NT Media Awards


Winners of the 2018 NT Media Awards announced


The winners of the 2018 Northern Territory  Media Awards were announced at a gala presentation ceremony at Sky City Darwin on Saturday November 17.

Steven Schubert of the ABC was named the Northern Territory Journalist/Photojournalist of the Year after winning three individual awards. Helen Davidson of Guardian Australia won two awards while Justin Kennedy of the NT News won the award for Photography of the Year for his body of work. The ABC’s Thea Halpin was named Young Journalist of the Year.

MEAA and the Darwin Press Club congratulate all the winners.

For more information: MEAAstateawards@walkleys.com

2018 NT Media Awards – Winners with Judges’ Comments  

 

Television/Radio- Best Current Affairs or Feature          

Sponsored by The NT Government

Winner: Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham, Freelance, Lost in Larrimah

Finalists:

  • Kristy O’Brien, Ian Redfearn and Owain Sita-James, ABC, Help from above
  • Liz Trevaskis, ABC Radio, Djarimirri – Child of the Rainbow

Judges’ Comments:

The evolution of this category was reflected in the strength of entries from the audio/podcast medium. The diversity of the category is reflected by the vast variety of entries.  The winner, Lost in Larrimah, transports listeners to the tiny community. The use of natural sound and local lingo allows the community of Larrimah to become its own character in the mystery. Well researched and comprehensive, the podcast explores the disappearance of Paddy Moriarty. The six part series takes advantage of the strengths of the podcast genre to dive deeper into the mystery without being just another true-crime podcast. More than 30 interviews were conducted and each voice brings a new character, new life and new angle to the story. It feels like you are travelling from house to house, beer in hand, listening to the community describe the drama. This is a truly Territorian story and has been treated appropriately. Funny, enjoyable, alarming and true to the environment – this is in every sense – a well told Aussie yarn. The fellow finalists were true to the genre, using natural sound and music to enhance the stories. Both utilised innovation to improve their product and were very strong entries. Stephanie Zillman’s piece deserves credit for the access she gained to the two royal commissioners and the way she handled the sensitive topic.

 

Television/Radio – Best News Coverage

Sponsored by The NT Government

Winner: Kathleen Gazzola, Paul Collins, Rosanna Kingsun, Xavier Martin, Louise Rennie & Graham Morrison, Channel 9 Darwin, Cyclone Marcus

Finalists:

  • Jane Bardon, ABC News, Youth detention and child protection in crisis despite Royal Commission
  • Claire Campbell, ABC News, Tennant Creek in crisis

Judges’ Comments:

This remarkable variety in Territory stories was reflected in the entries to this category.
The winner, Cyclone Marcus, was chosen on the strength of the pictures utilised in well reported and edited series of stories. The stories used established, well-framed professionally shot vision, interlaced with amateur phone vision to reflect the chaos of Cyclone Marcus and bring that into the lounge rooms of Territorians and Australians. The follow stories demonstrated the impact on the top end community and the magnitude of the clean-up that followed. Interviews with Territorians humanised the destruction and the attitude of those affected. Story 3 was beautifully shot. Drone footage gave viewers a greater appreciation of the magnitude of destruction caused by falling Mahoganies. The interviews focused on the Territorians impacted, not just officials, making it clear Marcus’ fury would still be felt weeks and months on in the Top End. All three scripts allowed the pictures to be the star of the story – well produced television news. The two finalists were strong stories on current crises in indigenous Australia. Jane Bardon’s series on youth detention draws on a comprehensive knowledge of the topic and well placed contacts to gain exclusive material that moves the story beyond the Royal Commission. Claire Campbell’s entry manages to capture the confusion and disgust of the Tennant Creek community following the revelation of the assault of a young child.
Kristy O’Brien deserves special commendation for her handling of the sensitive and heartbreaking story of Dolly Everett.

 

Print/Text- Best Feature Writing  

Sponsored by Charles Darwin University

Winner: Steven Schubert, ABC News, NT police and courts failing Indigenous people

Highly Commended: Matt Garrick, News Corp, You Can’t Hide From The Truth

Finalist: Craig Dunlop, NT News, Body of work

Judges’ Comments:

The entries at the top of the competition were outstanding, and the order of the top three was difficult. Our decision to make the winner, Steven’s entry, was based on the ideal of journalism holding the powerful to account. It was an amazing combination of endeavour, cause and quality writing. The linking of the failures of police in investigating two murders of Aboriginal people years apart, an exemplar of this and highlighting the problems of mandatory sentencing through Zak Grieve, the same. Matt’s entry had an excellent and balanced feature on a divisive Territory character, Jacinta Price. He also highlighted a chronic but neglected disease affected Territory indigenous people and provided a compassionate looked at scorned and misunderstood people – Darwin’s long grassers folk. Craig’s writing was brilliant and took us along for rides that were great journalism, with his treatment of the police commissioner’s jailing an outstanding; fascinating read with great insight and new detail.

 

Print/Text- Best News Coverage   

Sponsored by The NT Government

Winner: Steven Schubert, ABC News, Indigenous murder cases go cold amid police infighting

Finalists:

  • Craig Dunlop, NT News, Sex and power: John McRoberts on trial
  • Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham, Freelance, Lost in Larrimah

Judges’ Comments:

Steven Schubert’s body of work on a series of bungled investigations by NT Police was the result of his dogged determination to get at the truth. His efforts included the exceptional cultivation of sources, solo production in remote corners of the NT and appearing in court on behalf of the ABC. His copy was clean, insightful and balanced. Moreover, the judges noted the significance of his work in uncovering the full failures of NT Police. The judges felt Craig Dunlop’s work warranted a highly commended given his deft handling of the criminal trial of John McRoberts. His writing style was a compelling, as were his insights into the case.

 

All Media- Best Environment/Innovation Reporting

Sponsored by Engineers Australia

Winner: Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Glencore dumps 63 truckloads of toxic waste at McArthur River

Finalist: Liz Trevaskis and Jesse Thompson, ABC Radio, Plastic waste problem floods NT coastline

Judges’ Comments:

Helen Davidson’s stories highlight how important it is for journalists to have good contacts and the time to spend digging to reveal stories that are in the public interest. Davidson stayed on the story, her careful scrutiny of documents and efforts to get the facts in her interviews helped her lead the news agenda. Her work is well written and comprehensive.

 

All Media- Best Online Coverage  

Sponsored by NT Chamber of Commerce

Winner: Julian Ricci, Ashley Manicaro, Stuart Thornton and Hayden Smith, NT News, The 120 Most Powerful

Finalists:

  • Nadia Daly, ABC News, Off the beaten track telling hidden Territory Tales
  • Neda Vanovac, Kate Heironymus and Emily Smith, ABC, Cyclone Marcus

Judges’ Comments:

The Territory’s Top 120 Most Powerful people has cemented itself as one of the NT’s most talked about events of the year. It’s obvious how much time and effort goes into compiling the list and it’s online execution was flawless. Specifically prepared as an online-only special it took advantage of the added-value features that digital offers over traditional print and broadcast, particularly the use of interactive word and picture graphics, and the ability to build a growing list of links each day to point back to previous days’ choices and thereby build anticipation via an organic, evolving piece. The List, as its know, was the talk of the Territory and discussed on talkback radio each day, helping to build momentum until the final reveal of the Most Powerful Territorian. This entry was a standout in a strong field of contenders.

 

All Media-Best Scoop/Newsbreaker

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner: Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Glencore dumps 63 truckloads of toxic waste at McArthur River          

Finalists:

  • Jane Bardon, ABC News, Youth detention and child protection in crisis despite Royal Commission
  • Claire Campbell, ABC News, Toddler raped in Tennant Creek

Judges’ Comments:

In a strong field of entries Helen Davidson’s was a convincing winner. Just days before Christmas 2017 Davidson broke the extraordinary news that McArthur River Mine had erroneously dumped 63 truckloads – equating to thousands of tonnes – of toxic waste rock in an unprotected area, where it combusted and sent sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. The scale of the incident was kept out of the public eye by MRM, and the NT Government’s own investigation was similarly galling. It produced no report because, for reasons not publicly known, it took only a verbal report from its independent investigator. Davidson’s exclusive was well written and based on expert research, combing through several-thousand pages of reports, and multiple interviews with department staff and executives who repeatedly changed their story. Davidson broke the story on the morning of the belated release of the annual independent monitor’s report into the mine and it dominated the news agenda for that day, and following days, sparking strong reaction from the environmental sector. It’s understood Davidson remains locked in an FOI battle with the government department over remaining questions about their investigation into the environmental contamination by the controversial mine.

 

All Media- Best Sports Journalism

Sponsored by Serafino Wines 

Winner: Anthony Geppa, Centralian Advocate/ News Corp, Inspiring athletes

Finalists:

  • Josh Spasaro, NT News, Role models and issues in Darwin Basketball
  • Shahni Wellington, ABC News, Women on the rise

Judges’ Comments:

Anthony’s Geppa’s stories of athletes overcoming adversity were told with warmth and flowed well. Asha Coulthard overcame many personal obstacles to become a world champion and is now inspiring other women to feel comfortable in their own skin and be the best they can be. His tribute to Daymon Stokie, who passed away in early 2018, highlighted the legacy he has left behind in Alice Springs motocross. Finally, in his “”Demons win hearts in the Centre”” Geppa explores the rise of AFLW footballers from amateur athletes to role models. He travelled with the team out to remote community Hermannsburg seeing firsthand how they helped spread healthy lifestyle messages. They were all true sport stories but touched on the dept of the human spirit to make for enjoyable reading no matter what your interests.

 

All Media-Excellence in Northern Reporting

Sponsored by Telstra

Winner: Steven Schubert, ABC News, NT police and courts failing Indigenous people          

Finalists:

  • Lorena Allam, Guardian Australia, HTLV-1: the forgotten virus youve never heard of
  • Jane Bardon, ABC News, Youth detention and child protection in crisis despite Royal Commission

Judges’ Comments:

“I can’t go through with this”: How Zak Grieve backed out of a murder plot but got life anyway. Steven produced a compelling narrative on a case that raised serious questions about the NT’s mandatory sentencing laws. Working from a small ABC office in Katherine at the time of a brutal murder Steven built trust with key characters in the case, enabling him to comprehensively detail an injustice against a young Aboriginal man. The piece was published three days before a national newspaper launched a digital documentary on the case, giving the ABC the scoop.  Zak Grieve has an appeal for mercy before the NT Administrator.

 

Photography of the Year   

Sponsored by The NT Government

Winner: Justin Kennedy, NT News, Body of work  

Judges’ Comments:

Justin Kennedy provided an excellent snap shot of life in the to end including the royal visit ands the immense sense of relief of a family in the aftermath of cyclone Marcus. His photo of ‘never give up action’ shot of an NRL players in action was especially compelling.

 

Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year 2018

Sponsored by The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre    

Winner: Thea Halpin, ABC News, Body of work

Highly Commended:  Craig Dunlop, NT News, Body of work

Finalist: Lauren Roberts, NT News, Body of work

Judges’ Comments:

Thea Halpin’s work demonstrates everything media outlets want to see from a talented young journalist. Her exclusive interview with a man wrongly charged with the rape of a two-year-old girl was a significant national story, which would not have been told without her determination to track him down. The interview and story were skilfully put together and sensitive to the subject matter.

 

Journalist/Photojournalist of the Year 2018

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner: Steven Schubert, ABC News

Highly Commended: Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham, Freelance

Finalist: Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia

Judges’ Comments:

As the winner of three individual categories, Steven Schubert demonstrated significant ability as a storyteller and investigative journalist. Each of his entries asks important questions about the administration of justice in the Northern Territory. His detailed and enthralling account of the Zak Grieve case contributed new perspectives to a well-known story. He built trust with key contacts to elicit important information, and highlighted how mandatory sentencing laws and other inconsistencies contributed to the jailing of a man who “wasn’t there”. In “Northern Territory Police deny ‘institutional racism’ to blame for failed murder investigation” and “Indigenous murder cases go cold amid police infighting”, Steven carefully examines the way police and other agencies investigate crimes against indigenous and non-indigenous people. Many of these stories give voice to the voiceless; one of the fundamental aims of good journalism, and on that measure Steven is a worthy winner.

Photos from the 2018 NT Media Awards

If you are having trouble seeing this gallery on your phone or browser, view it on flickr. All photos by Anita Lakatos.

  • 2017 NT Journalist of the year Jano Gibson (left), accepting his award.
    The Darwin Press Club and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Northern Territory Media Awards. The winners in the 16 award categories were chosen from 40 finalists representing nine news media organisations.

    The annual awards – proudly supported by MEAA, the Walkley Foundation and the Darwin Press Club – celebrate quality journalism and reward media professionals whose commitment and excellent media coverage best informs and entertains the Territory

    The judges praised the calibre and depth of reporting in the Northern Territory in all its forms, from interactive digital pieces and television stories to broadcast interviews and feature print stories.

    The 2017 Northern Territory Media Awards Winners

    Television/Radio – Best Broadcast Interview

    Sponsored by Media Super

     Winner: Katie Woolf, Mix 104.9, Body of Work

    Finalists:

    • Isabelle Mullen, 9 News Darwin, Youth crime
    • Lisa Pellegrino, ABC, Body of Work

    Judges Comments:

    Katie showed tenacity and was combat ready in her political interviews, pressing politicians on their statements and commitments. She also showed the breadth of her interviewing abilities, changing pace for a sensitive discussion in the wake of the Manchester attack. The interviews were timely and newsbreaking. She was well-prepared for each interview and managed to cut through to the heart of the issues, acting as a competent guide for her audiences on complex topics. Katie was willing to run interviews over several minutes, not allowing politicians to filibuster or run out the clock and would intervene if necessary to get an answer.

     

    Television/Radio – Best Current Affairs or Feature     

    Sponsored by City of Darwin

    Winner:  Kristy O’Brien, Owain Stia-James and Ian Redfearn, ABC, Seven Emu: Wild Bull Catching in the Top End

    Finalists:

    • James Oaten, ABC News, Australian-Kurdish fighter challenges authorities to charge him
    • Jess Ong, Johanna Bell and Rosa Ellen, SPUN Stories, SPUN Stories’ podcast

    Judges Comments:

    Seven Emu provided a compelling  insight into a world many Australians would rarely see. The main story was deftly put together under tough circumstances in a remote part of the Northern Territory. The team got the best out of their interviewees and the vision of the bull catching itself was exceptionally shot and edited. Working within the feature format, Kristy was able to let the shots and natural sound add to the story – taking the audience along for the bumpy ride. The addition of the “behind the scenes ” video was a huge asset. It captured a large separate online audience and was well made. All up – exemplary story telling.

     

    Television/Radio – Best News Coverage

    Sponsored by True North Strategic Communication

    Winner: Jano Gibson, ABC, Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks public health emergency

    Finalists:

    • Matt Cunningham, SKY News, The Crisis No one Talks About
    • Nadia Daly, ABC News, ‘Unforgivable error’: Medical bungle leaves two women without their breasts

    Judges Comments:

    Jano’s report was an important piece of journalism that exposed a shocking reality in a remote part of the country. The CCTV vision he obtained was crucial to illustrate the story and provide proof of the problem. For audiences removed from the situation – the pictures told more than experts or witnesses ever could. The story was well told to a national audience and was followed up by domestic and international outlets. His story stood out among a strong field of candidates. His work as a solo video journalist is also to be commended.

     

    Best News Camerawork of the Year

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner: Ryan Scott-Young, ABC, Body of work

    Finalists:

    • Paul Collins, Nine News, My Year in the NT
    • Mitchell Woolnough, ABC, Body of work

    Judges Comments:

    In a strong field, Ryan Scott Young’s unique vision and style was a step above. He not only overcame the challenges of filming in remote regions of the Territory, but embraced them, finding beauty in the harsh environment. His thoughtful and creative camera work on the ‘Bush Cars’ story made for particularly enjoyable and memorable viewing. He also showed sensitivity, discretion and respect when it came to his human subjects in the Bush Mob story. Judges noted Ryan’s feature-style approach to filming, which lifted his camera work above that of which you would normally expect of daily news coverage.          

     

    Print/ Text – Best Feature Writing        

    Sponsored by Charles Darwin University

    Winner: Matt Garrick, NT News/Sunday Territorian, The Great Divide

    Finalists:

    • Kieran Banks, NT News, Attacks on our protectors
    • Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Body of work – the good, the bad, and the unusual
    • Hayley Sorensen, NT News, Body of work

    Judges Comments:

    In addition to being beautifully composed and written, Matt Garrick’s collection of features demonstrate remarkable insight into the political and social life of the NT. It was a tightly contested race with Helen Davidson but in the end Garrick’s ability to take what could have been a dry political yarn and make it a page turner nudged him ahead. The judges made a point of highly commending Davidson, whose wide-ranging body of work was also of a superior standard and a wonderful read.

     

    Print/ Text – Best News Coverage         

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner: Matt Cunningham, Sky News/NT News, NT’s Prison Blues

    Finalists:

    • Craig Dunlop, NT News and Centralian Advocate, Underbelly in the outback
    • Hayley Sorensen, NT News, Tough on crime

    Judges Comments:

    Matt Cunningham’s series of exclusives reports into the failings within the NT’s corrections system are an example of the value of cultivating good contacts and dogged persistence to break news. Matt has an acute knowledge of the Northern Territory and through obtaining secret reports was able to uncover revelations the Darwin Correctional Precinct was riddled with issues, and that the Government had ignored its own expert panel’s advice to build a new youth facility. Matt complemented these stories with insightful opinion pieces which gave readers a valuable insight into the controversies.

     

    All Media – Best Environment/Innovation Reporting

    Sponsored by Engineers Australia          

    Winner: Jane Bardon, ABC News, Development problems exposed: McArthur River Mine and NT Fracking

    Finalists:

    • Sara Everingham, ABC News, Digging up the costs of mining
    • Steven Schubert, ABC News, Body of work

    Judges Comments:

    Jane Bardon’s stories on McArthur River Mine and Fracking ticked all the boxes, making her entry a standout winner in the Best Environment/Innovation Reporting category. She exposed major environmental problems at McArthur River Mine and proposed fracking fields that brought issues and concerns buried deep in the remoteness of the Territory to light. Her investigations were thorough and her reports, comprehensive and newsworthy. Jane’s work is absolutely deserving of the award and she is to be congratulated on her commitment and dedication to raising the reporting bar with her scrupulous research and compelling presentations. Judges were impressed by all entries in this category which demonstrate that Northern Territory journalists are keeping up to speed with a range of environmental topics, highlighting problems and presenting innovative solutions that are helping to protect and preserve our animals and our land.

     

    All Media – Best Online Coverage         

    Sponsored by NT Chamber of Commerce

    Winner: Andrew Piva, Julian Ricci Matt Garrick, Tamara Howie and Molly Baxter, NT News, Bombing of Darwin 75th anniversary

    Finalists:

    • Jane Bardon and Emma Vincent, ABC News, NT investigations; McArthur Mine, BRADAAG, Rogan threat, Stolen Generation, Fracking
    • Avani Dias and Mitchell Woolnough, ABC, Community success: learning on country

    Judges Comments:

    The NT News coverage of the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin was innovative and eye-catching, demonstrating excellent research and planning skills. Using archival material and first-person accounts, a series of well-written digital features told a historic Northern Territory story utilising a modern format. Reporters captured both Australian and Japanese perspectives and delved into the archives to illustrate their custom-made interactive features. This was an excellent example of creative online coverage leading the way to serve local, national and international audiences.

     

    All Media – Best Scoop/Newsbreaker

    Sponsored by Lion           

    Winner: Nadia Daly, ABC News, ‘Unforgivable error’: Medical bungle leaves two women without their breasts

    Finalists:

    • Jano Gibson, ABC, Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks public health emergency
    • Chris Walsh and Kieran Banks, NT News, Fractured Force
    • Matt Cunningham, Sky News and NT News, Hamburger’s Prison Pickle

    Judges Comments:

    The judges really struggled with accessing this category. Here you see four cracking stories, that each took extensive research, cultivating of contacts, dogged determination to get to the bottom of four very complex matters, in a way that was succinct, compelling, and highlighted matters of utmost importance. Nadia’s report was confronting, thorough, and sensitive in the way it dealt with a very disturbing series of misdiagnosis. There was a deep level of trust from the woman at the centre of this story, and she was able to tell a story of devastation and betrayal. Nadia gave voice to authorities who ultimately apologised and addressed the systemic failures displayed. Stories like this really challenge you to question if this story would ever have seen the light of day had it not been for reporting of the highest merit. Matt Cunningham is Highly Commended for his coverage of the Hamburger report. Matt’s series of reports exposing seemingly political coverup, bad decision-making, and cutting corners – or a combination of the three was a masterclass in the nuance of detail hidden in a report. Matt’s reports cut through very complex and highly politicised matters in a way that was succinct and easy to absorb.

     

    All Media – Best Sports Journalism       

    Sponsored by Serafino Wines 

    Winner: Jane Bardon and Tristan Hooft, ABC News, Sport programs changing lives need more support

    Finalists:

    • Jenny Munro, NT News, Women’s Cricket in the NT: Building an Innings
    • Shahni Wellington, ABC News, More than colour stories

    Judges Comments:

    Jane Bardon’s series of stories went beyond typical sports coverage of match reports, scores and injuries, to find a human angle and explore how sport can become a vehicle for social change. Bardon’s body of work also highlighted the often overlooked role of volunteers, funding challenges and the importance of sport at a grassroots level in the Territory. Overall, a well crafted body-of-work entry, featuring engaging, original stories

     

    All Media – Excellence in Indigenous Reporting

    Sponsored by Darwin Press Club / MEAA

    Winner: Jane Bardon, ABC News, Regaining life control: Marshall Wallace, Bush Mob, Stolen Generation, Retta Dixon

    Finalists:

    • Avani Dias, ABC, Body of work
    • Jano Gibson, ABC, Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks public health emergency

    Judges Comments:

    An exceptionally tough category to judge, with the three finalists all breaking stories of national and international interest across multiple platforms. Jane Bardon’s experience and extensive community contacts saw her just nudge ahead of the other finalists, with a strong cross section of stories told with depth and sensitivity, that importantly, gave a voice to Indigenous Territorians rarely heard in the national media landscape. Bardon’s story on Marshall Wallace – a terminally ill man jailed for driving offences – was a standout, with her reporting ultimately leading to Federal Government intervention and Mr Wallace being released from prison.

     

    All Media – Excellence in Northern Reporting

    Sponsored by NT Cattlemen’s Association          

    Winner: Ben Smee and Chris Walsh, NT News, Crocs in the Cabinet

    Finalists:

    • Jane Bardon, ABC News, Demanding a different way: Aaron Hyde, Kenny Rogan, Ian Johns, Bushmob, Brahminy and Balunu
    • Kristy O’Brien, ABC, Following the dust

    Judges Comments:

    Crocs in the Cabinet, by Ben Smee and Christopher Walsh is the very worthy winner of the 2017 Excellence in Northern Reporting Award. This award recognises a high level of achievement in journalism: in research, reporting and analysis and those elements are clearly demonstrated in Crocs in the Cabinet. Between 2012 and 2016,the Mills/Giles Government gave these two NT News journalists an extraordinary amount of material to work with and that’s evident in the book, but it’s their combined ability to put the events of those years within a wider Territory context that is the real strength of Crocs in the Cabinet. The book has had a significant impact here in the Territory. It’s ben widely read and much discussed and its authors are well deserved winners tonight.

     

    Photography of the Year          

    Sponsored by INPEX

    Winner: Elise Derwin, NT News, Body of work

    Finalists:

    • Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Body of work
    • Justin Kennedy, NT News, The Territory Lifestyle

    Judges Comments:

    Elise Derwin’s photos show great skill and sensitivity. Photos of a Mulluwirri Magpies fan pausing to feel the rain on his face in the Bathurst Islands, a local surfer carving up monsoonal waves on the Nightcliff foreshore and local performers in the Botanical Gardens demonstrate Elise’s skill in capturing both spontaneous and carefully prepared photos. Vibrant, arresting images that are full of life.

     

    All Media- Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award

    Sponsored by Mix 104.9

    Winner: Chris McLennan, Fairfax Media, Chemical contamination

    Finalists:

    • Matt Cunningham, SKY News, The Crisis No one Talks About
    • Jane Bardon, ABC News, Terminally ill man imprisoned for driving offences fights to be released from custody
    • Katie Woolf, Mix 104.9, CBD Revitalisation

    Judges Comments:

    Chris McLennan’s reporting stood out among a strong field. He clearly listened to community concern, researched thoroughly, and kept pushing the story along with considered and balanced coverage of an enormous story. Chris’ work was in the vein of the late Pete Davies – of listening to a concern coming from the community, and doggedly chasing it to get an outcome. Chris’ coverage arguably prompted the much bigger national conversation about defence bases and environmental concerns, that we are seeing unfold right now. The judges were impressed with Chris’ tenacity and perseverance to tell the story, and tell it fully, while always advocating for it to be rectified. Each of the finalists showed a commitment to getting to the truth in a balanced and unbiased way, and each prosecuted an area of community concern, with a determination to get to positive outcomes.

     

    Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year 2017

    Sponsored by The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre           

    Winner: Elliana Lawford, NITV News, Indigenous Territory

    Finalists:

    • Avani Dias, ABC, Body of work
    • Henry Jones, Channel 9, Body of work

    Judges Comments:

    Elliana Lawford’s body of work showed a high level of skill and professionalism in challenging environments. She negotiated the pressures of working solo to shoot, write, edit and deliver well scripted and thought-provoking stories. Her work took her to some of the most remote parts of the Territory to tell stories that were otherwise untouched. It demonstrated an understanding of the importance of building relationships and investigating complex issues from several perspectives. Elliana is a worthy winner in a category that contained an incredibly high standard of work. The future of journalism in the Northern Territory looks very bright.

     

    Journalist/Photojournalist of the Year 2017

    Sponsored by The NT Government

    Winner: Jano Gibson, ABC

    Judges Comments:

    There was a strong campaigning element to this year’s awards, from poisoned aquifers to poisoned mines, but for true impact — Territory, national and international — the judges felt Jano Gibson’s entry in the Best News Coverage TV/Radio category, “Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land” was outstanding. This confronting exclusive was impossible to ignore. It not only highlighted a problem many believed had gone away, it revealed a new extreme in the petrol-sniffing scourge. This was a story any journalist would put his or her name to.

  • 2016 NT Journalist of the year James Oaten with Chief Minister Michael Gunner.
    The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 Northern Territory Media Awards – the pre-eminent Territory-based awards promoting journalistic excellence across print, broadcast and digital media platforms.

    The annual awards – which are supported by MEAA, the Walkley Foundation and the Darwin Press Club – celebrate quality journalism and reward media professionals whose commitment and excellent media coverage best informs and entertains the Territory.

    This year’s awards were presented on Saturday evening at SkyCity in Darwin before the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the Lord Mayor of Darwin with almost 300 people attending the event – an indication that the NT Media Awards is a key event for the media industry.

    Darwin Press Club president Neda Vanovac said: “NT journalists, photographers and camera operators have continued to produce an incredibly high standard of work, breaking big national and international stories. The Darwin Press Club is thrilled to see them recognised, proving how much talent there is in the top end and central Australia, unearthing and telling crucial stories that might otherwise go untold.”

    The 2016 Northern Territory Journalist of the Year is James Oaten from the ABC, who also won the categories of Best News Coverage and Best Current Affairs or Feature for TV/Radio for his internationally newsbreaking stories of Australians travelling to Syria to fight against ISIS. Judges praised him for demonstrated tenacity in identifying and pursuing a story, maintaining a dedication to truth and accuracy, independent thinking, fairness, impartiality and humanity.

    In a year when the after-effects of the Don Dale youth justice scandal continue to echo, it has been particularly gratifying to see the work of ABC reporter Kate Wild recognised in two major categories: the Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award and the Excellence in Indigenous Reporting Award for the ground-breaking local reports she filed over a long period of time, which formed a basis for Four Corners’ expose which triggered a royal commission. Her work truly generated palpable change which has resonated around the country.

    The ABC’s Jane Bardon was recognised with two prizes for her work, particularly her ongoing reports on environmental issues affecting remote Aboriginal communities, such as the MacArthur River Mine near Borroloola, and congratulated for her ability to form long-lasting contacts in remote places.

    Christopher Walsh from the NT News won the Best Scoop and the Excellence in Northern Reporting categories for his dogged ongoing political reporting investigating corruption and dodgy dealings at the highest levels of government. The judges noted his strong track record for breaking stories that matter to Territorians.

    The ABC’s Avani Dias is the 2016 Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year, recognised for her consistently excellent reporting. The judges praised her for her deep understanding of NT issues, and her persistence and determination as a reporter.

    MEAA and the Darwin Press Club congratulate all the winners who, through their work, continue to prove the depth and breadth of talent in the NT.


    Print/ Text Best News Coverage              

    Sponsored by Media Super   

    Winner:    Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, The Northern Territory’s ongoing crisis in juvenile detention

    Finalists:

    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Policy Adventure
    • Dani McDonald, NT News, Housing woes of the Northern Territory
    • Christopher Walsh, NT News, Covering the NT Political Circus

    Judges’ comments:

    “All three finalists demonstrated strong investigative skills in uncovering stories of NT, national and international interest. In each entry, it was evident the amount of time and effort that went into uncovering their respective stories and demonstrated the high calibre of journalism being produced out of the Northern Territory. Helen Davidson’s investigation on the crisis within the NT juvenile detention centre began well before the Four Corners’ investigation aired earlier this year. Told through the eyes of an inmate, it demonstrated creative flair and a deep understanding of the issue, as did her ensuing pieces following the Four Corners’ footage outcry. The judges commended Dani McDonald for her series on the NT’s Department of Housing crisis, noting she worked extremely hard to gain the trust of residents to tell their stories without fear of recrimination.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Print/ Text Best Feature Writing             

    Sponsored by Charles Darwin University

    Winner:    Matt Garrick, NT News, Out of the Darkness

    Finalists:

    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Feral-proof fence
    • Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Body of Work
    • Zach Hope, NT News, The old and the new

    Judges’ comments:

    “The judges noted the exceptionally high calibre of entries, which made this category a difficult one to settle on a winner. Matt Garrick shared the unique stories and characters of central and northern Australia in an interesting and engaging way. His writing flair made the story telling seem effortless, when the complexities of the topics were anything but.  From nuclear tests in the desert to the Top End greyhound racing industry, the judges noted the topics were all very worthy of bringing to the attention of Territorians however he did so by demonstrating a great level of creativity. The judges also wanted to make special mention of The Guardian’s Johanna Bell, who wrote about the often-told story of Peter Falconio’s disappearance but managed to deliver new insights into the famous case.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Television/Radio Best News Coverage

    Sponsored by Michels Warren Munday

    Winner:    James Oaten, ABC, Shock and anger: Fallout from youth detention abuse exposed on 4Corners

    Finalists:

    • Jane, Bardon, ABC, Holding Government to account on real issues behind the scandals
    • Katherine Gregory, ABC, Breaking the silence and suffering inside Wickham Point

    Judges’ comments:

    ­“James Oaten delivered a polished selection of stories across both radio and TV news. When reporting on the fallout from the Four Corners story into youth detention, he cut through the storm of voices to consistently deliver clear, confident reports that absolutely earned their place on a national platform. Despite the time limits, he skilfully captured the important issues, facts and opinions about a topic that will simmer in the Territory for a long time to come.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Television/ Radio Best Broadcast Interview

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner:    Katie Woolf, Territory Broadcasters, A collection of interviews

    Finalists:

    • Rebecca McLaren, ABC, Body of Work
    • Lisa Pellegrino, ABC, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Katie did exactly what commercial radio sets out to do, providing entertaining, compact and informative interviews in a punchy way. Her political interviews dealt deftly with the topics burning hottest during a particularly wild election campaign. Her questions were frequently short and sharp – her guests were challenged, provoked and thoroughly grilled – but they were also allowed to speak their mind. The overall result was classy radio that made politics incredibly accessible…and never ever let it be boring. Congratulations Katie Woolf.”

    Link to view winning submission here.

     

    Television/Radio Best Current Affairs or Feature

    Sponsored by City of Darwin      

    Winner:    James Oaten, ABC, Australians dying in Syria – how can it be stopped?

    Finalists:

    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Digging deep to expose the rot
    • Rosa Ellen, ABC, Central Desert art radio package

    Judges’ comments:

    “There were many excellent entries in this category showing the diversity of media broadcasting, from beautiful long form radio features transporting us into the central desert art world to hard hitting news and current affairs. James’ internationally news-breaking story about a young Australian who disappeared from home to fight with the Kurds in Syria stood out for its newsworthiness, human interest, incredible footage and access to a part of the world that is in the news almost every day but rarely seen on this level of engagement. James’ interviews are compelling and powerful giving insight into an horrific and personal journey. He obviously developed a huge rapport and trust with Reece Harding’s family, the Kurdish community and fellow fighters, and his high level of dedication, journalism and craft skills shine through.”

    Links to view winning submission (one and two).

     

    Photography of the Year

    Sponsored by Inpex

    Winner:    Elise Derwin, NT News, Body of Work

    Finalists:

    • Justin Kennedy, NT News, Body of Work
    • Helen Orr, NT News, Body of Work
    • Ivan Rachman, NT News, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Elise Derwin is the winner of the Photography of the Year category. Judges felt her set of images ticked all the boxes for technical and compositional excellence, newsworthiness and impact. Along with reporter Ellie Turner, she undressed appropriately to go undercover into a nudist camp to produce Nudist Nomads – No Tan Lines Here. Her brilliant photo of fire-blowing Crocodile Man, Craig West, captured a fireball that appeared to morph into evening thunderclouds and her graphic photo of boxer Peter Graham landing a punch on rival Julius Long at the World Boxing Foundation title in Darwin had a real ‘ouch’ factor. Elise’s coverage of a triple-fatal road crash on Tiger Brennan Drive encapsulated the horror, tragedy and despair of the situation while innocence and simplicity were depicted in her photo of two young brothers playing football in their Melville Island backyard.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three and four).

     

    Best News Camerawork of the Year

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner:    Mitchell Woolnough, ABC, Body of Work

    Finalists:

    • Andrew Hyde, Freelance, Body of Work
    • Ryan Scott Young, ABC, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Mitch Woolnough through his body of work has consistently demonstrated his ability to identify and convey impartiality, creativity and an editorially sound understanding of his brief in more often than not challenging environments. Mitch demonstrates an innovative and thoughtful approach to subjects where discretion, tact and sensitivity is required. His composition of Uluru, which has become an almost photographic cliché, also shows his ability to create something truly unique. His work is clearly identifiable, and his contribution to each story is a key component to the success of those with which he collaborates.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    All Media Best Online Coverage              

    Sponsored by NT Chamber of Commerce

    Winner:    Jane Bardon, ABC, ABC News and Current Affairs Darwin

    Finalists:

    • James Dunlevie, ABC, Don Dale
    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series – Wave Hill walk-off 50th anniversary

    Judges’ comments:

    “Jane’s exclusive online stories took readers to remote corners of Australia, and highlighted failures of government and of local corporations affecting remote Indigenous communities. Jane’s online feature exposing serious environmental issues at the McArthur River Mine was a comprehensive and detailed investigation which was especially praised by the judges. It included a great use of photography and video in a long-form style which had national interest. The judges praised Jane’s determination to step outside of the office to uncover stories affecting remote residents of the Territory.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    All Media Best Scoop/Newsbreaker     

    Sponsored by Telstra     

    Winner:    Christopher Walsh, NT News, Shares Scandal

    Finalists:

    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Darwin Port
    • James Oaten, ABC, Symbol of Kurdistan: Gold Coast man killed while fighting against Islamic State

    Judges’ comments:

    “Christopher’s exclusive report had major impact, and came about after persistent commitment to the story. Christopher’s feature stood out in a competitive field of entries because he’d stuck with the story for many months and had undertaken rigorous research to ensure the story was fact-checked and sourced. The judges praised Christopher’s use of old-fashioned journalism – pouring through documents obtained under Freedom of Information and using a number of sourced to verify his story. It was a well-written and detailed front-page story that ultimately led to the resignation of the former Deputy Chief Minister. The judges noted Christopher’s track record for breaking stories that matter to Territorians.”

    Link to view winning submission here.

     

    All Media Best Environment/Innovation Reporting      

    Sponsored by Engineers Australia           

    Winner: Jane Bardon, ABC, Nowhere to hide

    Finalists:

    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series Subject
    • James Oaten, ABC, Environmental concerns ignored in Sandalwood expansion plans

    Judges’ comments:

    “Jane’s painstaking and thorough investigative reports into the impacts of development on the Northern Territory environment were a cut above the other entries. Jane sought further information to guide and inform her coverage through Freedom of Information requests. Her reports have impacted on Territory environmental policy and ensured that Territorians have not been kept in the dark about the impacts of mining, agriculture and other developments. In such a vast and sparsely populated part of the country, Jane was able to develop contacts and report from isolated locations. Her entry shows her ability to bring these stories to a national audience, while ensuring there is a well-crafted narrative presented in an ethical manner.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    All Media Best Sports Journalism

    Sponsored by Bird in Hand

    Winner:    Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series Subject

    Finalists:

    • Henry Jones, Channel 9, Under Siege Eels Hit the NT
    • Mark Wilton, Rural Weekly Northern Territory, Rodeo Days

    Judges’ comments:

    “The high calibre of sport entries meant the judges had a difficult task of deciding on one that was any better than the others. In the end the judges agreed that the entry from Elliana Lawford met all of the criteria. In particular, the story of the Wadeye footy league curbing violence in the community was well researched, well told and had the potential for broader impact. The judges agreed that that particular story reached a national audience and showed how the passion for sport could be utilised to make social change. The story was able to clearly show how a much maligned community was able to capitalize on what little they had at their disposal to help them reduce community violence. The story captured that it was clearly a community driven initiative that had the potential to inspire other communities to do likewise. The passion of the local people and the involvement of the local police as players and umpies was captured in the story. The story was a good news story on positive community action when it could have just as easily been a story of a sporting event.”

    Link to view winning submission here.

     

    All Media Magazine of the Year

    Sponsored by NT Cattlemen’s Association

    Winner:    Territory Q Business Magazine

    Finalists:

    • Off the Leash – Turn It Up
    • Off the Leash

    Judges’ comments:

    “The Magazine of the Year finalists are a fabulous representation of the rich diversity of the Territory.  This year’s winner Territory Q has consistently delivered quality content for readers in the Territory and beyond.  The judges were particularly impressed with Territory Q’s layout and photographic quality.  Territory Q’s articles explore a wide variety of original issues that interest and excite Territorians and introduce us to the better and lesser known people involved in those issues.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Gold Award: Excellence in Indigenous Reporting

    Sponsored by The Australian Government

    Winner:    Kate Wild, ABC, Voices from the Margins

    Finalists:

    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Reconciliation
    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Proud people ask for help

    Judges’ comments:

    “Voices from the Margins is a series of confronting reports that force to the surface the stories of Indigenous people living on the fringes in the Northern Territory. The news-breaking reports of mistreatment in the juvenile detention system pre-dated the Four Corners expose and the Royal Commission, displaying a high level of journalistic prowess. Kate has shown the same level of excellence and investigative skill in her reports into the federal government’s Work for the Dole program and into the use of mining royalties in a remote Aboriginal community. Her coverage of the death of Lala, a 20-year-old disabled woman, catalogued the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach that is often taken towards Indigenous Territorians. Without journalists willing to research, investigate and expose these stories they would remain a hidden reality. Kate’s storytelling abilities have ensured this is not the case.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Gold Award: Excellence in Northern Reporting 

    Sponsored by Northern Australian Development Office

    Winner:    Christopher Walsh, NT News, Sex, Lies and Videotape: Covering NT Politics

    Finalists:

    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Far North
    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Holding governments and industry to account up North

    Judges’ comments:

    “The number and quality of entries for this category (Excellence in Northern Reporting) much impressed the judges, and revealed the richness to be harvested from the Northern Territory’s fields of stories. Selecting the finalists was a challenging exercise.  The work of the winner, Christopher Walsh, shone through because of the collateral damage it inflicted on the local polity. Walsh’s work demonstrates a fearless approach to his subjects, and won him enduring enmity from members of the previous NT government. He truly rattled the citadels of power in this jurisdiction.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three and four).

     

    Gold Award: The Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award

    Sponsored by Mix 104.9

    Winner:    Kate Wild, ABC, NT Juvenile Justice System

    Finalists:

    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Pressuring governments to tackle Third World living conditions
    • Hayley Sorensen, NT News, Campaign for cardiothoracic and neurosurgical services

    Judges’ comments:

    “Kate’s exemplary reporting was chosen as the clear winner among a strong selection of finalists. Kate’s exclusive reports shed light on what was really going on inside the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, and she included essential analysis of government policy. Kate worked hard to secure crucial interviews with the family of Dylan Voller, with the NT Children’s Commissioner and with the Corrections Department. Her reports led to change and laid the ground work for the Four Corners investigation which led to a royal commission being called by the Prime Minister.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Gold Award: Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year 2016

    Sponsored by The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre

    Winner:    Avani Dias, ABC, Wave Hill 50th anniversary: Thousands join walk-off re-enactment to mark land rights protest

    Finalists:

    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Know Your Enemy
    • Tom Volling, Newscorp, In Too Deep: The killing of Rick Berry

    Judges’ comments:

    “Avani Dias’ body of work showed a deep understanding of Northern Territory issues, with a flair for original and engaging content. Her coverage of major milestones garnered national attention through clever scripting and carefully selected talent. She was able expose rare personal insights into stories of national significance and take the Top End to the rest of the world. Her exclusive coverage of elevated lead levels in Top End communities was the result of a year-long investigation that showed persistence, determination, and how good journalism can affect public policy. It was well written, without exaggeration and presented a compelling story. An outstanding body of work from a young journalist in a very competitive category.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).

     

    Gold Award: Journalist of the Year 2016

    Sponsored by The Northern Territory Government

    Winner:  James Oaten, ABC

    Judges Comment:

    The judges closely considered four entrants for the NT Journalist of the Year, each of whom won in two award categories. We decided on James Oaten, who demonstrated tenacity in identifying and pursuing a story, maintained a dedication to truth and accuracy, independent thinking and presentation, fairness, impartiality and humanity. While James’ stories on the Don Dale fall-out were strong examples of daily journalism, the judges were especially impressed with his major piece for 7.30, “Young Australians are dying fighting Islamic State but can it be stopped?” James had previously broken the story on NT union boss Michael Gardiner going to Syria to fight with the Kurds. He stayed with the story and established contact with young Gold Coast man Reece Harding, who was also in Syria. When Reece stepped on a landmine and was killed, he had already gained the trust of Harding’s family who spoke to James through their grief. James was not only able to break the story of Harding’s death, he was able to provide a multi-faceted account and insight into the Australian anti-ISIS foreign fighter contingent that became a major national piece. We congratulate him.”

We thank our generous sponsors and media partners, without whom the awards in their present form would not be possible. Please support the organisations who support us. Click on the sponsor’s logo to visit their web site.

     



      


   


    


For all inquiries, contact: MEAAstateawards@walkleys.com

POSTAL ADDRESS:

MEAA State Media Awards
c/o The Walkley Foundation
245 Chalmers Street
Redfern NSW
2016

PHONE: 02 9333 0921

EMAIL: MEAAstateawards@walkleys.com or submit your query using the form below.