Tasmanian Media Awards


Winners in the 2017 Tasmanian Media Awards have been announced


ABC veteran broadcaster Chris Wisbey has been named the 2017 Keith Welsh Award winner for outstanding contribution to Tasmanian journalism at the Tasmanian Media Awards in Hobart on Friday night.

Wisbey has been on-air for the best part of three decades and was the unanimous choice of judges to the first Keith Welsh award winner since 2010.

“Chris Wisbey wins the 2017 Keith Welsh Award for his telling of Tasmanian stories. How he has dealt with sensitive issues with an engaging story-telling style… He has built an archive of people and places in Tasmania, telling uniquely Tasmanian stories about Tasmanians,” the judges said.

• Richard Baines from the ABC won the Journalist of the Year and Best News Stories awards.
• Sally Glaetzer from The Mercury/Tas Weekend Magazine won the Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs and Comment and Analysis categories and was a finalist in the Science, Environment and Health and Journalist of the Year awards.
• WIN Television’s Brent Costelloe won his third straight award for Best Sports Coverage.
MEAA Tasmania President Mark Thomas said a record 130 entries were received for the 2017 awards, surpassing last year’s mark of 122. “Judges commented in all 12 categories about the quality and breadth of entries – from child protection, domestic violence, the Port Arthur anniversary and the devastating floods of 2016,” he said.

“Without a fair, independent and fearless media – print, TV, radio, online & social – we do not have a democracy. Fortunately, as tonight’s awards have amply demonstrated, Tasmania’s media and its journalists deliver some of the finest journalism in the country,” Thomas said.

Tasmanian Media Awards 2017
• Best News Image – Winner: Matthew Growcott, Win News Tasmania: Moonah Siege
• Arts Reporting – Winner: Rick Eaves, ABC News Online: Body of Work
• Science, Environment and Health – Winner: Felicity Ogilvie, ABC Radio AM: Body of Work
• Best Sports Coverage – Winner: Brent Costelloe, WIN Television: Body of Work
• Mental Health Reporting – Winner: Tamara McDonald, The Examiner: Body of Work
• Comment and Analysis – Winner: Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury/Tas Weekend: Body of Work
• Excellence in Legal Reporting – Winner: Michael Aitkin – ABC TV & News Online: Child Abuse Commission-Body of Work
• Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs – Winner: Sally Glaetzer, TAS Weekend: Port Arthur Massacre Anniversary Coverage
• Best News Story – Winner: Richard Baines, ABC: Letting the Most vulnerable down- Tasmania’s child protection woes
• Best New Journalist – Winner: Michelle Wisbey, The Examiner : Body of Work
• Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism – Winner: Chris Wisbey, ABC
• Journalist of the Year – Winner: Richard Baines, ABC

Tasmanian Media Awards – winners, finalists, sponsors and judges’ comments

1. Best News Image
Sponsor: Media Super
Finalists
• Dan Broun: Tasmanian bushfires
• Matthew Growcott, Win News Tasmania: Moonah Siege
• Grant Wells, The Advocate: Calder Fires
Winner
• Matthew Growcott, Win News Tasmania: Moonah Siege
Judges’ comments:
Matt Growcott’s victorious Moonah siege piece showed patience and skill … and had all the winning news elements … the unfolding scene, the shots fired, the standoff and the eventual arrest of the perpetrator. A riveting news segment. He was, however, pushed all the way to the finish line by Dan Broun’s evocative still images of the aftermath of Tasmania’s World Heritage bush fires. Congratulations to both.

2. Arts Reporting
Sponsor: Serafino Wines
Finalists:
• Rick Eaves, ABC News Online: Body of Work
• Elise Fantin, ABC News Tasmania: Young Arts
• Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury‘s Tas Weekend: Body of Work
Winner:
• Rick Eaves, ABC News Online: Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
Competition for the arts reporting award was strong, but the judges were united in their decision to award the prize to Rick Eaves for his body of work. The judging panel were particularly impressed with his piece about singer Claire Anne Taylor which transported the reader or listener to the edge of the Tarkine to hear about how this emerging artist grew up and the influences on her life. Rick’s other two pieces also displayed a variety and talked about arts not necessarily profiled in the mainstream media, and used multimedia well across the board to tell the stories. The work by Sally Glaetzer is also worthy of a mention, presenting three pieces on different Tasmanians and getting deeper into their influence on the arts and their community. Elise Fantin’s piece titled Young Arts was also very positive and interesting.

3. Science, Environment and Health
Sponsor: Health and Community Services Union
Finalists:
• Michael Atkin, ABC TV & News Online: The human toll behind a deadly oyster disease
• Sally Glaetzer, Tasmanian Weekend: Body of Work
• Felicity Ogilvie, ABC Radio AM: Body of Work
Winner:
• Felicity Ogilvie, ABC Radio AM: Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
A huge volume of entries in this category (21) and of a very high standard, creating a real dilemma for judges. In the end, the body of work presented by Felicity Ogilvie, covering all 3 subjects in this category, was the unanimous winner….judges commenting on the quality of research and investigation, the fact all were significant news-breaking stories at a national level but with local ramifications – the Antarctic Division’s decision to close its Macquarie Island base – with the Minister reversing the decision within 24 hours of the story airing……as a fine example of her work. Her story in getting a doctor at the LGH to speak publicly about the mass exodus of specialist staff and its impact also was singled out for praise.
Michael Atkin’s entry showed a rare piece of true reality television capturing the moment when an oyster farmer realised his entire farm was destroyed by POMS virus. This story had a considerable impact at showing the human cost of POMs on Tasmanian oyster growers and its ongoing impact on the environment including the risk to other states including South Australia.
Sally Glaetzer’s body of work was praised, in particular, her piece on the renewed campaign to drain the Pedder impoundment and replace the original Lake Pedder. She investigated why previous campaigns to save the lake had failed and looked into the science behind the latest proposal to restore it….judges saying despite her independent, dispassionate approach, it made you want to see the Lake restored. It was ‘fresh, compelling, wide range of talent and beautifully written.”
Special mention was made for Matthew Denholm’s work on Seals and Salmon……and also Fiona Breen. But in the end, settled on the three journalists above as the finalists.

4. Best Sports Coverage
Sponsor: Lion
Finalists:
• Brent Costelloe, WIN Television: Body of Work
• Scott Rollinson, ABC News Breakfast: Body of Work
• Brett Stubbs, The Mercury: Body of Work
Winner:
• Brent Costelloe, WIN Television: Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
The judges were impressed with the overall standard in this category with sport at a local, state and national level encompassed in the entries.
The work of ABC Sport’s Scott Rollinson embodied all those facets with his story on Tasmanian motor racer John Bowe putting a spotlight on the mental health issues he’d silently suffered while rising to the top of the sport in Australia.
The Mercury’s Brett Stubbs displayed a commitment to pursuing the perennially contentious topics of a preferred model for a Tasmanian AFL team and the general health of football in this state. He shone a light on the contents of the Garlick Report, which up until that time football authorities had prevented the media from accessing.
The Tasmanian football public had been long anticipating the sacking of AFL Tasmania head Scott Wade and when it happened WIN Television’s Brent Costelloe was the first to report it. He utilised his industry connections and intimate knowledge of Tasmanian football to break the story and dispassionately dissect Wade’s polarising time in charge. This along with his profiles of young basketball coach Reece Potter and boxer Luke Jackson combined to give him the edge over a talented field.

5. Mental Health Reporting
Sponsor: Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate
Finalists:
• Duncan Abey, Tas Weekend Magazine: Emma Haswell’s battle
• Doug Dingwall, The Sunday Examiner: Facing up to mental illness: The royal Commission, veterans compensation and equine therapy.
• Tamara Mcdonald, The Examiner: Body of Work
Winner:
• Tamara Mcdonald, The Examiner: Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
Tamara McDonald’s package of three diverse stories reflects her commitment to reporting mental health. She took a strategic approach in seeking out stories that reflected positive community responses to mental health issues – a proactive approach which reflects her commitment to reporting mental health issues. Her story on Alison Cocker and her use of photography to help with her mental health issues is a nice piece; her story on women starting a help group for those with partners with PTSD is likewise a good story reflecting back to the community the ways in which citizens are coping with mental health; and her story on former foreign correspondent Dean Yates’ recovery from PTSD is sound.

6. Comment and Analysis
Sponsor: Unions Tasmania
Finalists:
• Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Analysing the issue
• Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury‘s Tas Weekend: Body of Work
• Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work
Winner:
• Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury‘s Tas Weekend: Body of Work

Judges’ comments:
Sally Glaetzer’s three entries – Fight Club, about ongoing Local Government issues, Growing Pains on Forestry and Up and at ’em, (GetUp!’s involvement in the Federal Election demonstrated an enormous ability to write at multiple levels – for the everyday person in the street and those with greater knowledge. All her pieces showed story-telling of the highest level, with great pictures to illustrate them. The Getup! Explained an organisation and its methods not normally understood and her forestry story covered a great range of stakeholders involved and affected.

7. Excellence in Legal Reporting
Sponsor: Butler, McIntyre & Butler
Finalists:
• Michael Aitkin – ABC TV & News Online: Child Abuse Commission-Body of Work
• Edith Bevin, ABC News – Tasmania: Body of Work
• Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Rough (youth) Justice
• David Killick, The Mercury: Legal Reporting
Winner:
• Michael Aitkin – ABC TV & News Online: Child Abuse Commission-Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
The quality of the entries this year is very impressive and all entrants are to be congratulated on their work in bringing news about legal issues to Tasmanians in the past year. Four entries were particularly outstanding: Michael Atkin, Edith Bevan, David Killick and Matthew Denholm. Michael Atkin’s entry – four national news stories, and two national 7.30 reports from the hearings of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse hearings in Tasmania are exceptional. Not only did Mr Atkin report daily on the hearing, but he spent time prior to the hearing to comprehensively research church child sex abuse in Tasmania including Phillip Aspinall’s role, and also the role of Peter Hollingsworth. He also made contact with victims, Don Owers and Steve Fisher and others and persuaded victims of child sex abuse to be interviewed on camera. Mr Atkin produced stories on this difficult topic stripped of sensationalism, he provided the facts in a measured but comprehensive way, and provided new and, through his interviews with victims, deeply personal insights into the impact of child sex abuse within the church. The interview with Steve Fisher is particularly memorable. In this story on paedophile priest Garth Hawkins Mr Atkin allows the victim, Steve Fisher, the agency to tell his story in a nuanced, comprehensive and insightful manner, which provided the public with a greater understanding of the impact of child sex abuse on the life of an individual. It is a story that stays with the viewer. He produced this fine body of work with tight daily deadlines and negotiating the legal complexities of defamation. Congratulations Michael Atkin on an outstanding body of work.

8. Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs
Sponsor: Telstra
Finalists:
• Michael Atkin, ABC TV 7:30 Program: The Failure of Fitlink
• Fiona Breen, ABC TV Landline: Robbins Island Farming
• Sally Glaetzer, TAS Weekend: Port Arthur Massacre Anniversary Coverage
Winner:
• Sally Glaetzer, TAS Weekend: Port Arthur Massacre Anniversary Coverage
Judges’ comments:
Sally Glaezter demonstrated both a courage and refreshing viewpoint on this Tasmanian and Australian tragedy.
Her writing was both nuanced and complex, interviewing a broad range of sources for her feature to deliver a completely different take on Port Arthur after 20 years of the massacre.
Her research and reporting on the impact on the people she interviewed delivered many previously unwritten stories.
Good feature writing, like all good journalism, helps the community, the reader or watcher, with good conversation about important matters. Sally Glaetzer achieves that here.

9. Best News Story
Sponsor: Media Super
Finalists:
• Richard Baines, ABC: Letting the Most vulnerable down- Tasmania’s child protection woes
• Zona Black, The Examiner: Rollin Coverage of Tasmania’s Floods
• Alexander Blucher, ABC: Lives and farming dreams washed away in Tasmanian floods
• Benjamin Hansen, Win Television: Body of Work
Winner:
• Richard Baines, ABC: Letting the Most vulnerable down- Tasmania’s child protection woes
Judges’ comments:
The judges were impressed with the depth of the body of work and made special mention of Zona Black’s rolling coverage for The Examiner and its service to the community.
Richard Baines was judged the winner because of the depth of his research, following the initial Four Corners coverage, to identify a whistle-blower, and take the next step. His stories demonstrated both consideration and care for the people involved, especially the children affected. His coverage broadened the issues for the entire Tasmanian community and delivered an outcome in that the Government changed its policy with regard to the contracted organisation.

10. Best New Journalist
Sponsor: The Mercury
Finalists:
• Lucy Stone, The Examiner : Body of Work
• Michelle Wisby, The Examiner : Body of Work
• Pablo Vinales, ABC: Body of Work
Winner:
• Michelle Wisby, The Examiner : Body of Work
Judges’ comments:
The judges noted that much effort this year went into the difficult and often unrewarding issues of urban affairs and local Government. Most of the young journalists proved capable of covering a wide range of issues and showed encouraging ability.
The Examiner’s Lucy Stone was among those who impressed with reporting a broad spectrum of issues, imbuing them with a human element that made them both informative and easy to read.
Pablo Vinales stood out for breaking news stories, for his sensitive treatment of a woman providing shelter for sex offenders in the face of community opposition and for a profile of Eric Abetz, allowing the Tasmanian senator ‘s views and character to emerge without editorialising.
Michelle Wisbey showed maturity beyond her three years’ experience in a marathon 6-thousand word series in The Examiner on domestic violence. While much of the issue has already been explored elsewhere, Michelle gave the subject new insights, real intimacy and added impact by producing a six-week series featuring victims, perpetrators and carers.
Michelle further impressed with insightful interviews and timely reporting on female athletes’ struggle for sporting equality in Tasmania.

11. Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
Sponsor: MEAA
Winner:
• Chris Wisbey
Judges’ comments:
Chris Wisbey from the ABC wins the 2017 Keith Welsh Award for his telling of Tasmanian stories. How he has dealt with sensitive issues with an engaging story-telling style for some three decades. He has built an archive of people and places in Tasmania, telling uniquely Tasmanian stories about Tasmanians. Chris Wisbey has developed and built an oral history of the State, along the way giving people a voice and encouraging them to become story-tellers.

12. Journalist of the Year
Sponsor: MEAA
Winner:
• Richard Baines
Judges’ comments:
Excellent level and breadth of entries in this category; however, judges also made comment about overall lack of digital treatment of stories and use of social media to tell stories. This is important as our audiences have moved away from traditional platforms and technology has given journalists more flexibility in their story telling. Richard Baines from the ABC was judged the winner for his coherence and narrative as a journalist, successfully unifying his story series under a serious journalistic agenda. He demonstrated excellent use of the television medium with his story construction, content and use of graphics in a news format. The impact of his stories also showed his willingness to hit hard.

Photos from the 2017 Tasmanian Media Awards

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ABC journalist Michael Atkin was named Journalist of the Year at the Tasmanian Media Awards 2016.

Atkin won three awards at the gala evening, including the Science, Environment and Health and Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs category.

MEAA Tasmania president Mark Thomas said there had been a record 122 entries across the Tasmanian Media Awards 13 categories.

“In all categories, judges commended our entrants for the quality of their stories,” Thomas said. “Michael Atkin certainly set the standard for his superb reporting on 7.30 (ABC) across a range of categories. The Mercury’s Matt Smith was also a standout, winning the Best News Story and Comment and Analysis categories. We had 15 entries for best feature, 15 for best new journalist, 14 for science and 14 for journalist of the year … all records in 2016.”


    Tasmanian Media Awards Winners and Finalists with Judges’ comments

     

    Best News Image (stills)
    Sponsor: Media Super
    Finalists
    • Nikki Davis-Jones , The Mercury: Taking A Stand
    • Richard Jupe, The Mercury : Comanche wins the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
    • Sam Rosewarne, The Mercury: Anti-racism
    • Grant Wells, The Advocate: White Knight
    Winner
    • Grant Wells, The Advocate: White Knight

    (Link to view submission)

    Judges comments:
    With his entry White Knight, Grant Wells has taken a terrific, old school newspaper picture evocative of the analogue era. The image really lent itself to black and white and full credit to Grant for using it thus. The picture tells the story: a natural politician taking an opportunity to hit the hustings. He looks so alive and bright and stands out like a beacon among a dull congregation of the faithful. The conservative dark clothing of the many other people in the picture, each one captured in their own moment, adds a further political layer to the image. Grant was at a routine regional event and had the vision to capture a remarkable moment that revealed much about the subject: Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, and a man in his element.


    Best News Image (video)
    Sponsor: Media Super
    Finalists:
    • Steve Fisher, WIN Television: Prison Escape
    • Nick Glover, WIN Television: Lefroy Bushfire
    Winner:
    • Steve Fisher, WIN Television: Prison Escape

    (Link to view submission)

    Judges comments:
    Steve’s piece on the escape and recapture of an allegedly armed Risdon jail prisoner was a stand out in the News Video Image category. The vision captured the entire escape episode from the hunt to interception of the suspect swimming towards a boat, a dramatic arrest at gunpoint by police and the prisoners return to captivity. Steve’s persistence and tenacity paid off affording news viewers all the visual drama of the event.


    Arts Reporting
    Sponsor: Media Super
    Finalists:
    • Michael Atkin, ABC: Body of Work
    • Scott Gelston Freelance : Pete Mattila Images
    • Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury’s TasWeekend: TasWeekend features
    Winner:
    • Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury’s TasWeekend: TasWeekend features

    ( Links to view submissions:one, two and three )
    ***Special Commendation: Scott Gelston

    Judges comments:
    This category represents our closest result in 2016. Judges were not divided, rather, they were locked in agreement that there were two exceptional entries here. Sally Glaetzer won for her satisfyingly in-depth features and personality pieces. Her feature on public art controversies in Tasmania was especially accomplished. The judges appreciated the legwork that gave historic context to a topical story. Sally sourced artists caught up in past controversies, found artists working on current commissions and sourced arts budgeting figures. Skilfully written profiles on architect Robert Morris-Nunn and designer, Brodie Neill, were also satisfying reads. The judges felt Scott Gelston’s photo-essay of blacksmith-artist Pete Matilla was also exceptional work; an opportunity recognised, then maximised through technical excellence. There was a sense of being embedded in the artists’ process and the images generated an excitement about making art. Words would not have told the story better and he is awarded a special, high commendation.


    Best Sports Coverage
    Sponsor: Cascade Brewery
    Finalists:
    • James Bresnehan, The Mercury / Sunday Tasmanian: Sports Coverage from Top to Bottom
    • Brent Costelloe, WIN Television: Body of Work
    • Chris Rowbottom, Southern Cross News Tasmania: Body of Work
    Winner:
    • Brent Costelloe, WIN Television: Body of Work

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    Very high quality of entries across all media platforms – television, print, radio and online. James Bresnehan’s work with the Man Up campaign got national recognition, Michael Aitkin’s Shipsterns 7.30 story was outstanding and Chris Rowbottom’s Luke Jackson piece was excellent. Brent Costelloe’s work stood out for its consistency, persistence and writing ability; his Glenorchy Brothers piece was both innovative and informative, his Glenorchy Inner Sanctum story was riveting.


    Science, Environment and Health
    Sponsor: Health and Community Services Union
    Finalists:
    • Michael Atkin, ABC: Body of Work
    • Fiona Breen, ABC: Landline Reports
    • Alexandra Humphries, The Examiner: Water woes
    Winner:
    • Michael Atkin, Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Body of Work

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    Michael Atkin broke some of the biggest environmental issues of the year, from the communities facing water contamination in the state’s north-east, to the mass fish kill in Macquarie Harbour, to the flouting of 4WD bans on the state’s remote tracks.
    Atkin’s work is direct and fearless. It forces people to take notice and affects change. He also is willing to go the extra mile when he gets the sniff of a story (he was the only reporter to attend the community meeting in Pioneer).
    His body of work is powerful, agenda setting journalism, which seamlessly combines news breaking stories with a powerful human focus.


    Mental Health Reporting
    Sponsor: Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate
    Finalists:
    • Alexandra Humphries, The Examiner: Minds Matter: Post traumatic stress disorder amongst those who serve
    • Sam Ikin, ABC News: Talking about suicide isn’t easy, but it’s necessary
    • Jane Ryan, ABC: Coming out – Living with bipolar
    Winner:
    • Jane Ryan, Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Coming out – Living with bipolar

    (Link to view submission)

    Judges comments:
    The growth and development of this category – Mental Health Reporting – and the quality of the reporting is not only significant, but also very encouraging. The judges found the diversity of the stories impressive.
    The entries of Jane Ryan and Sam Ikin show us all what courageous journalism looks like. They both stepped out out from behind the comfort of the journalist’s by-line and put themselves as the central focus of deeply personal journeys with mental illness. Alexander Humphries is to be commended on her well-researched series on the impact PTSD has on a range of professions, highlighting the need for better support.
    Jane Ryan’s compelling and finely produced RN Earshot program “Coming Out – Living with Bi Polar”, provided insight into her own experience and also the experience of others living with this illness. With more than 10,000 listeners, nationwide Jane has made a significant contribution to the national conversation on bi polar and mental illness. She is to be congratulated on her documentary “Coming Out” and is a worthy winner of the Mental Health Reporting Category.


    Comment and Analysis
    Sponsor: Unions Tasmania
    Finalists:
    • Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Analysing Tas
    • Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury’s TasWeekend: Body of Work
    • Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work
    Winner:
    • Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    The judges were impressed by the consistently high standard of writing and engagement by Matt Smith over several examples.
    Matt writes clearly, concisely and builds around the facts in a way that the reader is kept engaged in often-complex articles.
    He shows a strong writing style, accuracy and solid analysis based on extensive factual research or observation.
    The judges felt his writing was particularly strong in the article “Glass jaw syndrome is alive and well” and also considered that in this small community it was also a brave piece to put out there.


    Excellence in Legal Reporting
    Sponsor: Butler, McIntyre & Butler
    Finalists:
    • Edith Bevin, ABC News – Tasmania: Body of Work
    • Pat Billings, The Mercury, Compensation and Jodi Eaton
    • Sophie Kuryl, WIN Television Tasmania:Body of Work
    Winner:
    • Pat Billings, The Mercury, Compensation and Jodi Eaton

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    The high profile investigations into the disappearance of Lucille Butterworth, understandably featured in the Legal Reporting Category.
    Edith Bevin’s report on Lucille Butterfield presented impressive production values, which enhanced the quality of her report, expanding well beyond just the evidence presented. Her profile of Chief Magistrate Michael Hill on his retirement further demonstrated Edith’s story telling skills.
    Sophie Kuryl likewise presented a comprehensive report on Lucille Butterworth, making the most of information gathered during the month long inquest, producing a well-crafted feature story.
    Away from the spotlight of the Lucille Butterworth mystery was the work of Pat Billings, his three stories demonstrating the very essence of legal reporting.
    His stand out report on the Jodi Eaton murder raised questions about the justice system, police processes and domestic violence, leading to an inquiry into shortcomings within the judicial system.
    In tandem with his story on a Gay Hate Pay Out case, setting a legal precedent, Patrick shows a comprehensive commitment to court reporting to take out this year’s Legal Reporting Category Award.


    Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs
    Sponsor: Telstra Country Wide
    Finalists:
    • Duncan Abey, The Mercury: Alan and Kris Pearn
    • Michael Atkin, ABC: Easy Prey: Careers Australia and its dubious sales tactics
    • Fiona Breen, ABC: Macquarie Island
    Winner:
    • Michael Atkin, Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Easy Prey: Careers Australia and its dubious sales tactics

    (Links to view submissions: one and two )

    Judges comments:
    Michael Atkin’s piece entitled Easy Prey was an expose of Careers Australia and the dubious tactics used to sign up and sell packages to vulnerable people.
    It was an excellent example of how Tasmanian stories can have national importance, and influence from a solid current affairs perspective.
    The story touched on a very important issue; it was backed with very strong sources, both from the whistle-blower and one of the victims.
    The combination of the visual and audio elements of the story worked very well. The visual elements helped to shine a light on the areas which were obviously being targeted by Careers Australia’s less scrupulous operators.
    The work by Michael also resulted in the organisation’s CEO resigning from a Federal government advisory board.
    It demonstrated strong newsworthiness, public benefit and creative flair.
    Duncan Abey’s feature with Alan and Kris Pearn, parents of Natalia, was a very worthy Honourable Mention amongst a number of other strong contenders.


    Best News Story
    Sponsor: CPSU
    Finalists:
    • Bob Burton, Tasmanian Times: Deals and donors
    • Blair Richards, The Mercury: Defamation defeat
    • Matt Smith. The Mercury: Your right to know
    Winner:
    • Matt Smith. The Mercury: Your right to know

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    Matt entered a body of work he titled “Your Right to Know” which exposed the Hobart City Council’s lack of control over expense claims submitted by aldermen.
    Relying on good sources, leaked documents and numerous RTI requests, Matt unveiled a pattern of endemic spending behaviour that had cost ratepayers more than $350,000. The Council’s “self-certification” policy had resulted in claims including babysitting fees, overseas trips, expensive dinners and event tickets.
    Predictably, the community was outraged and prompted the Tasmanian Auditor General to deliver 40 recommendations. A complete overhaul of expense spending and accountability has now been implemented by the HCC.


    Best New Journalist
    Sponsor: The Mercury
    Finalists:
    • Elizabeth Anile, WIN Television : Body of Work
    • Richard Baines, ABC : Body of Work
    • Katelyn Barry, Southern Cross Austereo : Body of Work
    Winner:
    • Richard Baines, ABC : Body of Work

    (Links to view submissions: one, two and three)

    Judges comments:
    Every year, the quality of this category improves; perhaps the most difficult to judge because of the high calibre of both entries and levels of entrant, from first year to third year practitioners. Many of the younger journalists have hit the ground running by using both RTI/FOI and working their contacts to achieve results with stories. This was very close, from 15 entrants and perhaps seven at the highest level. Richard Baines won for the quality of his stories, his writing and presentation on television, print and radio.


    Journalist of the Year
    Sponsor: MEAA
    Finalists:
    • Michael Atkin, ABC : Body of Work
    • Patrick Billings, The Mercury: Body of Work
    • Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work
    Winner:
    • Michael Atkin ABC: Body of Work

    Judges comments:
    Michael Atkin’s body of work was of a consistently high standard across a diverse range of issues of vital interest to Tasmanians and with implications for a national audience.
    His investigation into predatory practices in vocational education worked to give significant momentum for national reform of the sector.
    This beautifully crafted story used the stark surroundings of an underprivileged outer Hobart suburb as the backdrop for the dashed hopes of an aspirational young mother.
    Michael’s ability to work with his camera operator and sound recordist for maximum impact was also demonstrated in his story on water contamination in two small towns in rural Tasmania. The vision of a conga line of elderly residents with walking sticks lugging buckets to a communal tap would be considered shocking even in a third world country.
    These stories required extensive research and verification of information from a variety of sources, but Michael was equally adept in his sensitive handling of an extremely personal portrait of Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie as she struggled to do the right thing by her drug addicted son.
    Michael has the ability to be both fearless and fair handed, exemplified in his confrontation with a forest contractor, which could have easily turned into an unenlightening slanging match.
    The judges were very hard pressed to separate the entrants in this category. The standard of journalism submitted was of a uniformly high standard of which Tasmanians should be proud.
    But in a very strong field, the ABC 7.30’s Michael Atkin has been adjudged Tasmania’s Journalist of the Year.

    The 2017 Tasmanian Media Awards are proudly supported by our sponsors and partners:

             


                  


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