The 2012 Monash University Gold Quill has been awarded to the ABC's Sarah Ferguson and Deb Masters, whose winning entry to the Best TV Current Affairs/Feature over 10 Minutes put them in the running for the prize.
The pair's report for Four Corners involved the confronting of alleged people smuggler Captain Emad, and was chosen over all other category winners by the Gold Quill judges.
This year's section winners demonstrated strong news breaking across a variety of topics. The judges noted with pleasure that younger journalists were so well represented among the winners, which bodes well for the future.
The judges also want to acknowledge for the quality of the visual entries, which were the strongest for years. There were powerful and extraordinary images ... A cameraman coming to the rescue of a boy in a flooded creek ... Capturing the moment of a river bank collapse at Yallourn. And in particular Alex Ellinghausen's emblematic shot of a bodyguard Gillard years.
But this year's Gold Quill winner is an entry which changed the narrative on one of Australia's most contentious stories.
It is "Smuggler's Paradise Australia" submitted by Sarah Ferguson and Deb Masters of the ABC's Four Corners program.
The judges salute the exhaustive footwork and original lines of enquiry in this story. They were impressed that Ferguson and Masters set out to pursue one angle ... but found another… and delivered a satisfying package that told both stories.
With a relatively short turnaround, they produced a compelling piece of journalism and a worthy Gold Quill winner.
The Sunday Herald Sun's Ruth Lamperd has won the 2012 Quill Award for Best Feature in Print.
Lamperd's gripping feature covered the battle to save a baby girl born addicted to drugs.
Highlighted the scale and emotional cost of drug addiction and particularly how the innocent – in this case a new born baby – are impacted.
This was a finely told human interest story, both moving and confronting, but devoid of sensationalism. It was obtained only by tenacity after 18 months and 25 visits to the hospital to find a mother comfortable enough for Ruth to watch a baby going through drug withdrawal. It was written with short, sharp sentences and vivid word pictures.
Judges gave highly commended mentions to The Australian's Cameron Stewart and the Australian Financial Review's Tony Walker.
Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker and Jane Lee of The Age have won the 2012 Quill Award for Best News Report in Print.
The trio's story exposed confidential police reports which detailed the suicides of at least 40 people sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Victoria.
It revealed the contents of police reports which detailed the deadly fallout from the activities of several predatory priests and teachers.
The Age’s revelation that secret police reports identified up to 40 young men who suicided after sexual abuse by paedophile clergy, had a clear impact and public interest. It was a catalyst that led to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry and a federal Royal Commission.
The Age's Jewel Topsfield also received a highly commended title from the judges.