2020 Kennedy Awards Finalists named, awards night postponed until Spring

Ben English

• Journo of the Year: Kate McClymont, Nick McKenzie or Sharri Markson

• Awards night postponed until spring on a night TBA

More than 100 individual nominees from a near-record field of entries have been chosen for all competitive categories for the 2020 NRMA Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

The finalists in those categories – including the $25,000 TPG Telecom Kennedy Prize for Journalist of the Year and the coveted pictorial categories – were announced last night at a function at Royal Randwick ahead of the 2020 Kennedy Awards.

The prestigious 2020 TPG Telecom Kennedy Prize for Journalist of the Year, the richest prize in Australian journalism, will be fought out by finalists from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and 60 Minutes/The Age.

The $5000 2020 Young Journalist of the Year – supported by Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas – features finalists from A Current Affair, The Daily Mail Australia and The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Chris Watson Award for Outstanding Regional Newspaper Reporting, sponsored by AGL, will be decided between journalists from the Northern Daily Leader, Western Australia’s Mandurah Mail and the Tumut and Adelong Times and Tumbarumba Times, after a year in which regional newspaper staff throughout Australia have worked under extreme difficulties and pressures.

The newly-named Tom Krause Outstanding Foreign Correspondent Award – sponsored by the ABC and honouring the late, great journalist and senior Kennedy Awards’ judge who passed away earlier this year – attracted an impressive field of entries whittled-down to ABC/BBC, Seven Network and ABC Syria.

Kennedy Foundation chairman and judge Rocco Fazzari said the judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries.

“In a massive news year, the standard of submissions is exceptional in every category,” Fazzari said.

“In some categories it took judges days to finally sort out finalists from big fields, some of which had near-record entries.

“From investigative journalism to news breaking, superb feature writing, incredible pictorial entries and wonderful artwork, a class field has emerged to contest the coveted Spirax trophies.”

Michael Usher

Michael Usher

Kennedy Awards Night postponed

Due to recent political decisions over the management of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism will not be held on August 7th, as originally planned.

A restriction on the number of attendees at corporate events, announced in New South Wales on July 17th, would prevent the Kennedy Awards gala from accommodating its usual number of guests.

In the interests of highlighting the nominees in the 2020 awards, and maximising value for our generous sponsors, the Kennedy Foundation will extend the lead time to this year’s awards until the social distancing rules are eased.

We are aiming to stage the awards at Royal Randwick in the spring, and will confirm the gala date at the earliest opportunity.

Kennedy Awards categories and finalists

Les Kennedy Award for Outstanding Crime Reporting
Simon Bouda (A Current Affair); Australian Story: An Innocent Abroad (ABC); Michael Usher and team: Framed, the story of Scott Austic (7 News)

Paul Lockyer Award for Outstanding Regional Broadcast Reporting (sponsor AGL)
Prime 7 Local News – Coast Team; Jane Goldsmith (NBN News); ABC Background Briefing/Landline

Chris Watson Award for Outstanding Regional Newspaper Reporting (sponsor AGL)
Carla Hildebrandt (Mandurah Mail); Madeline Link (Northern Daily Leader); The Tumut and Adelong Times, Tumbarumba Times

Rod Allen Award for Racing Writer of the Year (sponsor Australian Turf Club)
Damien Ractliffe, Chip Le Grand (The Age); Ray Thomas (Daily Telegraph); Chris Roots (Sydney Morning Herald

Sean Flannery Award for Outstanding Radio Journalism (sponsor Hillbrick Bicycles)
Gavin Coote (ABC Audio Current Affairs); Steve Cannane and Kyle Taylor (ABC Background Briefing); Elini Psaltis (World Today ABC)

Outstanding Podcast (sponsor broadcast voice coach Sally Prosser)
Mark Whittaker: Blood Territory; Kimberley Pratt and Stephanie Coombes: First Person series (10 News First); The Eleventh (ABC Radio Programs)

Outstanding News Photo (sponsor Salty Dingo)
Sam Ruttyn (Sunday Telegraph); Nick Moir (Sydney Morning Herald); Dallas Kilponen (freelance pic for the Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Portrait (sponsor Salty Dingo)
Richard Dobson (Sunday Telegraph); James Brickwood (Australian Financial Review Magazine); John Appleyard (Wentworth Courier)

Outstanding Sports Photo (sponsor Salty Dingo)
Brett Costello: Canberra Raiders (Daily Telegraph); Phil Hillyard: James Tedesco (Daily Telegraph); Micky Capparelli, freelance (Jeff Horn knockout)

Outstanding Online Video (sponsor Salty Dingo)
Let Her Speak: Nina Funnell, Lori Youmshajekian;(news.com.au) Paul Walker: CBD Stabber (7News); Tom Compagnoni: The Forgotten Sydney of AC/DC (Sydney Morning Herald)

Power of the Lens “The People’s Choice Award” (sponsor Salty Dingo)
To be announced at the gala event

Vince O’Farrell Award for Outstanding Illustration (sponsor Artline)
Christopher Downes (Mercury newspaper); Eric Lobbecke (The Australian); Cathy Wilcox (Sydney Morning Herald)

The Cliff Neville Award: Outstanding Team Player
To be announced at the 2020 gala event

Peter Frilingos Award for Outstanding Sports Reporting (sponsor Stonemasons and Landscapers)
Julian Linden: Chinese swimmer (Sunday Telegraph); Neil Breen: Josh Reynolds (9 News); Steve Cannane and Kyle Taylor: Bet 365 scandal (ABC)

2020 Young Journalist of the Year (sponsor Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas)
Lauren Golman (A Current Affair); Zoe Samios (Sydney Morning Herald); Joshua Hanrahan (Daily Mail Australia)

Outstanding Travel Writing (sponsor RM Asia Pacific)
Katrina Lobley (Weekend Australian); John Borthwick (Weekend Australian); Anabel Dean (Island Life magazine)

Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsor Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph)
To be announced at the 2020 gala event

John Newfong Award for Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting
Michaela Whitbourn (Sydney Morning Herald); Living Black NITV; Australian Story, Making His Mark

Gary Ticehurst Award for Outstanding TV News Camera Coverage (sponsor Nine News)
Tim Myer (7 News); Cam Wallis (7 News); Paul Walker (7 News)

Harry Potter Award for Outstanding Television News Reporting (sponsor 10 News First)
Chris O’Keefe (9News); Keiran Gilbert, Andrew Clennell (Sky News); Tegan George (10 News First)

Outstanding Television Current Affairs Reporting (sponsor A Current Affair)
Mark Willacy: The Killing Field (Four Corners); Nick McKenzie, Grace Tobin, Nick Toscano: Crown Unmasked (60 Minutes); Tara Brown, Naomi Shivaraman (A Current Affair)

Mike Willesee Award for Outstanding Nightly TV Current Affairs Reporting (sponsor Nine News)
Tracy Grimshaw (A Current Affair); Paul Farrell, Alex McDonald (7.30 ABC); Dimity Clancey, Laura Mangham: Silent Killer (A Current Affair)

Peter Ruehl Award for Outstanding Columnist
Louise Roberts (Daily Telegraph); Will Swanton (The Australian); Michael Pascoe (The New Daily)

Outstanding Finance Reporting (sponsor Castle Rock Global Capital)
Adele Ferguson (Sydney Morning Herald); Nick McKenzie, Grace Tobin, Nick Toscano (60 Minutes and Fairfax/Nine); Aaron Patrick: Westpac Compliance Series (Australian Financial Review)

Outstanding Consumer Affairs Reporting
Amy Bainbridge, Lucy Kent, Loretta Florance: Bankruptcy Hunters (7.30 ABC); Natasha Robinson (The Australian); Alison Branley (ABC)

Outstanding Online News Breaking (sponsor Google)
Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald, Tim Boyd (Australian Financial Review); Nine News bushfire coverage; Benedict Brook, Gavin Fernando ((News.com.au)

Outstanding Court Reporting (sponsor Stabilo)
Adam Cooper, Melissa Cunningham (The Age); Hagar Cohen (ABC); Michael Ruffles, Michael Evans (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Reporting on the Environment
Oliver Murray, Shannon Molloy, Stephanie Bedo (News.com.au); Peter Hannam (Sydney Morning Herald); ABC Landline and ABC Background Briefing

Rebecca Wilson Award 2020: Scoop of the Year
Chris O’Keefe (9 News); Mark Willacy: The Killing Field (Four Corners); Anna Caldwell, Richard Noone (Daily Telegraph)

Outstanding Investigative Reporting (sponsor 7News)
Family of Suspects (Seven Network); Kate McClymont, Jacqueline Maley (Sydney Morning Herald); The Killing Field (Four Corners)

Jim Oram Award: Outstanding Features Writing (sponsor Sydney Morning Herald)
Nick McKenzie (The Age); Trent Dalton (The Australian); Garry Maddox (Sydney Morning Herald)

Tom Krause Award for Outstanding Foreign Correspondent (sponsor ABC)
Adam Harvey (ABC Syria); Fiona Pepper (ABC, BBC); Ashlee Mullany (Seven Network)

Outstanding Political Reporting (sponsor Sky News)
Annelise Nielsen (Sky News); Chris O’Keefe: Ruby Princess (9News); Andrew Tillett (Australian Financial Review)

2020 TPG Telecom Kennedy Award for Australian Journalist of the Year (sponsor TPG Telecom)
Kate McClymont (Sydney Morning Herald); Nick McKenzie (60 Minutes/The Age); Sharri Markson (Daily Telegraph)

Photos: Michael Usher and Ben English (By Salty Dingo)

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