Herald Sun’s “Lawyer X” duo win 2019 Gold Walkley Award

• The judges were impressed by Dowsley and Carlyon’s dogged pursuit of the story

Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon have won Australian journalism’s highest honour for their reporting of the “Lawyer X Informer Scandal” for the Herald Sun.

A deep and sustained investigation, years in the making, Dowsley and Carlyon produced the definitive explanation of a scandal that recast Melbourne’s gangland wars: how lawyer Nicola Gobbo was recruited by Victoria Police to inform on clients. The investigation exposed an unprecedented legal scandal that triggered an inquiry and continues to have serious implications. Gobbo’s alias, “Lawyer X”, is now a byword for the secret abuse of power. The story also won the Investigative Journalism and Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue categories.

The judges were impressed by Dowsley and Carlyon’s dogged pursuit of the story and the Herald Sun’s commitment to it, saying: “In its scale, its scope and its ongoing impact, ‘Lawyer X Informer Scandal’ is an act of journalistic persistence that has changed Australia. That’s what a Gold Walkley is all about.”

Chris McGrath from Getty Images was named the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a timely, dynamic and powerful body of work spanning Turkey, Syria, Kosovo and Hong Kong.

Leigh SalesAny Ordinary Day (Penguin Random House Australia) won the Walkley Book Award.

Stan Grant’s film about Adam Goodes, The Australian Dream (GoodThing Productions, Passion Pictures UK and ABC), was named the winner of the Walkley Documentary Award.

The senior award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism went to Sue Spencer, pioneering producer, documentary-maker and mentor who has made it her mission to speak truth to power. Spencer would never seek out the limelight, but her seven years as executive producer ABC Four Corners was a golden period of investigative journalism, recognised with 14 Walkley Awards, including three Golds.

The 64th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 30 categories. 800 journalists and media identities gathered at the International Convention Centre Sydney for the gala event, with the support of the NSW Government.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian paid tribute to this year’s finalists and winners.

“In the age of 24/7 media and mass consumption, institutions like the Walkley Awards are more important than ever to remind us of the importance of timely information and the public interest,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Every nominee has thrived in 2019, bringing their audience something unique. The words you wrote, story you presented or photographs you captured have been powerful to the viewer or reader. You have inspired, entertained and informed.”

Premier Berejiklian also announced the 65th Walkley Awards gala dinner will be hosted in Tamworth in November 2020, as part of the NSW Government’s two-year partnership with the Walkleys.

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

“At a time when our profession is under threat from upended business models, legislative overreach and those who are very deliberately seeking to de-legitimise our work, it is more important than ever to promote and celebrate the very best of what we do. We all know that a Walkley Award is the measure of Australian journalistic excellence. Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”

2019 Walkley Awards Category Winners

PRINT/TEXT NEWS REPORT
Award Partner Media Super
Michael Koziol and Jennifer Duke, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Guthrie ordered to sack top ABC reporter”, “ABC chair’s ‘bias’ email” and “Revealed: ABC boss’ secret dossier 

PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM
Anne Connolly, Mary Fallon and Patricia Drum
Four Corners, ABC TV and ABC Digital, “Who Cares?

INNOVATION
Mark Doman and ABC News Digital Team
, abc.net.au, “Satellite storytelling

HEADLINE, CAPTION OR HOOK
Award Partner Qantas 
Baz McAlisterThe Courier-Mail, “Time to Haul Ass”, “Give ‘Em a Finch and They’ll Take a Mine” “Halal… Is it Meals You’re Sooking For”

FEATURE WRITING LONG (OVER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner UQ
Sam VincentThe Monthly, “A Nagging Doubt: The Retrial of David Eastman 

FEATURE WRITING SHORT (UNDER 4000 WORDS)
Award Partner The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
Mick BarnesGood WeekendThe Sydney Morning Herald, “Counting down the days in God’s waiting room

COVERAGE OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
Award Partner PwC Indigenous Consulting
Lorena Allam, Guardian Australia Team and the University of Newcastle’s Colonial Frontier Massacres Project
Guardian Australia, “The Killing Times 

COVERAGE OF COMMUNITY OR REGIONAL AFFAIRS
Award Partner BHP 
Donna Page and Nick BielbyNewcastle Herald, “Dirty Deeds

CARTOON
Pat Campbell
The Canberra Times, “Christchurch Fern” 

SPORTS JOURNALISM
Malcolm Knox and Nigel Gladstone
The Sun-Herald, “Caught OutCricket’s Inflated Player Numbers Revealed 

SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon
Craig Golding, 
AAP, “Invictus Games 2018”

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS
Award Partner ABC
Adam HarveyAM, ABC, “The Survivors of ISIS

RADIO/AUDIO FEATURE
Kirsti Melville
Earshot, ABC Radio National, “The Ghosts of Wittenoom

PRODUCTION
Award Partner Google News Initiative
Fadzil HamzahThe Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, “The Ibrahim Tapes

SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nine News
Al Jazeera Investigations UnitAl Jazeera Media Network, “How to Sell a Massacre 

COVERAGE OF A MAJOR NEWS EVENT OR ISSUE
Award Partner Facebook
Anthony Dowsley and Patrick CarlyonHerald Sun, “Lawyer X Informer Scandal 

NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
Award Partner Nikon
Matt Roberts, 
ABC, “The Second Coming of Senator Lambie”

BUSINESS JOURNALISM
Award Partner ING
Nick McKenzie, Nick Toscano and Grace Tobin
The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes, Nine, “Crown Unmasked 

FEATURE/PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY
Award Partner Nikon
Chris McGrath, 
Getty Images, “The End of the Caliphate” 

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CAMERAWORK
Award Partner Australian Super
Paul WalkerSeven News, Seven Network, “Sydney Stabbing”

TELEVISION/VIDEO: NEWS REPORTING
Award Partner Seven
Seven News Sydney TeamSeven News Sydney, “Sydney Stabbing Rampage”

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS SHORT (LESS THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner SBS
Ali RaeAl Jazeera English “All Hail The Algorithm

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS LONG (MORE THAN 20 MINUTES)
Award Partner TEN
Suzanne Dredge, Dylan Welch, David Maguire and Janine Cohen
Four Corners, ABC TV, “Orphans of ISIS”

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
Award Partner Bayer
Anthony Dowsley and Patrick CarlyonHerald Sun, “Lawyer X Informer Scandal 

COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS, OPINION AND CRITIQUE
Award Partner Bond University
Jan Fran
The Feed, SBSVICELAND and associated social media channels, “The Frant 

WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD
The Australian Dream, Stan Grant, GoodThing Productions, Passion Pictures UK and ABC

WALKLEY BOOK AWARD
Leigh Sales
Any Ordinary Day, Penguin Random House Australia

NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Award Partner Nikon
Chris McGrath, 
Getty Images

MOST OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO JOURNALISM
Award Partner News Corp Australia
Sue Spencer

GOLD WALKLEY
Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon
Herald Sun, “Lawyer X Informer Scandal

Chair: Lenore Taylor, editor, Guardian Australia
Deputy Chair: Claire Harvey, deputy editor, The Sunday Telegraph
Natalie Ahmat, presenter/producer, NITV News
Michael Bachelard, investigations editor, The Age (abstained from 2019 judging)
Michael Brissenden, reporter, Four Corners, ABC
Mags King, managing photographic editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review
Deborah Knight, news presenter, Nine
Stella Lauri, network news director, WIN Television
John Lehmann, editor, The Australian
Hamish Macdonald, host, The Project, Network 10
Mark Mallabone, deputy editor, The West Australian
Heidi Murphy, senior producer, Mornings with Neil Mitchell, 3AW693
Patricia Karvelas, presenter, ABC Radio National Drive
Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, editor, ABC Life
Tory Shepherd, state editor, The Advertiser

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