Essendon Drug Scandal Coverage Wins Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award
Veteran football writer Caroline Wilson of The Age has won the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award, the richest prize in journalism, for her outstanding coverage of the Essendon Football Club’s drugs scandal.
Bestowing the $20,000 award the judges praised the clear eyed way Wilson both reported on the story of the drugs scandal and analysed the impact of the events on the players who had been injected with substances that could compromise their health and careers.
“The scandal produced intense and passionate views about who and what was right and wrong. Amidst this and some extraordinary personal abuse Wilson kept true to a journalist’s greatest task, an obligation to readers to best inform on how events were unfolding and what the implications might be”, the judges said.
The judges were Laura Tingle (Chair), Laurie Oakes and Jill Baker. The Australian Journalist of the Year Award commemorates Graham Perkin, the legendary editor of The Age who died in 1975. The award is sponsored by Swinburne University and administered by the Melbourne Press Club. The Age provides the prize money. The award was presented at the Club's annual Quill Awards dinner at Crown Palladium last night.
The other entries shortlisted for the 2013 award were :
- James Campbell of the Herald Sun for the secret tapes bombshell which led to the downfall of Premier Ted Baillieu
- Amanda Hodge of The Australia for her coverage of the crisis in Pakistan and gang rapes in India.
The judges are asked to look for journalism that is memorable and excellent. They are asked to reward work that is consistent with the journalism practiced by Graham Perkin.