ABC’s “Killing Field” wins the 2020 Gold Walkley Award

Walkley Awards

Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners Team win Gold Walkley

Walkley Awards

Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners Team have won Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Gold Walkley, for their six-month-long investigation “Killing Field”.

The program, which also won the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism, exposed alleged war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

Attempts to report on allegations of war crimes encounter extreme obstacles, yet Mark Willacy and the ABC Team’s unflinching investigations continue to expose suspected cover-ups and deep cultural problems within Australia’s special forces.

The judges were impressed by Willacy’s compelling and brilliant investigation, which included shocking helmet-camera footage of special forces in action on the ground, sharp scripting and probing interviews.

Matthew Abbott was named the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for his work covering the Summer Bushfires and Covid-19. Lucie Morris-Marr’s Fallen (Allen & Unwin) won the Walkley Book Award. Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Tony Jones’ haunting documentary Revelation (ABC and InFilms) won the Walkley Documentary Award.

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism went to Ross Gittins, for his 40-year commitment to making economics and public policy not only accessible but a must read. He was also honoured for his dedication to mentoring many generations of journalists.

The 65th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 30 categories.

The chief executive of the Walkley Foundation, Louisa Graham, said: “The Walkley Foundation has a great deal to be proud of. The challenges of the last year have shown us that journalism is critical to keeping Australians accurately informed; this year’s list of finalists and winners is a testament to the outstanding journalism that is so critical to our democratic process. The Foundation remains strong and stable, enabling us to deliver on our mission to support and celebrate great Australian journalism.”

The chair of the Walkley Judging Board, Lenore Taylor, praised the range and depth of this year’s winners.

“During last summer’s fires factual information at times made the difference between life and death,” she said. “Likewise, facts have been the most important tool for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, and our audiences have had a seemingly insatiable thirst for information. It was the role of journalists to go out and bring us reliable information – because facts are what we do.

“I am always heartened, if slightly overwhelmed, when I see the array of excellent reporting and writing in contention for a Walkley Award – and the journalistic skill and determination evident in every entry.”

2020 Walkley Award Winners

PRINT/TEXT: NEWS REPORT
Award Partner Media Super

Jacqueline Maley and Kate McClymontThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, “‘Dirty Dyson’: A harasser on the High Court
 

PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM
Award Partner Sydney Airport

Nina FunnellKerry Warren and Lori Youmshajekiannews.com.auThe Herald SunNT News and The Mercury, “#LetUsSpeak: Victoria blocks sexual assault victims from using real names”, “Give Rape Survivors a Voice” and “Gang rape victim becomes first Tasmanian to speak out following gag law reform
 

INNOVATION
Award Partner Google News Initiative

Dylan Welch, Alexander Palmer, Clare Blumer and Suzanne Dredge, ABC, “Anatomy of a suicide bombing
 

HEADLINE, CAPTION OR HOOK
Award Partner Qantas

Anthony De CeglieThe West Australian, “The Royal Formerly Known As Prince,” “Bridget Over Troubled Rorters” and “You Had One JobKeeper”
 

PRINT/TEXT: FEATURE WRITING LONG (OVER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner UQ

Russell Jackson, ABC, “The Persecution of Robert Muir
 

PRINT/TEXT: FEATURE WRITING SHORT (UNDER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Liam Mannix, The Age, “The Perfect Virus: Two gene tweaks that turned COVID-19 into a killer
 

COVERAGE OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
Award Partner PwC Indigenous Consulting

Calla Wahlquist and Lorena AllamGuardian Australia, “Rio Tinto explodes Juukan Gorge, and BHP’s 24-hour backdown
 

COVERAGE OF COMMUNITY OR REGIONAL AFFAIRS
Award Partner BHP

Matthew Kelly, Helen Gregory, Anita Beaumont and Donna Page, Newcastle Herald, “Your Right to Know
 

CARTOON 

David Rowe, The Australian Financial Review, “Thoughts and Prayers”
 

SPORTS JOURNALISM

Jessica Halloran and Julian Linden, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, “On Thin Ice: Katia’s story


 

SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon

Sam Ruttyn, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, “UFC 243”
 

RADIO/AUDIO: NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS
Award Partner ABC

Dr Norman Swan, Tegan Taylor and Will Ockenden, ABC, “Coronacast
 

RADIO/AUDIO: FEATURE

Rachael Brown, Josie Taylor, Tim Roxburgh, Marty Peralta and Trace Team, ABC, “Trace: The Informer
 

PRODUCTION
Award Partner Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “Black Summer
 

SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nine News

Samantha Maiden, The New Daily, “Hawaii Two-O: Scott Morrison’s bushfire holiday
 

COVERAGE OF A MAJOR NEWS EVENT OR ISSUE
Award Partner Facebook

ABC News and ABC Regional and Local Team, ABC, “ABC Bushfire Coverage
 

NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon

Matthew Abbott, The New York Times and Oculi, “A kangaroo rushes past a burning house in Lake Conjola”

BUSINESS JOURNALISM
Award Partner ING

Michael Roddan, The Australian Financial Review, “#AMPToo – sexual harassment at AMP
 

FEATURE/PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY
Award Partner Nikon

Nick Moir, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Firestorm”
 

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CAMERAWORK
Award Partner Australian Super

Adam BovinoToday and Nine News, Nine, “George Floyd Protests
 

TELEVISION/VIDEO: NEWS REPORTING
Award Partner Seven

Amelia Brace and Tim MyersSunrise, Seven News and The Latest, Seven Network, “Beat the Press: Journalism Under Attack
 

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CURRENT AFFAIRS SHORT (LESS THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner SBS

Marc Fennell, Ninah Kopel and Joel Stillone, The Feed, SBS, “Stuffed: Inside Australia’s Biggest Museum Heist
 

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CURRENT AFFAIRS LONG (MORE THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner TEN

Nick McKenzie, Joel Tozer and Sumeyya Ilanbey, 60 Minutes, Nine, “The Faceless Man
 

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners Team, Four Corners, ABC, “Killing Field


 

COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS, OPINION AND CRITIQUE

Tony WrightThe Age, “You learn a bit working on a local paper. It’s all about the people,” “The tragedy of Mary and William, and a federation in chaos again” and “The vaccines that saved the rock ‘n’ roll generation, and many more
 

WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Award Partner NSW Government

Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Tony Jones, ABC and In Films, Revelation

Walkley Awards

WALKLEY BOOK AWARD 

Lucie Morris-Marr, Fallen, Allen & Unwin
 

NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nikon

Matthew Abbott, The New York Times and Oculi 
 

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO JOURNALISM
Award Partner News Corp Australia

Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald

Walkley Awards
 

GOLD WALKLEY

Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners TeamFour Corners, ABC, “Killing Field
 

The 2020 Walkley Judging Board were:

Chair: Lenore Taylor, editor, Guardian Australia
Deputy Chair: Claire Harvey, editorial director, The Australian
Natalie Ahmat, presenter/producer, NITV News
Michael Bachelard, investigations editor, The Age
Michael Brissenden, reporter, Four Corners, ABC
Patricia Karvelas, presenter, ABC Radio National Drive (abstained from judging in 2020)
Mags King, managing photographic editor, The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age and The Australian Financial Review
Deborah Knight, presenter, 2GB
Stella Lauri, network news director, WIN Television
John Lehmann, commercial director and managing editor, The Australian
Hamish Macdonald, host, Q&A, ABC
Mark Mallabone, deputy editor, The West Australian
Heidi Murphy, senior producer, Mornings with Neil Mitchell, 3AW693 (abstained from judging in 2020)
Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, editor, ABC Life
Tory Shepherd, columnist, The Advertiser

 

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