NT Media Awards

Entries close at midnight, Monday August 21 2017

NT media awards banner

The Northern Territory Media Awards are open to all journalists and media professionals across all forms of print and electronic media based in the NT.

The entry fee is $20 per entry for MEAA members or Darwin Press Club members; it is $30 for non-members.

Entries close at midnight on Monday, August 21.




To be eligible for entry in this year’s awards, your work must have been published or broadcast between September 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

The awards will be presented at a dinner on Saturday, November 11, at SKYCITY, Darwin. For tickets, phone 1300 656 513.

For more information: Anna Magnus 0423 363 725

Entries for the NT Media Awards close at midnight on Monday, August 21, 2017.

All work must have been published or broadcast from September 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

  • Best News Coverage

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for accuracy, story-telling, newsworthiness, ethics, research and impact in a news story or series of news stories published in a newspaper or periodical.


    Best Feature Writing

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for creativity, originality and writing flair within parameters of best feature story in the print medium.

  • Best News Coverage

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for excellence in newsworthiness, impact, incisiveness, public benefit and ethics in the medium of television or radio for a news story or series.


    Best Current Affairs or Feature

    Awarded for excellence in research, impact and storytelling of a current affairs or feature story in the medium of television or radio. Up to FIVE works may be entered.


    Best Broadcast Interview

    Based on FIVE samples indicative of an entrant’s work, this category will be awarded to consistently good journalism in either radio, television. Judges will be looking for excellence in interviewing; both live and pre-recorded, and/or hosting live broadcasts.

  • Photography of the Year

    Up to FIVE images. Best newsworthiness, impact and technical superiority in a single news photograph or set of images – at least three of the series must have been published.


    Best News Camerawork of the Year

    Best news camerawork in a single news story or series. Up to FIVE works may be entered.

  • Best Online Coverage

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for best story or series published online that maximises the use of the evolving online field, highlighting topicality and flair.


    Best Scoop/Newsbreaker

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for individuals or team who broke the single best exclusive story. Supporting documentation of the exact time of publication must be provided.


    Best Sports Journalism

    Up to FIVE stories related or in a series. Awarded for the best sports story in any medium – from breaking coverage of games and major sporting events, to issues and people relating to the sporting industry.


    Best Environment/Innovation Reporting

    For a single stories or up to FIVE pieces in a series that illuminate and reveal the state of the environment in the NT, new and emerging technologies, primary industry and engineering.


    Excellence in Indigenous Reporting

    For a print, broadcast or photographic work or up to FIVE in a series of works that cover issues significant to the indigenous community with depth and sensitivity.


    Excellence in Northern Reporting

    For a print, broadcast or photographic work or up to FIVE in a series of works that investigate the nature of rural or regional life in northern Australia. Entries should include in-depth examination of the region’s unique political, social, cultural, business, rural, and/or agricultural sectors.


    Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year 2017

    Up to FIVE examples of work. Entrants must have fewer than four years’ experience in full-time journalism, photography or camera work or be under the age of 25


    Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award

    Pete Davies was a voice for Territorians, taking their concerns to politicians, business leaders and policy makers. He used his show 360 on MIX 104.9 as a platform to raise the real issues affecting his listeners. This award will recognise those who have followed his legacy, and encourage others to take up the baton. The award will be judged on a radio, television, print or online campaign including one or a series of reports about local issues, which has brought about policy or social change for the benefit of Territorians. This award is open to an individual from any medium, a team, a media organisation or collaboration between media organisations. Proof of change or reform should be included.


    Journalist/Photojournalist of the Year 2017

    Winner is selected from all entrants. This award is presented to an entrant, who has, in the opinion of the judges, made the greatest contribution to the profession in the NT during the year. The committee considers the quality of work and other ways in which the entrant has contributed to journalism.


Entries close at midnight on Monday, August 21.


2017 NT Media Awards
Locked Bag 526
Spring Hill Qld 4004

  1. ENTRY FEE: Darwin Press Club members or MEAA members $20 per entry , $30 per entry for non-members
  1. Entries must be published or broadcast between September 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
  1. Entrants may enter only once in each category but may submit one or more related reports on the same issue or topic up to FIVE reports as a single entry.
  1. Entrants may not enter the same material in more than one category, except where the entrant applies to both the media-specific categories (ie, print/text, radio/television, photography/cinematography) and all media category. The same entry may be submitted to a category in each of these sections, but entrants must complete a new and separate submission for each award category.
  1. Group entries: in some categories, it may be appropriate to lodge a group entry. Where any of the group is not an Darwin Press Club member or MEAA member, the entry fee $30 will apply for that entry.
  1. Entry fee is applied per entry, NOT per entrant.
  1. Photographic entrants must certify that entry/ies may be exhibited in any display organised be NT Media Awards. Copyright holders will be acknowledged.
  1. Entry into the 2017 NT Media Awards is open to ALL journalists and photographers/camera persons based in NT, or working for a NT-based media organisation.
  1. All entrants are required to establish their bona fides and that they have adhered to the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics in the preparation of their entries.
  1. Each entry must be verified by a representative of the employer or commissioning publication.
  1. All entries must include a statement of up to 200 words outlining the case for consideration of an award.
  1. Please keep copies of all material submitted.
  1. Entries will not be returned.
  1. Judges have the right to reject an entry that in their opinion does not comply with the requirements of the competition.
  1. The judges’ decision will be final.

What date do entries close?

Entries close at midnight on Monday August 21, 2017

Who can enter the NT Media Awards?

Entry is open to all journalists and media professionals across all forms of print and electronic media based in the Northern Territory.

How can I enter the 2017 NT Media Awards?

You must register by completing the electronic registration form on the entry page on this website.

Send all entries to:

2017 NT Media Awards
Locked Bag 526
Spring Hill Qld 4004

What are the conditions of entry?

All work must have been published or broadcast in the 12 months from September  1, 2016 to June  30, 2017.

What does it cost to enter the awards?

Entry fee for MEAA or Darwin Press Club members is $20 per entry. A $30 fee per entry for non-members applies.

What do I need to include with my entry?

One entry form with assigned entry number — register online.

 Do I have to include an entry statement of up to 200 words?

Yes, your entry statement is to assist the judging process and should outline the case for consideration for an award. You may address the judging criteria and explain the circumstances in which the entry was produced. You may write less than 200 words, but no more. The online entry form submission process will not accept more than 200 words so please write them in a word processor document first and do a word count before dropping it into the entry form.

Do I need to have the entry authorised?

Yes, it is compulsory that you have it verified by your employer or employer representative to validate the work. This process is done online. Once you enter their details into the system it will generate an email to them asking them to verify the details you have submitted. Their verification entry email will come directly to us and a copy will also be sent back to you. An entry will not be considered until all steps have been completed.

Can I enter into an award category more than once?

No. Entrants may NOT enter the same material in more than one category, EXCEPT where the entry applies to both the media-specific categories (i.e. PRINT/TEXT, RADIO/TELEVISION, PHOTOGRAPHY/CINEMATOGRAPHY) and an ALL MEDIA category. The same work may be submitted to a category in each of these sections, but entrants must complete a new and separate submission for each award category.

What is a group entry?

A group entry may include up to five people as entrants.

What are the criteria for judging?

Award winners will be chosen on the basis of journalistic excellence. This will vary according to individual categories but, in general, criteria will include:

• newsworthiness,
• research,
• writing,
• production,
• incisiveness,
• impact,
• public benefit,
• ethics,
• originality,
• innovation,
• creative flair.

Judges will take regard of the resources available and effort expended in the preparation of the work.

 Will entries be returned?

No. Entries will NOT be returned. Please keep copies of all material submitted.

How will the finalists be notified?

Finalists are announced via the website and email to all entrants. A press release will be sent to all newsrooms across Northern Territory.

 When will the winners be announced?

The winners of the 2017 NT Media Awards will be announced at the presentation dinner on Saturday November 11, at SKYCITY, Darwin. For tickets call 1300 656 513

What do winners of the NT Media Awards categories receive?

The winner of each category in 2017 receives a trophy and a cash prize of $250. The winners of the Gold Award categories will each receive a trophy and a cash prize of $1000.

Where can I find further information?

For information on all matters related to the NT Media Awards, please contact National Manager, State Media Awards, Anna Magnus on 0423 363 725, or Anna Magnus.

  • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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?


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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.”

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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:

Anna Magnus, National Manager, State Media Awards


Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
Lvl 4, 16 Peel St
South Brisbane


Phone: 0423 363 725 or 07 3846 0055
Email: Anna Magnus or submit your query using the form below.