by an American soldier. In late 2006, Sophie based herself in Beirut, Lebanon and has reported from all over the region including the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Last year Sophie was nominated for a Walkley for her camerawork in Sects in the City, documenting Lebanon’s political infighting.

Judges’ comments:

“Sophie displayed a high level of courage and confidence in researching and filming her story.”