Secret Tapes Expose wins Herald Sun Top Victorian Journalism Award

The publication of secret tapes revealing deep divisions within the state government which led to the downfall of Premier Ted Baillieu, has won Herald Sun reporter James Campbell, Victoria’s top journalism prize—the $5000 Monash University Gold Quill.

Published in the aftermath of the Victoria Police leadership crisis Campbell’s series of reports altered the course of Victorian politics. The judges noted Campbell’s work was strengthened by publication of tape excerpts on the Herald Sun website in an impressive marriage of print and digital media.

The Gold quill, selected from winners in 27 categories, was presented by Monash University Chancellor Alan Finkel at a Melbourne Press Club dinner attended by 650 people at Crown Palladium last night.

Campbell’s series also won him the Grant Hattam Award for Investigate Journalism.

The Herald Sun’s Michael Warner and Mark Robinson also shared the Best News Report in Writing Award with Chip Le Grand of The Australian.

The Age also had a good night picking up seven Quills including Best Coverage of an Issue or Event won by Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie, Caroline Wilson, Jake Niall and Samantha Lane for their coverage of the Essendon Football Club drugs scandal; the RACV Transport Quill (Josh Gordon); Best Business Story in any Medium (Adele Ferguson and Chris Vedelago) and the Keith Dunstan Award for best Columnist/Blogger (Caroline Wilson).

Nick McKenzie has now won a record 18 Quills, including two Gold Quills. Richard Baker has now won an impressive 11 Quills, one Gold.

The Best Feature in Writing went to Jo Chandler of The Global Mail.

The Best Sports Feature in any Medium was won by Chip Le Grand of The Australian for his coverage of Essendon Coach James Hird’s enforced year of exile.

Suburban newspapers were also strongly represented with the Port Phillip, Caulfield and Bayside Leader Newspapers picking up the Best Suburban Report in Writing Quill.

Ashlynne McGhee of ABC was named Young Journalist of the Year for a portfolio of work including live crosses and investigative journalism.