WA Media Awards


Winners announced in the 2017 WA Media Awards


The West Australian Media Awards are open to all journalists and media professionals across all forms of print and electronic media throughout Western Australia.

The winners of the 2017 WA Media Awards were announced at a gala event at the Empire Function Centre on Saturday, October 28.

For more information: Anna Magnus 0423 363 725

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 West Australian Media Awards – the pre-eminent state-based awards celebrating journalistic excellence in print, broadcast and digital media platforms.

The winners were announced at the awards’ gala function at the Empire Function Centre in West Perth.

The annual awards – proudly supported by MEAA – promote quality journalism and reward media professionals whose commitment and excellent media coverage best informs and entertains West Australians.

This years’ WA Media Awards attracted 247 entries across the 24 award categories. The panel of 39 judges said they were impressed by the high quality of submissions this year.

Rebecca Johns and Jessica Miocevich of Nine Network Australia won the Daily News Centenary Prize – West Australian Journalist of the Year 2017 award. The judges said: “The judges felt the two entries – camerawork by Jessica Miocevich and news story by Rebecca Johns – deserved to share the award as they were intrinsically linked. Most definitely, the story of the riots, sparked by the death of Aboriginal teen Elijah Doughty, could not have been told to the same extent without the confronting images that accompanied it. The camerawoman put herself in the action in a heated and volatile situation and managed to maintain her composure and her focus, to capture one of the year’s most iconic sequence of pictures. At the same time, the story was sensitively handled by the journalist who… was able to link Aboriginal people to violence but also to grief.”

Rebecca and Jessica also won in both Best News Story or Feature – Television/Audio-Visual and Best Broadcast Camerawork respectively, for their story on the Kalgoorlie Riot.

MEAA congratulates all the award winners on their fine achievement.

For more information: Anna Magnus 0423 363 725

Winners of the 2017 West Australian Media Awards 

Outstanding Journalism Student Award

Sponsored by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Winner:

  • Molly Schmidt, Body of work, Curtin University

Finalists:

  • Brendan Crew, Edith Cowan University, Body of Work
  • Nicholas Martyr , Edith Cowan University, Body of Work

Judges comments:

“Molly Schmidt’s three pieces showed a clear talent for beautifully crafted writing well beyond her years.

Her Shanghai orphans story is a top notch feature with surprising insights into the scale of prejudice towards cleft palate in China. The fact the condition is the top reason for the high number of babies being abandoned around the nation would be a revelation to most westerners, while the photography is an excellent addition and really helps drive the point home, adding to the poignancy of the story.

Molly’s Lyme disease story is thought provoking, shows a strong capacity for research and just, just, straddles the line between positions in the debate.

Her Perth Soccer Club story is delivered in a direct manner and is a good example of modern reporting that demonstrates her nose for news.

She’s writing at a sophisticated level.”

Best New Journalist or Cadet

Sponsored by Community Newspaper Group

Winner:

  • Emily Baker, Body of work, Seven West Media  
  • Thomas De Souza, Body of work, Freelance

Finalists:

  • Katie McDonald, Business News, Body of Work

Judges comments:

“The judges acknowledge the stark differences in these two nominations but consider both worthy of sharing the award.

Tom de Souza’s writing style is compelling. His story construction belies his relative inexperience in the craft and his use of photography and inclusion of video material add extra dimensions to already‐persuasive storytelling.

Emily Baker displays an ability to craft news stories for television in a style that will resonate with most viewers, as evidenced by reports on the brawl victim and the Roe 8 protestors while her exclusive insulin overdose story was well‐researched and of public importance. The judges feel Emily’s high standard of presentation underpins her submission.”

Best News Photograph

Sponsored by The Sunday Times

Winner:

  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Riot, Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper

Finalists:

  • Ian Munro, The West Australian, Miss Dhu
  • Danella Bevis, The West Australian, The Day After

Judges comments:

“Mary’s hard news image from the four hour Kalgoorlie riot’s – sparked by the death of Aboriginal teenager 14 year old Ethan Doughty – was a stand out in the news photo category. Mary was in the right spot to capture the confrontation between a bloodied police officer and a protestor. An important image from one of the biggest WA stories of the year.”

Best News Photograph- Community/Regional

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Riot, Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper

Finalists:

  • Jon Gellweiler, South Western Times, Jon Gellweiler, Body of Work
  • Andrew Ritchie, Community Newspapers, Body of Work
  • Marta Pascual  Juanola,  Mandurah Mail Fairfax Media, Body of Work

Judges comments:

“The judges felt that Mary Mills’ photograph of the Kalgoorlie riots was the best image in this category.

It is evident that the photographer was close to the action, capturing the tense and dangerous nature of the riot.

The expressions on the subject’s faces are compelling, so too the smear of what appears to be blood on the cheek of an officer.

In what was a very fluid situation, the photographer kept her head, producing a very clear, powerful image without getting involved in the riot itself.

This illustrates the role of photography in an important news story for the Goldfields region, the state of Western Australia and the nation.

The judges also commented that this photograph reminded them of Jonathan Bachman’s photograph of the woman who confronted police at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016.

The powerful impact of this well-produced image impressed the judges.”

Best Feature Photographic Essay

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner:

  • Michael Wilson, Beeliar Wetlands Clash, The West Australian

Finalists:

  • Danella Bevis, The West Australian, Gift of Life
  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper, Kalgoorlie Riot

Judges comments:

“A very strong set of images that capture the volatile emotion as protesters clash with police at the WA Governments controversial Roe 8 extension across Beeliar Wetlands.

The photographer’s conscious decision to remove the colour and present the photographs as black and white allows the viewer to look into the images and not be distracted by the

fluorescent yellow police jackets which would have dominated the images.

The photographer has embedded himself in the thick of the action giving the audience a real insight of what the situation was like as it was happening on the ground.

It’s a credit to Michael that he’s remained alert and subjective and managed to shoot well executed sharp images while being aware of his surroundings during constant surging and jostling by both the police and protestors.

The set has been well edited and presents as a well-balanced photo essay.”

Best Broadcast Camerawork

Sponsored by Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Jessica Miocevich, Kalgoorlie Riots, Channel 9 Perth

Finalists:

  • Gayle Adams , Seven Network, Goldfields Ghost Towns
  • Ray Raab and Simon Hydzik, Seven West Media, Kalgoorlie Riots

Judges comments:

“This was another closely contested category …

The judges said Jessica Miocevich’s gripping on-the-spot camera work captured the rioting that erupted on the streets of Kalgoorlie following the death of Elijah Doughty.

Putting aside her own safety, Jessica captured unforgettable pictures as rioters threw rocks and bottles at the court building; stomped on a police car and smashed its windows; and attacked and injured police.

Amid the screaming and chaos, police retaliated with batons, riot shields and pepper spray as they tried to subdue the angry crowd.

Jessica’s camerawork is an outstanding example of on-the-spot news camerawork shot in dangerous and difficult conditions as events unfolded around her with no warning.”

Regional and Community – Best Three News Stories or Features

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Nathan Morris, Social Affairs Coverage, Australian Wide ABC TV, ABC Online

Finalists:

  • Jasmine Bamford, ABC, Reports from the North West
  • Kate Hedley, Fairfax Media, Clive William Black fallout

Judges comments:

“Nathan Morris has produced an extremely powerful and haunting piece from Leonora that humanises the story of Australia’s indigenous suicide crisis. Local undertaker Matt Taylor’s decision to tell the story of his son’s suicide in raw detail is clearly the result of a deeply trusting relationship between journalist and subject. The footage of a grieving Taylor measuring and digging his son’s grave is unforgettable. The interview with a man who speaks of his own suicidal thoughts is similarly troubling.  And while this piece helped foster greater awareness around this tragic issue in the Goldfields-Esperance region, it surely deserves to be seen by a much wider audience. It is rare that journalism conveys fact, emotion and the desperate mood of a town. This did it all.”

Suburban – Best Three Stories or Feature

Sponsored by WA Public Transport Authority  

Winner:

  • Sarah Brookes, Body of work, Echo Newspaper
  • Bret Christian, Murder, massacre and Neil’s tooth, POST Newspapers

Finalists:

  • Stephen Pollock, Fremantle Herald, Fremantle Council v Australia day
  • Josh Zimmerman, Community Newspaper Group, Body of Work

Judges comments:

“The Suburban category attracted a large field of high-quality entries. The judges were impressed with the breadth of coverage of suburban news reporting and the high degree of relevance the reporting of all entrants, and particularly the finalists, would have had on their local communities.

It also became clear that there were two standout entrants in this category who could not be separated because they both excelled at addressing the Suburban category, albeit from different angles.

Sarah Brookes submitted an excellent body of work of grassroots suburban reporting. Her dogged pursuit of answers to health incidents affecting a local school displayed local community reporting at its best, and would have generated widespread public interest in her newspaper’s catchment area.

Bret Christian’s experience and position as a newspaper publisher allows him to regularly set the suburban news agenda. Particularly, it is his continued pursuit of the inside story of the Claremont Serial Killer police investigation that elevated his submitted body of work to the highest level. He produced a story borne out of understanding events at a suburban level can was elevated to State-wide (and even national) significance.

Brookes and Christian are therefore worthy joint winners of the Suburban news category.”

Best Freelance Journalist

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Dorothy Henderson, Body of work, Freelance

Finalist:

  • Thomas de Souza, Freelance, Body of Work

Judges comments:

“This set of stories by Dorothy Henderson presents the widest variety of rural life with empathy and an understanding of the land. Through the stories of individuals, the author gives the reader a nuanced insight into the experiences of people, and not through  ‘man on the land’ stereotypes. Henderson clearly likes and respects her interviewees, whether they are commenting comically on an earthquake shock and the solace of sharing the experience on social media, or a mother describing the value of growing market vegetables with her two young sons. Or an inspiring account of land care schemes that leave wildlife in the landscape and crops in the paddock.”

Best Culture and Arts Report

Sponsored by Serafino Wines

Winner:

  • Katie McDonald, WA’s arts sector performs in tough funding environment, Business News

Finalists:

  • Paige Taylor and Hedley Thomas, The Australian, Bill Leak’s provocative cartoon
  • Rebecca Turner, ABC News, Perceptions Can Be Everything: Conflicts of Interest & the Screenwest board

Judges comments:

“Katie McDonald’s entry focuses on the challenges facing the Western Australia arts sector in a tough funding environment and against a backdrop of low federal funding allocations. The articles show a resourceful WA arts sector energetically striving to surmount funding challenges through innovation and collaboration at state, national and even international levels. McDonald demonstrates a solid grasp of the arts scene; her work is carefully researched and grounded in facts, figures and well-founded opinions. She captures the lively aspirations of a creative but often under-funded sector. Such journalistic work is vital for nurturing a healthy and informed arts sector and for fostering an enlightened funding bureaucracy.”

Best Health/Medical Report

Sponsored by the Australian Medical Association WA

Winner:

  • Victoria Laurie, Final Act- the life and death of Clive Deverall, The Australian

Finalists:

  • Cathy O’Leary, Seven West Media, The Right to Die
  • Regina Titelius, Seven West Media, Time for Vaccine Action

Judges comments:

“Final Act” is a mature, well-written piece of journalism and the excellence of Victoria Laurie’s writing stood above the field of entries. Foresight and planning was the cornerstone of the piece; it was obvious Ms Laurie had recognised the importance of Clive Deverall to the euthanasia debate long before his tragic death at his own hand. She interviewed him about his campaign to legalise euthanasia in Western Australia before he died and those close to him afterwards. Impressively, the piece demonstrated a deft handling of an issue that is both complex and contentious without any evidence of the journalist’s personal inclination one way or the other. The importance of the piece was underscored when Mr Deverall’s widow Noreen Fynn, one of Ms Laurie’s interview subjects, was a guest of the WA Parliament in August when it established an inquiry examining the introduction of euthanasia laws in WA.”

Best Science and Environmental Report

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • John Flint, Green regime an asbestos waste bomb, The Sunday Times/Seven West Media

Finalists:

  • Tess Ingram, The Australian Financial Review, The Square Kilometre Array: going to infinity and beyond
  • Emma Young, WAtoday /Fairfax Media , Just one wetland: a cautionary tale

Judges comments:

“John Flint took a story that could have easily stayed forgotten in a government media release and broke it wide open. He doggedly investigated the implications of the Western Australian government’s strategy to divert waste from landfill by crushing and recycling demolition rubble from older buildings, even though it is riddled with asbestos, and what he found was alarming. Stockpiles of dangerous waste had been created by contractors who couldn’t afford landfill levy fees which had been hiked 500 per cent to encourage recycling. Mr Flint’s series is a peerless example of delving beneath the spin to pursue every possible angle. Supported by comprehensive research, the work is a showpiece revealing the unintended consequences of poorly conceived government policy.”

Best Social Equity Report

Sponsored by Equal Opportunity Commission

Winner:

  • Kirsti Melville, Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground, ABC Radio National

Finalists:

  • Heather McNeill, WAtoday/Fairfax Media, Tackling the taboos of social justice
  • Cathy O’Leary, Seven West Media, The Right to Die

Judges comments:

“In Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground, Kirsti Melville takes radio listeners on a modern day exploration of the island’s darkest history.

Her exquisite audio presentation encapsulates the Rotto we know today while explaining intrinsic detail of the suffering experienced by Aboriginal prisoners at the hands of early European settlers.

Beautiful use of language (both English and Noongar), strong historical research and an ability to interweave little-known facts throughout a two-part longform radio series makes Melville’s entry a standout in the category.

Her work evokes empathy rather than sympathy while exposing the minimal knowledge – or is that wilful ignorance? – of today’s fun-loving greater population.

Judges also had high regard for work produced in this category by The West Australian’s medical editor Cathy O’Leary and emerging reporters Heather McNeill, Liam Croy and Erin Parke.”

Business, Economics or Finance Report

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Peter Williams, Diploma Collapse, The West Australian

Finalists:

  • Paul Garvey, The Australian, Digging deep: Edgar Basto’s journey
  • Joe Spagnolo, WAN: The Sunday Times, GST

Judges comments:

“Peter Williams’ series of reports on the troubles of builder-developer Diploma group, from the time subcontractor non-payment claims emerged through to its financial collapse, won unanimous support from all judges as the clear winner.

The entry epitomised what quality journalism is all about – hearing about an issue and continuing to dig until the truth is finally exposed.

The entry goes beyond standard business reporting to shine a light on the human-interest aspect of the story –  exposing the financial pain suffered by many small business people stung by Diploma’s troubles.

The judges were particularly impressed with Williams’ sheer persistence in pursuing the story and the punchy and informative way it was told.

The judges acknowledge this story would have been particularly difficult to expose because the journalist was writing about a subject matter who refused to engage.

The judges also praised Williams’ final entry – a piece questioning why the watchdog didn’t act sooner given all the alarm bells that were being sounded.

Trends suggest audiences are crying out for more in-depth analysis of news and events and Williams nailed that in this piece. “

Best Political Report

Sponsored by The Sunday Times

Winners:

  • Joe Spagnolo, The Preference Deal, The Sunday Times

Finalists:

  • Claire Moodie, ABC, Return of One Nation
  • Shane Wright and Andrew Probyn, The West Australian, The Bell Bombshell

Judges comments:

“Joe Spagnolo used multiple sources to break the news of One Nation’s preference deal with the WA Liberal Party – a story that came to be dominant issue during the state election this year. The issue went onto become a national concern and was attributed as underpinning the Liberal party’s loss. “

Multimedia

Sponsored by Telstra

Winner:

  • Seven West Media Team and Simon White, State Election Live: Keeping them honest, Seven West Media WA

Finalists:

  • ABC Regional Team Entry, ABC Regional, , Right Wrongs
  • Lauren Day, ABC , Doctor who killed abusive husband speaks out

Judges comments:

“The West Australian’s online 2017 State election day coverage shows perfectly how multi-media journalism should work at its best and how it has evolved to provide an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Slickly produced, the live election day coverage incorporated a mini documentary, seat tracker, live election day blog, a custom-built promise tracker and access to expert commentary on the day.

It provided a substantial audience with lively, informative coverage in an easily digested format”

Best Three Headlines

Sponsored by Walkley Foundation

Winner:

  • Martin Turner,  “New York Plate of Mind”, “Mind Your Mannas” and “Reading, Writing and a Rhythma-Trick”, Community Newspaper Group

Finalists:

  • Paul Barry, The West Australian/The Sunday Times, “Lifelyon”, “Panel beaters” and  “Moses shows the way to the promised land”
  • David Cusworth,  Seven West Media, “Jeddah night a fan solo”,” Art about nothing in our back yada yada yada” and “Swing the thing in a roundabout way”

Judges comments:

“The headline: It’s an art, designed to grab the readers’ attention and pull them to an article. The sub-editor is the anonymous hero of a publication, his work often more crucial than the opening paragraph, the layout or the picture. There were three strong entries in this category but Martin Turner came up with three smart and snappy headlines. Mind your mannas took just three words to warn fishers of catching undersize crabs, New York plate of mind took the readers to baseball’s big time, while Reading, Writing and a Rhythma-trick was a particularly clever way to highlight how music was used to introduce young adults to a novel. Great work.”

Best Sports Report

Sponsored by Lion

Winner:

  • Steve Butler, Green v Mundine, Seven West Media

Finalists:

  • Nick Taylor, The West Australian 7WM, The battle to save Western Force
  • John Townsend,  The West Australian, WACA Test match

Judges comments:

“The series of reports by Steve Butler was compelling and demonstrates clearly a level of trust and respect earned by the journalist from both Danny Green and Anthony Mundine. The “behind the scenes” access to the camps of both fighters and the exclusive revelations about Green’s health were matched by an entertaining and absorbing writing style, especially in the report on the fight that was filed against tight deadlines.

In each case the reports showed great storytelling and captured the emotion of an event that held the interest of a broad section of the WA public.”

Best Columnist – The Matt Price Award

Sponsored by The West Australian

Winner:

  • Shane Wright, The Bananapocalypse, The West Australian

Finalists:

  • Cathy O’Leary, The West Australian/Seven West Media, The price of health
  • John Townsend , The West Australian, Tuesday WAFL

Judges comments:

“Shane Wright explained complex economic policy in everyday language and thorough research to show Australia risks falling behind in food security if more money is not spent on agricultural-based science.”

Radio/Audio Journalism – Best News Story or Feature

Sponsored by Southern Cross Austereo

Winner:

  • Kristi Melville, Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground

Finalists:

  • Joseph Dunstan, ABC Regional, Interview with Brendon Grylls after election loss
  • Ryan Emery, SBS, A meeting of two faiths

Judges comments:

“Kirsti Melville crafted a powerful and compelling story with Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground.

The way the narrative weaves between the horrific events on Rottnest and the subsequent use of the island as a tourist destination and a “pleasure resort” was astounding and makes for captivating listening.

Also, a special mention for the technical production. The use of location sounds and music perfectly enhanced the storytelling and helped to hold the tension, and attention throughout.

Descriptions of the treatment of Aboriginal people were respectful and gripping. But revealing what happened on Rottnest is only part of the story. The story of ‘tentland’ – the island’s camping ground positioned on top of Australia’s largest Aboriginal burial ground -was such a powerful metaphor for the “masterclass in forgetting” which this feature exposes.

This story made me angry, sad and enlightened and I think I am a better Australian for listening to it.”

Television/Audio-Visual Journalism – Best News Story or Feature

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner:

  • Rebecca Johns, Kalgoorlie Riots, Nine Network Australia

Finalists:

  • Lauren Day, ABC,  Doctor who killed abusive husband speaks out
  • Monique Dirksz,  Seven West Media, Kalgoorlie Riots

Judges comments:

“The news and feature story category was keenly contested with several high-quality entries.

The judges said Rebecca Johns’s winning entry vividly told the story of the violence and terror in the Kalgoorlie riots sparked by the death of indigenous teenager Elijah Doughty.

Rebecca, like other reporters and crews, was always at risk of being caught up in the violence.

Her stories had impact and insight, and contained a dramatic piece to camera filmed as the rioters smashed the gate to the court compound and stormed inside.

Her entry also included a thoughtful follow-up story on the courageous young woman—a cousin of the dead teenager—who used her body as a shield to protect police from the rioters and who was applauded for her dignity and bravery.”

Best Print/Text Feature Writing

Sponsored by Lavan

Winner:

  • Victoria Laurie, Your Father Is My Father, The Australian

Finalists:

  • David Allan-Petale, Fairfax Media, Lost Summer: Defending the America’s Cup
  • Andrew Burrell, The Australian, Sorry Business

Judges comments:

“In a strong field where the entries embodied many of the qualities of an ideal feature story, Victoria’s report about Aboriginal woman June Oscar’s discovery of her ‘white’ family measured up most strongly against the specific criteria of the Hugh Schmitt prize. This is quality writing. It is well crafted and well researched, packing an emotional punch that lingers beyond the page. Victoria captures her subjects’ feelings as they discover their blood connection and describes their open-hearted approach to each other and forgiving attitude to the circumstances that led to their lives being intertwined to great effect. Western Australia is filled with great stories such as this and the judges encourage journalists to continue to employ the best skills of our craft to tell stories such as this.”

Best Print/Text News Report

Sponsored by The West Australian

Winner:

  • Paige Taylor and Andrew Burrell, Elijah Doughty, The Australian

Finalists:

  • Gary Adshead and Dylan Caporn, The West Australian, Children’s Hospital Lead
  • David Cohen, Post Newspapers, Chen murder tiles

Judges comments:

“Paige Taylor’s work on the Elijah Doughty story was an example of a reporter prepared to go the extra mile on a breaking news event.

While much of the first day’s media focus was on the violence in Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie, as family and friends reacted to Elijah’s death, Taylor went behind the story to investigate the festering sore of race relations in the Goldfields city.

Up against The Australian’s early deadlines for WA reports, she covered a lot of ground, interviewing many people with intimate knowledge of the boy, his family and members of the wider community.

What appeared was an even-handed, but still emotionally powerful report, that managed to explain Elijah’s difficult life while exploring the anger and retribution petty juvenile crimes were causing.

Up against a very strong group of exclusive news-breaking entries, Taylor showed great skill in reporting a very public event in the best traditions of the profession.

The judges request a special mention for Childrens’ Hospital Lead by Gary Adshead and Dylan Caporn:

This entry was a major scoop on a story that has dominated State politics ever since. The judges had difficulty separating it from the winner.”

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism-The Clarion Award 2017

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Bret Christian, POST Newspapers

Judges comments:

“Tonight’s winner has provided consistent and multi-faceted leadership to at least two generations of journalists in Western Australia. He has run his own successful newspaper for forty years, employed dozens of reporters, and advanced the careers of many now-senior journalists.

But he has remained a reporter at heart and in practice, by working assiduously as an investigative journalist and author. He has helped right gross injustices and held government to account. He has also stood up for the importance of belonging to the MEAA, our journalists union, stressing the importance of reporting standards and ethics, acting regularly as an awards judge, and offering counsel in union matters.

Tonight’s winner was 28 years old when he and his then wife Bettye produced the first edition of what has become an institution in Perth – the 12-page newsletter they started in the front room of a Subiaco terrace house. The Subiaco Post  now has a distribution of 52,000 and employs six reporters, two photographers, three subeditors and a total staff of 30.

Why has the Post endured? Could it actually be that the news is always exclusive and directly relevant to its readers?!

The Post’s reporters do not just go to the council meetings in the seven local government areas it covers, they are sent to every committee meeting as well.

At the Post’s 40th birthday party in September, Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop said they deserve a medal for this. The Post’s reporters haunt police stations, planning tribunals and the most obscure trials in the magistrate’s court. Some recent gems include the naked muffin baker, the police officer who “bashed himself up” to get compensation and the priest who dug his own grave.

There is no doubt tonight’s winner loves a quirky yarn – he got his start in 1967 at the now-defunct Daily News where he was the UFO roundsman, until he exposed two frauds who used the tail light of a car to mock up a spaceship photograph.

But his long commitment to serious journalism is without peer in Western Australia. He is highly respected and his remarkable reporting on the big stories on his patch are an inspiration. His investigations of the Claremont serial killings – Australia’s most expensive homicide investigation – resulted in astonishing scoops that shed light on crimes that had changed Perth. His sources proved better than anyone’s.

He will champion unpopular causes; he threw himself into the successful battles to overturn John Button and Daryl Beamish’s murder convictions, putting his time and money into tests and research for both cases.

His 2013 book Presumed Guilty was a still-pertinent expose about what has gone wrong in police investigations, and in WA’s jury system. It is a substantial contribution to our understanding of Australian justice.

Tonight’s winner generously and patiently passes on what he knows. And his reporters are sought after by employers – former Post reporters currently work at the ABC, News Corp, Seven West Media, Fairfax, AAP, BBC, Time and Wired magazine.

When tonight’s winner addressed his troops at the Post’s 40th birthday party, he told them: “Looking back on those frenetic early days, a saying with worrying implications comes to mind: ‘Only the mad survive’.”

We are glad. The winner of the 2017 Clarion is Bret Christian”

West Australian Journalist of the Year – Daily News Centenary Prize 2017

Sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:

  • Rebecca Johns and Jessica Miocevich, Nine Network Australia

Judges comments:

“Kalgoorlie riots.. Camerawork and news story.

The Kalgoorlie riots dominated the news agenda for part of last year and the story went international.. The judges felt the two entries – camerawork by Jessica Miocevich and news story by Rebecca Johns – deserved to share the award as they were intrinsically linked.. most definitely the story of the riots – sparked by the death of Aboriginal teen Elijah Doughty –  could not have been told to the same extent without the confronting images that accompanied it.. the camerawoman put herself in the action in a heated and volatile situation and managed to maintain her composure and her focus, to capture one of the year’s most iconic sequence of pictures.. pictures that travelled the world to tell the story of a town at breaking point.. At the same time, the story was sensitively handled by the journalist who put aside her own fear… And was able to link Aboriginal people to violence but also to grief. John’s selection of facts and emphasis was ethical and thoughtful. She progressed the narrative and by choosing to tell the story of a courageous young woman who protected police during the riot she moved her reporting away from a divisive “us and them” story which could have contributed to negative stereotypes, to a story that was both accurate and fair.

The judges also felt a special commendation should be made to Victoria Laurie for her two winning entries, a powerful and sensitive piece on Euthanasia looking at the life and death of Clive Deverall – the former executive director of the WA Cancer Council and president of Palliative Care WA – who took his own life on the day of the WA election as one final political statement… And her beautifully written feature on an Aboriginal woman connecting with her white half-siblings. “

Photos from the 2017 WA Media Awards

If you are having trouble seeing this gallery on your phone or browser, view it on flickr.

Powered by flickr embed.

The finalists in the 2017 West Australian Media Awards have been announced. The awards, proudly supported by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, and administered by the Walkley Foundation, are the pre-eminent state-based awards promoting journalistic excellence in print, broadcast and digital media platforms.

The annual WA Media Awards celebrate quality journalism and reward media professionals whose commitment and excellent media coverage best informs and entertains West Australians.

The 2017 WA Media Awards attracted 247 entries across the 24 award categories. The panel of 39 judges said they were impressed by the high quality of submissions this year.

MEAA congratulates all the finalists who have had their work recognised and wishes them good luck in the final judging.

The winners in the 2017 awards will be announced at a gala presentation event on Saturday, October 28, at the Empire Function Centre, 217-225 Fitzgerald St, West Perth.

Tickets are $110 for MEAA members, $140 non-members and $80 for students. Call 1300 65 65 13 to book.

Outstanding Journalism Student Award

  • Brendan Crew, Edith Cowan University, Body of Work
  • Nicholas Martyr, Edith Cowan University, Body of Work
  • Molly Schmidt, Curtin University, Body of Work

New Journalist or Cadet – The Eaves-Prior-Day Prize

  • Emily Baker, Seven West Media, Body of Work
  • Katie McDonald, Business News, Body of Work
  • Thomas de Souza, Freelance, Body of Work

News Photograph

  • Danella Bevis, The West Australian, The Day After
  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Miner, Kalgoorlie Riot
  • Ian Munro, The West Australian, Miss Dhu

News Photograph – Community/Regional

  • Jon Gellweiler, South Western Times, Body of Work
  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Miner, Goldfields
  • Andrew Ritchie, Community Newspapers, Body of Work
  • Marta Pascual Juanola,  Mandurah Mail/Fairfax Media, Body of Work

Feature Photographic Essay

  • Danella Bevis, The West Australian, Gift of Life
  • Mary Mills, Kalgoorlie Miner, Kalgoorlie Riot
  • Michael Wilson, The West Australian, Beeliar Wetlands Clash

Broadcast Camerawork – All Media

  • Gayle Adams, Seven Network, Goldfields Ghost Towns
  • Jessica Miocevich, Channel 9 Perth, Kalgoorlie Riots
  • Ray Raab and Simon Hydzik, Seven West Media, Kalgoorlie Riots

Regional and Community – Best Three News Stories or Features – All Media

  • Jasmine Bamford, ABC, Reports from the North-West
  • Kate Hedley, Fairfax Media, Clive William Black fallout
  • Nathan Morris, ABC, Social affairs coverage

Freelance Journalist – All Media

  • Dorothy Henderson, Freelance, People in a Rural Landscape
  • Thomas de Souza, Freelance, Body of Work

Culture and Arts Report – The A.H. Kornweibel Arts Prize – All Media

  • Katie McDonald , Business News, WA’s arts sector performs in tough funding environment
  • Paige Taylor and Hedley Thomas, The Australian, Bill Leak’s provocative cartoon
  • Rebecca Turner, ABC News, Perceptions Can Be Everything: Conflicts of Interest & the Screenwest board

Health/Medical Report – All Media

  • Victoria Laurie, The Australian, Final Act – the life and death of Clive Deverall
  • Cathy O’Leary, Seven West Media, The Right to Die
  • Regina Titelius, Seven West Media, Time for Vaccine Action

Science and Environmental Report – All Media

  • John Flint, The Sunday Times/Seven West Media, Green regime an asbestos waste bomb
  • Tess Ingram, The Australian Financial Review, The Square Kilometre Array: going to infinity and beyond
  • Emma Young, WAtoday/Fairfax Media, Just one wetland: a cautionary tale

Social Equity Report – All Media

  • Heather McNeill, WAtoday/Fairfax Media, Tackling the taboos of social justice
  • Kirsti Melville, ABC Radio National, Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground
  • Cathy O’Leary, Seven West Media, The Right to Die

Business, Economics or Finance Report  – All Media

  • Paul Garvey, The Australian, Digging deep: Edgar Basto’s journey
  • Peter Williams, The West Australian, Diploma Collapse
  • Joe Spagnolo, WAN/The Sunday Times, GST

Political Report – The Beck Prize – All Media

  • Claire Moodie, ABC, Return of One Nation
  • Joe Spagnolo, The Sunday Times, The Preference
  • Shane Wright and Andrew Probyn, The West Australian, The Bell Bombshell

Sports Report – The Gilmour-Christian Prize – All Media

  • Steve Butler, Seven West Media , Green v Mundine
  • Nick Taylor, The West Australian 7WM, The battle to save Western Force
  • John Townsend, The West Australian, WACA Test match

Columnist – The Matt Price Award – All Media

  • Cathy O’Leary, The West Australian/Seven West Media, The price of health
  • John Townsend, The West Australian, Tuesday WAFL
  • Shane Wright, The West Australian, The Bananapocalypse

Multimedia

  • ABC Regional Team Entry, ABC Regional, Right Wrongs
  • Lauren Day, ABC, Doctor who killed abusive husband speaks out
  • Seven West Media Team Entry, Seven West Media WA, State Election Live: Keeping them honest

News Story or Feature – Radio/Audio Journalism

  • Joseph Dunstan, ABC Regional, Interview with Brendon Grylls after election loss
  • Ryan Emery, SBS, A meeting of two faiths
  • Kirsti Melville, ABC Radio National, Rottnest Island: Black Prison, White Playground

News Story or Feature – Television/Audio-Visual Journalism

  • Lauren Day, ABC,  Doctor who killed abusive husband speaks out
  • Monique Dirksz, Seven West Media, Kalgoorlie Riots
  • Rebecca Johns, Nine Network Australia, Kalgoorlie Riots

Suburban – Best Three Stories or Feature – Print/Text

  • Sarah Brookes, Community Newspaper Group, Body of Work
  • Bret Christian, Post Newspapers, Murder, massacre and Neil’s tooth
  • Stephen Pollock, Fremantle Herald, Fremantle Council v Australia Day
  • Josh Zimmerman, Community Newspaper Group, Body of Work

Three Headlines – Print/Text

  • Paul Barry, The West Australian/The Sunday Times, “Lifelyon”, “Panel beaters” and “Moses shows the way to the promised land”
  • David Cusworth, Seven West Media, “Jeddah night a fan solo”, “Art about nothing in our back yada yada yada” and “Swing the thing in a roundabout way”
  • Martin Turner, Community Newspaper Group, “New York Plate of Mind”, “Mind Your Mannas” and “Reading, Writing and a Rhythma-Trick”

Feature Writing – Print/Text

  • David Allan-Petale, Fairfax Media, Lost Summer: Defending the America’s Cup
  • Andrew Burrell, The Australian, Sorry Business
  • Victoria Laurie, The Australian, Your Father Is My Father

News Report – Print/Text

  • Gary Adshead and Dylan Caporn, The West Australian, Children’s Hospital Lead
  • David Cohen, Post Newspapers, Chen murder tiles
  • Paige Taylor and Andrew Burrell, The Australian, Elijah Doughty

The full awards winners from 2016.

Outstanding Journalism Student Award

Sponsored by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Thomas de Souza, Stories from the Scenic Route, University of Notre Dame

Finalists:
• Stephanie Garnaut, Body of Work, Edith Cowan University
• Cameron McAloon, Body of Work, Edith Cowan University

Judges’ comments:
“Notre Dame student Thomas de Souza’s ability to source original stories with national and international implications sets him apart as one of West Australia’s most promising young journalists.
de Souza showed maturity in his perspective and storytelling beyond that associated with student reporting, particularly his profile of a subculture choosing to live in their vehicles and his written exploration of the reliance upon drugs at Indonesia’s Gili Trawangan. These stories were picked up and published by prominent interstate newspapers in a nod to the originality of his work. Judges agreed de Souza displays a passion for his story topic and delves beyond surface judgments to understand issues affecting people from all walks of life.”

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

Best New Journalist or Cadet

Sponsored by Community Newspaper Group

Winner:
• Nathan Hondros, Body of Work, Mandurah Mail

Finalists:
• Claire Dearle, Body Of Work , Ten Eyewitness News
• Jacob Nazroo, Body of Work, POST Newspapers

Judges’ comments:
“This category had a very strong field of entries. Nathan’s stood out as brave articles that reflected his maturity and life skills. They were original stories that utilised his network of contacts and not only had relevance to his local community but also had wider social implications as shown by the fact they were taken up by state and national media. He asked tough questions of people in power and the stories reflect a good range of sometimes hard-to-get interviews. They are a very strong start for a new journalist.”

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

Best News Photograph

Sponsored by The Sunday Times

Winner:
• Marta Pascual Juanola, Falcon Beach Fatal Shark Attack, Mandurah Mail

Finalists:
• Colin Murty, Yarloop Devastation, Perth Now and The Australian
• Michael O’Brien, Freeway Inferno, The West Australian

Judges’ comments:
“It was a year of powerful flame images from the flames of Yarloop to burning trucks on Mitchell Freeway. But the winner this year went to a drama on a beach new Mandurah that might have lost to smartphone shots if Marta had not reacted as good news photographers do when code 262 – shark attack – came down the police feed. In shots that would have looked like staged movie stills if we did not know this story was so tragically real. We saw all the human and emergency services drama in trying to save a life. Marta’s work was live, on the spot news photography at its best.”

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

Best News Photograph- Community/Regional

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner:
• Jon Gellweiler, Body of Work, Ampersand Southwest Magazine

Finalists:
• Jon Hewson Body of Work, Mandurah Coastal Times
• Andrew Ritchie, Body of Work, Guardian Express

Judges’ comments:

“Jon Gelweiller showed great skills with a diverse range of topics. The pictures were distinctly Bunbury and the South West but the imagery transcended the locality. Jon was under clear pressure to produce when he called his reporter away from the pub to play torch-waver for the stunning shot of a basketball import who had become a local identity. He showed what can be done with water, sunlight and the Bunbury skyline when he turned what could have been a pedestrian paddler pic into a sports classic. Jon says he seeks to find a different angle and he certainly succeeded with his winning shots.”

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

Best Feature Photographic Essay

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner:
• Colin Murty, Eradication of pests on Dirk Hartog Island, The Australian

Finalists:
• Philip Gostelow,The Utopia Project, The Weekend Australian Magazine
• Martine Perret, Ngala Wongga, ABC Goldfields Radio

Judges’ comments:
“The judges were all taken in by Colin Murty’s photographs of Sue Robinson and Bax working on the eradication program on Dirk Hartog. Colin set out to convey the desolation, space and beauty. And he did this with stunning use of landscape, light and spacing of his human and canine talent. The images speak for themselves.”

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

Best Broadcast Camerawork

Sponsored by Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Cameron Wallis, Devil Inside – Power of Meth, Seven News 6pm

Finalists:
• James Hayward, Waroona – Yarloop Fires, Nine News Perth, Today Sydney, Nine Network
• Simon Hydzik, Body of Work, Seven News Perth

Judges’ comments:
“Cam Wallis’s video expose of addicts’ battles with methamphetamine is an outstanding example of precision storytelling, from panoramic drone vision to concise closeups that clearly mark each chapter. His focus on the simple power of people’s faces is both confronting and compelling. Cam’s use of light and shade, haunting family images and a stunning piece to camera in Part Three cap off the masterclass.”

Links to view winning submission one.

Regional and Community – Best Three News Stories or Features

Sponsored by Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Nathan Morris, Preservation of Aboriginal languages of the Goldfields, Esperance, ABC Local Radio, ABC News Online, ABC News 24

Finalists:
• Jasmine Bamford, Kalgoorlie multimedia Entry , ABC Goldfields-Esperance Breakfast program
• Andrew Brosnan, Body of Work. Kalgoorlie Miner

Judges’ comments:
“Finalists’ entries were all of a high standard. Several others were commendable. Nathan Morris’s pieces were wonderfully vivid. True to their particular people and places, imaginatively shot, beautifully edited, they were also fruit of time well spent before the camera “rolled”. Their subjects were obviously at ease, allowed to tell their own stories, effectively assisted to do so. No word or image was wasted. “Academic” and “grass roots” speakers were interwoven uncommonly well. Serious issues were explored, but no story became tediously “worthy”, and the first was great fun. Subtitles were used well, sparingly. Nathan himself made no unnecessary intrusions, but any attentive viewer knows he worked hard and well. His first story’s text-based version was fine in its own right, illustrated by Nathan’s photos. If there were separate categories for “feature” and “investigative”, Andrew Brosnan would have been a worthy winner of the latter.”

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

Suburban – Best Three Stories or Feature

Sponsored by WA Public Transport Authority
Winner:
• Sarah Brookes, Body of Work, Echo Newspaper

Finalists:
• David Cohen and Bret Christian, Gang crashes dinner party, POST Newspapers
• Bryce Luff, Terror on our Roads, Cockburn Gazette

Judges’ comments:
“This work is revelatory, well-written and highly relevant to its audience. Brookes showed that in the Perth hills, the NBN was not about cables but towers, lots of them, and she understood the storytelling power of an excellent graphic. Brookes’ story on the damage caused to the environment by feral pigs was thoroughly researched. Her report on the new Midland hospital shed new light on what services would not be offered, and the health implications of this for individuals.”

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

Best Freelance Journalist

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Kerry Faulkner, Special report WA’s accident towing industry among worst in Australia

Judges’ comments:
“Kerry Faulkner’s entry exposed unsavoury practices in Western Australia’s accident towing industry, describing it as “one of the worst in Australia”. Kerry obtained access to a confidential insurance industry internal report showing serious price gouging, a tow truck driver boarding an ambulance to pressure a woman who was being treated for her signature, aggressive behavior by ‘towies’ towards police and paramedics at accident scenes, creating accident scene traffic hazards, and misleading stressed car owners into thinking the towies are contracted for the job. The article pointed out that some towies were operating “well outside acceptable business practices” and highlighted the need for legislation to govern the industry to protect consumers. The article was well researched and key stakeholders comments were presented.”

Links to view winning submission one.

Best Culture and Arts Report

Sponsored by Bird in Hand

Winner:
• Victoria Laurie, Through the Lens; Mavis Walley, The Weekend Australian

Finalists:
• LaurenDay, The art of prosthetic eye painting, ABC 7.30
• Erin Parke, Miss Daisy, 7.30 ABC TV

Judges’ comments:
“Victoria Laurie has again entrenched her reputation as the leading culture and arts reporter in the state. Her remarkable stories about the chance discovery of photographs by Mavis Walley – a proud, illiterate mother of 11 who used her beloved box brownie camera to capture a rarely seen part of Western Australian history – are more fine examples of Laurie’s exceptional reporting and writing skills. Laurie’s stories brought to life the images captured by Walley in the small Wheatbelt town of Goomalling during the mid-20th century, capturing the pride, joy and resilience of Walley’s fellow Aboriginal people in a defiant rebuttal to those who presume these lives were pure hardship. Laurie conveyed not only the artistic beauty of the compositions, but also the historical and cultural significance of the photographs and the impact of their re-emergence on the descendants of the men and women in the images.”

Links to view winning submission (one and two).

Best Health/Medical Report

Sponsored by The Gordon Reid Family Foundation

Winner:
• Emma Young, A child’s ‘best interests’, WAtoday

Finalists:
• Cathy O’Leary, Robbie’s Fight, The Weekend West
• Rebecca Turner, Politics before public health? The children’s water park at Elizabeth Quay, ABC News Perth

Judges’ comments:
“A very strong category again this year but Emma Young’s piece was not only the best but one of biggest stories of the year. She used modern digital reporting at its best to accompany sensitive and well balanced written pieces. Her research and tenacity developed a series of stories that probed the broader issues at play and provoked debate on a sensitive topic. A heartbreaking story which raised both moral and ethical queries in the medical and wider community. Cathy O’Leary’s report also bought an important issue to light and was highly recommended.”

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

Best Science and Environmental Report

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Emma Young, Lancelin residents win development battle, get dunes rezoned for conservation, WAtoday

Finalists:
• Liam Croy, Cockburn Sound fish kill, The West Australian
• Ben O’Shea, Gravity Waves Discovery, The Weekend West

Judges’ comments:
“A good news story requires well researched and balanced reporting without bias. It must also pique public interest while finally getting a result, either negative or positive, for the protagonists. Emma Young’s series met all these criteria. A series of bungles by the State, environmental bodies and a shire eventually forced the Government to knock back a rezoning plan to protect an endangered plant species protected by Federal law. This report highlighted lackadaisical and inadequate investigation, research and planning by a number of statuary bodies resulting in a different outcome for both the local and wider communities.”

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

Best Social Equity Report

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Paige Taylor and Victoria Laurie, The reality of everyday life for our most vulnerable kids, The Weekend Australian

Finalists:
• Courtney Bembridge, Indigenous language barriers putting innocent people behind bars, ABC News – Online
• Victoria Laurie and Paige Taylor, Gene Gibson, The Weekend Australian

Judges comments:
“The entries in this category were very strong overall, however the stories by Paige Taylor and Victoria Laurie stood out in a class of their own. The reality of everyday life for our most vulnerable kids is described through two incidents that prompted widespread outrage – an 11 year old boy charged with murder, and a 10 year old girl who took her own life. The issues these articles explore are uncomfortable and complex. Yet by detailed research, good contacts and trusted relationships with communities and services, Taylor and Laurie are able to take us inside a world that most Australians would not willingly enter. These stories humanize the headlines of alleged murder and suicide by children and open up confronting national conversations about how as a society we care for our most vulnerable children and families. They do this with a sensitivity that does not disenfranchise the people that have trusted them to tell these confronting stories.”

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

Business, Economics or Finance Report

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Courtney Bembridge, Subcontractors lose millions on airport build, ABC News – Online

Finalists:
• Nick Evans, Sparkle goes from Kimberley Diamonds, The West Australian
• Nick Sas, Mobile phone billing scam hits Telstra clients, The West Australian

Judges’ comments:
“First-class reporting on a complex issue that covered personal, legal, and policy issues. Viewers shook their heads over a terrible blowout that affected a dozen small contractors. These people were shoddily treated and were given a much-needed voice thanks to Courtney and the ABC. She uncovered a widespread problem, and the state government recently announced a way to address the issue.”

Commended:
“Mobile phone bill scam, by Nick Sas, The West Australian. Scam, scandal, outrage: whatever you call it, it affected Telstra customers nationwide. Nick’s reports contained a strong human element.
Well done on keeping the bastards honest, and persuading someone who was affected to go on the record. This two-part piece has directly benefited consumers, and is what good journalism should be about – and it was also incisively written.”

Commended:
“Sparkle goes from Kimberley Diamonds, by Nick Evans, The West Australian. More excellent work from Nick Evans. The Mining Rehabilitation Scheme – what a cock up by the state government. Workers entitlements left high and dry – $5million of staff money lost, and sub-contractors go broke, while the parent company walks away. We deserve more from authorities than this, and we are lucky to have business reporters of the calibre of Nick to keep watch on the corporate world.”

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

Best Political Report

Sponsored by The Sunday Times

Winners:
• Andrew Probyn, Mediscare, The West Australian
• Rebecca Turner and Jessica Strutt, The big money and politics behind the Kwinana buffer protests, ABC News Perth

Finalists:
• Anthony De Ceglie, Aboard Gravy Train, The Sunday Times/PerthNow
• Joe Spagnolo, Stephen Smith: From Beginning to End, The Sunday Times

Judges’ comments:
“Mediscare, by Andrew Probyn, The West Australian. All the ingredients of a winner, and a very important national scoop that dominated the political agenda for months. Andrew Probyn broke the story in February. All parties should have known it would be an election issue as the back office work employs thousands of Community Public Sector Union workers. Probyn’s analysis clearly spelt out Turnbull’s dilemma. But Turnbull didn’t act until June 19, a fornight until election day, giving Labor the Mediscare weapon. With the GP payments freeze and pathology cuts, one more seat and Mediscare could have won the election. Excellent get and insight into Australian thinking by Probyn.”

“Kwinana buffer zone, by Rebecca Turner and Jessica Strutt, ABC News. Excellent combination of reportage of a protest by ordinary land owners, and pulling back the veil of corporate donations and influence.
The small landholders have had their retirement plans shattered while big end of town property investors are in conflict with government policy. Satterley retaliates by withholding funds from Liberal HQ – looks like HBO drama but it’s real life. Followers of these reports wondered:‘Who is the state government serving?’ Jess Strutt asking the hard questions and pressing for answers on a disturbing and murky topic.”

Commended:
“Smith tilt, by Joe Spagnolo, The Sunday Times. Joe was always first with this story while other media ignored the months-long rumblings of the Labor backbench, or didn’t have attribution. Good contacts and perseverance paid off with the exclusive Smith interview. Spagnolo deserves credit for sticking with his instincts and pursuing Smith to speak.”

Commended:
“All Aboard Gravy Train, by Anthony De Ceglie, The Sunday Times. Excellent work: holding politicians to account. This rail travel was a rort that failed the pub test – and the users should have known it did not meet community expectations, especially when ministers such as Helen Morton were cutting programs to the needy in her department. Without scrutiny from The Sunday Times it would still be there for any pollie’s winter break.”

Links to view winning submissions by Andrew Probyn (one, two and three).

Links to view winning submissions by Rebecca Turner and Jessica Strutt (one, two and three).

Online

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Yarloop and Waroona Fire Coverage Team Entry, Simon White, Emma Young , Tim Carrier, Heather McNeil and David Baker, WAtoday.com.au and Fairfax Media national network

Finalists:
• Ryan Emery, Life on Christmas Island, sbs.com.au/news
• The Hidden High Team Entry. Simon White, Franziska Rimrod, Giovanni Torre, Mary Louise Brammer and James Mooney, The hidden high: flying high under the radar on synthetic meth, WAtoday.com.au

Judges’ comments:
“The team made innovative use of the digital platform to provide extensive coverage that offered an important community service in a time of crisis and confusion. The well-curated collection of elements included good use of audio, a great collection of pictures and a compelling live blog and trunk story that was updated more than 80 times. The inclusion of stories, not only about the devastation but of innovative ways that members of the broader WA community were seeking to support the victims extended the relevance of the coverage to a wider audience. In doing so, it is likely to have facilitated the provision of aid and support.”

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

Best Three Headlines

Sponsored by Walkley Foundation

Winner:
• Martin Saxon, “To Boo or Not Taboo”, “A Day of Whine and Roses” and “Its Fancy Of The Overflow”, The Sunday Times STM magazine

Finalist:
• David Cusworth, “Tale dogs the WAG”, “Ham minimisation a barbecue stopper” and “Dry planes snifter calls Qantas home”, The Sunday Times

Judges comments:
“Martin Saxon’s headlines do everything they should and more. Attention grabbing, true to the stories they represent and just the right amount of clever, Martin’s headlines demand attention. Working within the available space and using it to maximum effect, Martin’s eye-catching offerings jump off the page to engage and entice. The topical and witty ‘To boo or not taboo’ demands further reading, sets the tone for the yarn, and finds the appropriate balance between pithy and powerful. ‘It’s Fancy of the Overflow’ and ‘A Day of Whine and Roses’ both deliver a wealth of intriguing connotations in an admirable scarcity of words. A headline writer demonstrably at the top of the game, Martin’s work makes the top of the page a compelling and entertaining entreaty to read on. No word or opportunity is wasted in these offerings that show a fine example of the craft.”

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

Best Sports Report

Sponsored by Lion

Winner:
• John Townsend, Eagles dodge drugs bullet, The West Australian

Finalists:
• Courtney Bembridge, Safety concerns at WA racetrack, ABC News – Online
• Nick Rynne, WAFL star’s family heartbreak, The Weekend West

Judges’ comments:
“John Townsend used traditional reporting skills to break his story about the West Coast Eagles’ inadvertent use of banned substances. The story, which was revealed at a public forum at which Townsend was the only reporter because of his inside knowledge of the matters to be discussed, had national significance and set the agenda for Perth’s sporting media at a time when the Essendon drugs furore was still at the forefront of the public’s consciousness. His in-depth reporting revealed how the Eagles had avoided a repeat of the Bombers scandal and was a fine example of a legitimate sports reporting scoop.”

Links to view winning submission (one and two).

Best Columnist – The Matt Price Award

Sponsored by The West Australian

Winner:
• Liam Bartlett, Weekly Columns, The Sunday Times

Finalists:
• Andrew Probyn, Probyn Columns, The West Australian
• Shane Wright, The Innovation Battle, The West Australian

Judges’ comments:
“Liam Bartlett is the consummate columnist, with the ability to hone in relentlessly on his subject, then broaden the parameters of the argument in a way that serves to skewer his subject all the more.
Such is the effect of his piece on Lord Mayoral perks. His column on GST distribution takes a now familiar West Australian saw and reframes it around gambling revenue enjoyed by other states. Liam’s firm point of view on swimming ‘hero’ Grant Hackett was vindicated with events that transpired the day the piece went to print. With a neat, often amusing turn of phrase (“The state capital now has a Lord Mayor who thinks ethics is an English county”) and sound research skills, these columns are a must for readers of The Sunday Times and often set the WA media agenda for the week ahead.”

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

Radio/Audio Journalism – Best News Story or Feature

Sponsored by Edith Cowan University

Winner:
• Lauren Day, Man facing deportation despite living in WA since infancy, ABC PM

Finalists:
• Joseph Dunstan, Carnarvon Aboriginal Flag Debate, ABC Radio North West WA
• Ryan Emery, Giving voice to regional migrants, SBS World News

Judges’ comments:
“Lauren Day uncovered the story of Ian Wightman, a 51 year old man who was awaiting deportation from Christmas Island as a non-citizen, despite only ever knowing life in Australia. Her feature skilfully and clearly demonstrated the results of controversial changes to the Migration Act, which have led to the detention, and deportation, of people who have identified as Australian their whole lives. It played to the strengths of radio as a medium, telling a story from inside the Christmas Island Detention Centre, by phone.”

Commended:
Joseph Dunstan’s Carnarvon Aboriginal Flag Debate – “Judges agreed that the story had a clear public interest in giving voice to one of the hundreds of people who identified as Australian but were caught up in this sweeping change to Australia’s immigration system. The piece was well-researched, balanced and engaging from start to finish.”

Links to view winning submission (one).

Television/Audio-Visual Journalism – Best News Story or Feature

Sponsored by Media Super

Winner:
• Jessica Page, Parents Versus Doctors, Seven News 6pm

Finalists:
• Liam Bartlett, Who Killed Josh Warneke?, Nine News Western Australia
• Lauren Day, A look behind the St John Ambulance suicides, ABC 7.30

Judges’ comments:
“Jessica Page’s exclusive report sparked discussion across the country. Jessica’s determination saw her successfully apply for leave to report Family Court proceedings, usually restricted to media. The court granted a publication order at 5pm, giving Jessica an hour to get it to air. The public interest in the legal battle between doctors and parents saw the story receive nation attention across all networks. Her report on 4th July would be the first in an ongoing battle, with the Kiszkos ultimately winning the right to stop chemo and radiation therapy for their terminally ill son.”

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

Best Print/Text Feature Writing

Sponsored by Lavan Legal

Winner:
• Andrew Burrell, The Utopia Project, The Weekend Australian Magazine

Finalists:
• Annabel Hennessy, Ripped Tide: Body Builders Investigation, The Sunday Times
• Victoria Laurie, Trail Blazer, The Weekend Australian Magazine

Judges’ comments:
“Andrew Burrell’s fascinating feature took us inside the mysterious Ideal Human Environment experiment on the outskirts of Kununurra in WA’s remote Kimberley. Is it a cult? Is it a breakthrough in human happiness? Burrell broke new ground by going inside this highly unorthodox social experiment and pulling back the curtain on an untold, unusual but very human story right in our backyard. Burrell’s first person observations were buttressed by rigorous reporting, particularly James Salerno’s groups run-ins with the taxman. In all, it was a first class feature that intrigued, surprised and provoked.”

Links to view winning submission (one).

Best Print/Text News Report

Sponsored by The West Australian

Winner:
• Andrew Probyn, Medicare Privatisation, The West Australian

Finalists:
• Bret Christian, Series subject: Killer revelations, Post Newspapers, Perth
• Joe Spagnolo, Freight Link, The Sunday Times

Judges’ comments:
“Andrew Probyn’s articles that came to be known as ‘Mediscare’ concerned a secret and highly risky Federal Government plan to privatise Medicare. If successful, the private sector would deliver Medicare, pharmaceutical and aged-care benefits under an extraordinary health services transformation affecting every Australian. Only a few bureaucrats knew of the plan and it was to be a key feature of the Treasurer’s first Budget in May. It would involve a $50 billion-plus outsourcing and it would be the first time the private sector would deliver a government-subsidised national service. As Probyn wrote: “Reforms don’t get much bigger – or more politically dangerous than this.” The story dominated parliamentary debate in the first fortnight of sittings, attracted Senate hearings and haunted the Government during the election campaign, forcing the plan’s abandonment a fortnight before polling day. Probyn’s stories were incisive, his analysis accurate, and they impacted heavily on the election campaign.”

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

The Arthur Lovekin Award

Presented by the University of Western Australia

Winner:

• David Cohen – The Post

Judges’ comments:

The Post is well-known for good investigative journalism at a local level. The Panel felt that this series of articles addressing changes to Strata law was an excellent example of a story of key topical interest that might otherwise have gone largely unreported. David Cohen’s articles highlighted the consequences of proposed legislation that will alter the balance of power between developers and individual property owners. The author was able to report the story in the broader context of the erosion of individual rights, and he showed tenacity in following the story. He used an array of sources to expand the original story in a cogent manner. Although the scope of local paper reporting obviously differs from that afforded by national publications in terms of reach, the Panel felt that this kind of journalism is nonetheless valuable and impactful particularly in the community at which this article was targeted.”

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism-The Clarion Award 2016

Sponsored by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Winner:
• Nick Evans, The West Australian

West Australian Journalist of the Year – Daily News Centenary Prize 2016

Sponsored by Curtin University

Winner: Andrew Probyn – The West Australian

Judges comments:

“Andrew Probyn for his series of stories about the federal government’s plans to privatise the Medicare payments system. Probyn’s stories were a stand out in a competitive field – detailed, clearly written and providing astute analysis, they had a major impact on federal politics. Probyn wrote: “Reforms don’t get much bigger, or more politically dangerous, than this …..Turnbull will have to decide whether a massive privatisation of national health payments is worth the political pain. Does he roll the dice or will this be another bright idea left for another time? The ‘Mediscare’ story, as it became known, dominated much of the debate throughout the election campaign with the issue dogging the federal government and Malcolm Turnbull abandoning the plan two weeks out from the poll.”

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

POSTAL ADDRESS:

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
Lvl 4, 16 Peel St
South Brisbane
QLD
4101

PHONE:

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