Tasmanian Media Awards

Entries to the 2017 Tasmanian Media Awards are now CLOSED

Book your tickets to the gala awards night on Friday, May 12. The awards will be presented at the Waterside Pavilion, Mawson Place, in Hobart, from 6.30pm. Tickets to the awards presentation are $65 each. Book through MEAA Member Central on 1300 65 65 13.

  • Entries close Friday, March 10


    You are invited to enter as many categories as you wish, however you can only enter each category once. Journalists, including reporters, sub editors, photographers and camera operators are eligible to enter.

    This year we have condensed the categories. ALL CATEGORIES ARE OPEN TO ALL MEDIA PLATFORMS, eg. PRINT, RADIO, TELEVISION, ONLINE etc.

    Prize money of $500 will be awarded to category winners. The Journalist of the Year Award and the prestigious Keith Welsh Award both carry $1000 prize money.


    The Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

    (Peer nomination Only)

    •  This award recognises the work of journalists who shave made an exceptional contribution to journalism in Tasmania.
    •  To be eligible for this award a journalist must demonstrate a consistently high standard of achievement and a commitment to quality journalism.

    Please send all nominations to Anna Magnus, National Manager,  MEAA State Media Awards, anna.magnus@meaa.org or to Locked Bag 526 Spring Hill, Qld 4004.


    Journalist of the Year

    (Body of work – five stories minimum/10 stories maximum)

    •  The journalist has demonstrated skill in breaking stories that have an impact on the state/national news agenda.
    •  The journalist has shown initiative and investigative skill.
    •  The journalist has demonstrated a commitment to journalism in the public interest.
    •  The journalist consistently produces work that is both informative and entertaining.

    Other criteria considerations:

    •  Impact and contribution to society – the journalist’s work(s) bring to light important information and significantly contribute to public understanding.
    •  Research and Investigation – the journalist’s work(s) are well-researched, they draw on the most relevant sources and contribute new information.
    •  Perspective – the journalist’s work(s) provide a balanced coverage of the issue, seamlessly incorporating a range of views or details
    •  Presentation – the journalist’s work(s) entertain and inform. They are professionally written and presented, capturing and holding the audience.

    Judges can consider other categories winners for this award as well.

    Entrants must submit minimum FIVE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Best New Journalist

    This category is open to all journalists with THREE years or less experience working in the industry and who show a flair for reporting, a dedication to producing high-quality work and a demonstrable potential within the craft.

    Entrants for this award should submit a portfolio of work of up to SIX pieces.


    Best News Story

    This award recognises the best news story of 2016. Judging criteria include the newsworthiness of the article(s), the impact on the reader, compliance with the ethics of the profession, writing excellence, skill of the writer, the depth of research and any public benefit. Print includes daily and weekly publications, magazines and on-line or wire service. Entries in this category may be a single short news report or one or more reports entailing coverage on the same subject.

    Maximum of THREE stories may be submitted on the SAME issue or subject.


    Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs

    This category aims to recognise feature stories, current affairs, analysis of news events and longer reports. Reports should highlight research, effective storytelling and impact and have been produced ethically. Public benefit and courage in reporting will be considered favorably.

    Maximum of THREE stories may be submitted on the SAME issue or subject.


    Best Sports Coverage

    This award recognises the special nature of sports reporting in our media and is open to all journalists working in the area.

    Entrants can submit up to three items on either a single theme or a three different themes involving a sporting issue. The judging will be based the timeliness of the work, the impact on the reader, listener or viewer and the journalist’s apparent ability to impart an understanding of the subject.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Best News Image

    This award recognises the special role that photography/camera operators play in getting the message through to the reader/ viewer of publications or broadcasts.

    Judges are looking for the best use of the medium to advance a news story or a feature article. However the emphasis generally will be on the news value or impact of the image/s and the skills that the photographer has exercised in obtaining the image.

    Entrants may submit a SINGLE IMAGE or a MAXIMUM OF SIX IMAGES on the SAME subject. If a series is submitted AT LEAST ONE of the images must have been published/broadcast.


    Comment and Analysis

    This award recognises the best commentary or analysis in a news story of 2016 delivered in any media. The judging criteria include the newsworthiness of the article/s, the impact on the reader, listener or viewer, compliance with the ethics of the profession, writing excellence, skill of the journalism, the depth of research and any public benefit.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Science, Environment and Health

    This award recognises excellence in reporting on issues associated with science, environment and health.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Mental Health Reporting

    This award recognises excellence in reporting on issues associated with mental health issues.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Arts Reporting

    This award recognises excellence in reporting on issues associated with the Arts.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.


    Legal Reporting

    This award recognises excellence in legal reporting in journalism.

    Maximum of THREE stories, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work

    Enter the awards HERE


    2016 NT Media Awards
    Locked Bag 526
    Spring Hill Qld 4004

    2. All entries must have been published, broadcast or televised through Australian media outlets in the 12 months from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

    3. All entrants are required to establish their bona fides as a journalist, photographer or artist and must certify that the entry is their original work. They must certify that apart from normal sub editorial/production treatment, they have adhered to the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics in the work preparation, undertake to abide by the Code of Ethics in the year to December 31, 2017, and have complied with all copyright requirements.

    4. All entrants must be a resident of Tasmania at the time of publication or broadcast.

    5. A bona fide journalist should be construed as employed either freelance or full-time and be paid for their work.

    6. All entries should declare any legal complaints, defamation actions, contempt of court actions, suppression orders, challenges to the accuracy, corrections or claims of plagiarism, relevant to the work.

    7. Entries published or broadcast elsewhere will be considered if the entrant is a resident of Tasmania.

    8. Group entries may include up to five names, with one person nominated as the primary contact.

    9. A group entry should consider only those who have made a significant journalistic contribution to be a part of the entry. Name order should be according to journalistic input.

    10. If you are associated with a group entry you may be included in up to two entries per category only.

    11. Journalists entering more than one category must complete a separate entry form for each category.

    12. The cost of entering the awards, including GST, is $85 per entry for non-MEAA members . Through the support of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the entry fee is waived for financial MEAA members as a benefit of membership.

    11. Financial members are not required to pay the entry fee except where a non-member is part of a group entry, in which case the normal entry fee ($85 only) is required.

    12. Judges have the right to reject an entry which in their opinion does not comply with the requirements of the competition. The judges’ decision will be final.

    13. The entrant acknowledges that the MEAA may reproduce, broadcast and communicate materials submitted for the purpose of promoting the Awards, conducting the presentation ceremony and making the finalists and winners entries available to the public and agrees and warrants that the MEAA may use the material for these purposes.

    14. Please keep copies of all material submitted. Entries will not be returned.

  • What date do entries close?

    Entry close Friday, March 10, 2017

    Who can enter the Tasmanian Media Awards?

    Entry is open to all Tasmanian-based journalists and media professionals across all forms of print and electronic media. Non-MEAA members are eligible to enter all categories.

    How can I enter the 2017 Tasmanian Media Awards?

    Via the link here.

    What are the conditions of entry? For full details see terms and conditions page

    All work must have been published in an Australian media outlet in the 12 months from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

    What does it cost to enter the awards?

    MEAA members have the entry fee waived. For non-members, the cost of entering the awards, including GST, is $85 per entry. Financial MEAA members are not required to pay the entry fee except where a non-member is part of a group entry, in which case the normal entry fee ($85 only) is required. Call 1300 65 65 13 to discuss membership options or you can join online for as little as $14 a week.

    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.

    Do I need to have the entry form authorised?

    Yes, it is compulsory that you have it verified by your employer or employer representative to validate the work.

    Can I enter into a category more than once?

    Each entrant may only enter once in each category.

    What is a group entry?

    A group entry is permitted to 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?

    Please keep copies of all material submitted. Entries will NOT be returned.

    When will winners be announced?

    The winners will be announced at the 38th Tasmanian Media Awards presentation event on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Mawson Place, in the Waterside Pavilion, on the Hobart waterfront. Tickets are $60 and available by calling MEAA Member Central : 1300 656 513.

    What do winners of the Tasmanian Media Awards categories receive?

    The winner of each category in 2017 receives a trophy and $500. The winner of the Journalist of the Year also receives a trophy and $1000. The winner of the Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism receives a trophy and $1000.

    Where can I find further information?

    For further information on all matters related to the Tasmanian Media Awards, please contact Anna Magnus, National Manager, MEAA State Media Awards on 0423 363 725 or anna.magnus@meaa.org

<!–Brian Cassey

Brian Cassey is an experienced photojournalist long based in Australia’s northern tropical city of Cairns. Born in London, since moving to Australia Brian has worked for numerous Australian and international media – newspapers, wires and magazines – principally covering news, features and sport. He covered the tsunami aftermath in northern Papua New Guinea 1998, the evacuation of refugees from East Timor 1999, the coup in Fiji and the World Economic Forum riots in Melbourne in 2000, the victims of the 2002 Bali bomb blasts, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar and the Category 5 cyclones Larry (2006) & Yasi (2011) which brought devastation to northern Queensland Australia. Brian is a Nikon Walkley Winner and was also a finalist in the Nikon Walkley Press Photographer of the Year . He has also won many other Australian and international awards for his work .He is also a member of photographers collectives ‘fotostrada’ and the @everydayaustralia Instagram collective.


Simon De Salis

Simon de Salis has worked in the media industry for the better part of three decades. He trained as a newspaper reporter and then spent many years as a freelance writer and photographer, with his words and pictures appearing in an array of publications in Australia and overseas. More recently he has worked for the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and environment as a media consultant, photographer and magazine editor.



Matt Deighton

Matt Deighton is a 26-year veteran of News Corp. He has been editor of The Mercury for more than two years and before that was a long-time editor in chief of Messenger News in Adelaide, where his papers were twice named Newspaper of the Year at the PANPA awards. He also has previously worked as an assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph and sports editor on the Sunday Mail (SA). During his time in SA he received a special commendation for services to journalism, the pursuit of fairness and accuracy, community campaigns and the training of young reporters.


Rick Eaves


Sarah Fitzpatrick

Sarah Fitzpatrick Gray began her journalism career with a cadetship at Tasmania’s Advocate Newspaper in the late 1980s. She then moved to London and spent the next decade working mainly with the BBC, The Daily Mail and he Sun Newspaper before becoming Group Editor of TNT Magazines. Returning to Australia in 2000, she worked as a reporter, producer and newsreader in local television and radio before becoming a media advisor with the federal government. She spent five years with the Department of Human Services before returning to her first love – the press. She has worked in a number or senior roles at The Mercury since then and is currently Head of News.


Tony Fox

Tony began his television career as a producer/presenter at TVT6 for children’s and music television for five or six years way back in 1978. In 1984 he moved behind the camera to create a children’s television department for TVT6 – soon to become TAS TV and developed two ‘C’ classified children programs, KTV and Good Sports.

Both of these program series were successfully sold nationally to the Nine Network, across Australia’s regional television network and many international television markets, including the USA, Asia (Star TV), Israel, France, Belgium and the UK.

In 1987 Tony moved to Adelaide as producer of Nine Network’s children’s program and in 1989 for the following three years, moved to the commercial side of the industry as production manager for Prime Television in Canberra and Executive Producer for the WIN Network in Wollongong. He left the industry to take up an offer to return to Hobart as CEO and develop a start-up company for the Tasmanian government. This company was established to assist and to market Tasmania’s craft and design industry for a period of five years. After moving to Sydney in 1998 and returning to television at the Seven Network as producer for 7’s design department, producing many program titles and graphics packages for 7 Sport, among these: the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup, Australian Open Tennis and many Melbourne Cups. Transferred to 7 News and public affairs at Martin Place in 2007 as Network Head of Editorial News, Graphics across Early News, Sunrise, the Morning Show, Today Tonight, three national bulletins and each state’s 6pm bulletins.In 2015 he accepted a position to return to Hobart and the station where it all started and manage WIN Television.


Peter Gee

Peter Gee has been reading the week night news on ABC TV Tasmania since 1998. He can also be heard reading afternoon radio bulletins on 936 ABC Hobart and ABC Northern Tasmania. Peter began his broadcasting career in commercial radio in country Victoria before joining the ABC in 1980. He spent 18 years in the Sports Department in Hobart then in Melbourne.

Peter worked as a commentator, interviewer and presenter on many national sports programs. His commentary highlights include two Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, World Cup Soccer and Golf, Swimming, Basketball and Athletics World Championships.

Peter is a keen cricketer and cyclist and has run several marathons. His love of music often sees him called upon to contribute to ABC Local Radio programs. He was born and raised in Geelong and is married with two adult children


Nicolá Goc

Dr Nicolá Goc is a senior lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania. Before joining the academy she worked as a news journalist and as a section editor and was one of the first women journalists in Australia to report on Australian Rules football. She is the author of several social history books and regularly talks on local and national radio on social and cultural history topics. Nicolá is the author of several academic books including Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice third edition (co-authored with Jason Bainbridge and Liz Tynan, Oxford University Press 3rd edition 2015).


Claire Konkes

Dr Claire Konkes lectures in journalism, media and communication at the University of Tasmania. Her research interests include news and crime, the role of journalism plays in social change, and representations of the environment in the news. Claire has worked as a freelance feature writer and as a reporter for newspapers including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Mercury.



Simon Pilkington


Don Reid


Carmel Robertson

Carmel started in 1980 at Channel Seven working as a production assistant for the children’s television shows. Moved to News and worked on outside broadcasts. Also spent time at Jumbuck Productions working on commercials and documentary making. Carmel worked on the production of a children’s television series for QTQ 9 before moving to commercial radio as am announcer and talkback producer for Radio 4CA.While in Cairns she hosted and produced a local magazine style show for FNQ 10. Carmel joined the ABC in 1988 as Queensland television cadet. Progressed through to bi-media and then tri-media roles as ABC online started. Carmel has spent the past few years working as a Senior Producer of News in Brisbane and across the network. She produced the ABC Gillard/Rudd leadership spill coverage from Canberra Parliament House. She’s been at the helm of network disaster coverage including, cyclones, floods and bushfires and for several years was a regular in Ultimo as Network Editor. Carmel has been Queensland Day Editor taking the lead in planning coverage events such as the G20 and Royal visits as well as editorial leadership on a day to day basis of the newsroom. For more than a year Carmel has been News Editor of Tasmania.


Luke Sayer

Luke Sayer began his career as a journalist in the old-fashioned way in the late 1980s as a cadet straight from school at north-west weekly the Circular Head Chronicle where he learned the craft. He moved to the Advocate in 2000 before joining The Mercury in the north-west bureau in 2002. His round included resources and this led to being one of the first on the ground at Beaconsfield in 2006 after the Anzac Day rockfall. This turned into an almost two week long assignment alongside media from across the globe. After stints in the federal and local government scenes he returned to the newspaper world in 2015 and is currently the Advocate’s senior journalist and acting chief of staff.


Mark Thomas

A. Mark Thomas has been president of the Tasmanian branch of the MEAA for the past 11 years. He has been a judge, organiser and MC of the Tasmanian Media Awards since 2000. Mark owns M&M Communications, a media and PR firm. He is a former journalist with The Examiner and TasTV/WIN Television.




Judy Tierney

A state and national award winning journalist with ABC radio and television for over 35 years, Judy Tierney continues to contribute to various programs despite her “retirement”.Her broadcast roles have included national correspondent for 7.30 Report including reporter and presenter positions and as a producer for Australian Story. Judy also presented the morning current affairs slot on local Tasmanian radio from 1990 to 1995.



Kathleen Williams

Dr Kathleen Williams is a lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania. She researches the crossover between screen studies and digital media. Her work in these areas has been published nationally and internationally.




Grant Wilson

Grant is Director of News SCTV Tasmania. Grant has worked in electronic media in Tasmania for 35 years with half of that time in his current role. He is enthusiastic about local news and the people who generate it for our communities. Grant says he is delighted to be asked to be on the judging panel this year and looks forward to recognising those who have excelled in their craft.–!>

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




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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Steve Fisher, WIN Television: Prison Escape
    • Nick Glover, WIN Television: Lefroy Bushfire
    • 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
    • Michael Atkin, ABC: Body of Work
    • Scott Gelston Freelance : Pete Mattila Images
    • Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury’s TasWeekend: TasWeekend features
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Michael Atkin, ABC: Body of Work
    • Fiona Breen, ABC: Landline Reports
    • Alexandra Humphries, The Examiner: Water woes
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Analysing Tas
    • Sally Glaetzer, The Mercury’s TasWeekend: Body of Work
    • Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work
    • 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
    • Edith Bevin, ABC News – Tasmania: Body of Work
    • Pat Billings, The Mercury, Compensation and Jodi Eaton
    • Sophie Kuryl, WIN Television Tasmania:Body of Work
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Bob Burton, Tasmanian Times: Deals and donors
    • Blair Richards, The Mercury: Defamation defeat
    • Matt Smith. The Mercury: Your right to know
    • 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
    • Elizabeth Anile, WIN Television : Body of Work
    • Richard Baines, ABC : Body of Work
    • Katelyn Barry, Southern Cross Austereo : Body of Work
    • 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
    • Michael Atkin, ABC : Body of Work
    • Patrick Billings, The Mercury: Body of Work
    • Matt Smith, The Mercury: Body of Work
    • 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.

    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.