Edmund Tadros and Neil Chenoweth have won the Gold Walkley, Australian journalism’s highest honour, for ‘PwC Tax Leaks Scandal’ in The Australian Financial Review.
The judges said: “Clearly the most outstanding piece of journalism of the year. This is powerful, important, brave reporting that uncovered the infiltration of consultants into government. This work shows the power of journalism to hold corporations to account.”
The 68th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 30 categories, announced in Sydney on Thursday night.
Jake Nowakowski was named the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a varied and well-edited portfolio showing his range as a newspaper photographer for the Herald Sun. Antony Loewenstein won the Walkley Book Award for The Palestine Laboratory (Scribe Publications) and the Walkley Documentary Award went to The Dark Emu Story (Blackfella Films / ABC).
Eight women were honoured for their Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. This award is presented by the Walkley Foundation directors who decided in 2023 to redress a historic gender imbalance in the awarding of this honour that recognises the breadth of a journalist’s career. Geraldine Doogue AO, Karla Grant, Joanne McCarthy AM, Kate McClymont AM, Colleen Ryan, Marian Wilkinson, Pamela Williams and Caroline Wilson were honoured for their service to the craft at tonight’s gala.
In addition this year, the Walkley Judging Board unanimously decided to present Chris Masters and Nick McKenzie with a special prize, the Walkley Honour for Media Freedom to recognise their Ben Roberts-Smith stories published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and on Nine/60 Minutes from 2018 to 2023. This recognition, the first of its kind, salutes a body of work, across six years, that has not strictly or neatly fitted into the parameters of the annual Walkley Awards.
As additional recognition for these two groundbreaking journalists, the Walkley Foundation has initiated the Masters-McKenzie Grant for Investigative Journalism aimed at giving opportunities to journalists who would like to follow in their footsteps. Details of this grant will be announced in early 2024.
The Walkley Foundation’s chief executive, Shona Martyn said: “The awards and honours presented tonight shine a spotlight on the strength of Australian journalism, from journalists working on the frontline today and from those who started their careers 40 years ago. The work that is honoured tonight is world class. Australian news consumers are well served by journalists of this calibre. Our news organisations should be rightly proud.
“Once again the quality of work submitted was of an extraordinarily high standard and all winners and finalists in the 68th Walkley Awards are to be heartily congratulated for their stories, cartoons, photographs, books and documentaries. Our partners and judges are also to be thanked for their support.”
The chair of the Walkley Judging Board, Michael Brissenden, said this year’s 1355 entries showed a positive response to changes instituted after the largest consultative review in Walkleys history.
“Two categories were retired, two new categories were established – an award for specialist reporting and one to acknowledge the growing popularity of and investment in explainer journalism – and one category, for international journalism, was brought back.”
Winners of the Walkley Awards were selected by the Walkley Judging Board in October, after first round peer-judging in September. The Walkley Book Award and the Walkley Documentary Award were judged separately by experts in those fields.