The winner of the Graham Perkin Award is Caroline Wilson of The Age for her body of work on the Essendon Football Club’s drugs scandal.
The field of entries in this year’s Perkin award was particularly diverse, both in its subject matter and in the forms that many fine examples of outstanding journalism were presented.
For the judges, the direction that the journalism must be memorable as well as just outstanding led us to consider pieces for both their impact on readers and events at the time, and on how they would affect the way events were later remembered.
In awarding the Perkin prize to Caroline Wilson, the judges considered the clear eyed way Wilson both reported on the story of the drugs scandal in the Australian Football League, and analysed the impact of the events on those most directly affected by them: the players who had been injected with substances which might compromise their health and destroy their football careers.
Caroline Wilson found herself in the maelstrom of a controversy that, as can only really happen in Victoria, saw the community consumed by a crisis in its beloved football code, that produced intense and passionate views about who, and what, was right and wrong.
Amidst this, and some extraordinary personal abuse, she kept true to a journalist’s greatest task, an obligation to readers to best inform of how events were unfolding and what the implications might be.
Wilson not only told the story but gave her readers a clear frame of reference to consider its implications and their own views on the issue.
Two other journalists were shortlisted for the award:
Amanda Hodge, of The Australian, for coverage of Pakistan and gang rape in India
James Campbell, of the Herald Sun, for his coverage of the tapes scandal that led to the demise of Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu
The 38th annual Perkin Award, with a $20,000 prize, is the richest journalism award in Australia. It is awarded to a single piece of work or a portfolio that is excellent and memorable. It is named after the legendary editor of The Age who died suddenly in 1975 at the age of 45.
Judges for the 2013 award were Laura Tingle, Laurie Oakes and Jill Baker. The winner was announced at the Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards Dinner in Melbourne on 21 March 2014.
The award is administered independently by the Melbourne Press Club and supported by Swinburne University. The cash prize is supplied by The Age.
James Campbell has been named the 2013 Monash University Gold Quill winner.
In a year of big news stories, James Campbell's stood out. The publication of secret tapes revealing deep divisions within the state government in the aftermath of the Victoria Police leadership crisis triggered a series of events that led to the resignation of Premier Ted Baillieu and changed the course of Victorian politics. The impact of Campbell's work was strengthened by the publication of excerpts from the tapes on the Herald Sun website, an impressive marriage of print and digital media.
Ashlynne McGhee of the ABC has been named the MPC's 2013 Young Journalist of the Year.
For her great breadth of skills from live crosses to in-depth investigative pieces. Ashlynne’s tenacious questioning of Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin about living on the dole set the political agenda for a week. She is a polished reporter.
Highly commended was Ashley Argoon of the Herald Sun.
For her portfolio of work including the coverage of mental health issues and an exclusive interview with Tania Hird. The judges were impressed with her tenacity and interviewing skill.
Kirsten Veness has won the Victorian Government Quill for Reporting on Disability Issues.
Kirsten's story broke stereotypes about what's possible for people with disabilities. She captured the passion of a boy determined to participate in a mainstream activity. The story was complemented by fantastic camerawork that highlighted the thrills and spills involved in chair-skating.
Highly commended were Lily Partland, ABC and Guy Stayner, 7.30 ABC.
Lily's stories highlighted the hopes and reservations of parents of people with disabilities ahead of the roll-out of the NDIS in the Victorian town of Colac. Her simple but effective questions drew out the key concerns and daily challenges living with a disability presents.
Guy Stayner's story was an example of good investigative journalism that galvanised public opinion and had a direct impact on public policy.
Josh Gordon of The Age has won the RACV Transport Quill.
Josh Gordon's extensive report revealed and explained major issues with the controversial East West road link. The report provided new clarity on an issue of genuine public interest. His use of graphics illustrated the scope of the proposal and its potential consequences across Melbourne.
Highly commended were Brendan Donohoe, Seven News and Kate Stowell, ABC.
Donohue revealed the Victorian budget’s centre piece: the green light for the East-West Tunnel, with a total estimated cost of $14 billion.
Stowell's story revealed the full extent of the Victorian government’s plans to build detention cells inside PSO pods at more than 50 Melbourne metropolitan railway stations.
Caroline Wilson of The Age has won the Keith Dunstan Quill for Best Columnist/Blogger.
Caroline Wilson's work on the doping scandal at Essendon Football Club was insightful, courageous and crisply written. She cut through the fog of misinformation and competing interests and brought clarity to an emotional issue. Her style was entertaining and readable. Above all Caroline was fearless.
Highly commended were John Silvester, The Saturday Age and Matthew Dunckley, Australian Financial Review.
John Silvester 's columns are distinctive, well-informed and written in a style Victorians have come to know well. He writes from a background of knowledge that casts light on some of society's most difficult issues and is able to move gracefully from the particular to the general.
Mathew Dunckley writes with a distinctive and attractive personal style. He has a valuable ability to develop arguments from his own experience and identify relevant social trends.
James Campbell of the Herald Sun has won the Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism.
This story had a dramatic impact on Victorian politics. Premier Ted Baillieu resigned two days after it appeared in part because of the revelations in secret tapes which were at the centre of Campbell's reporting. The tapes could be listened to online adding an extra dimension to the reporting.
Highly commended were Louise Milligan, 7:30 ABC and Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker, The Age.
These three reports on 7.30 by Louise Milligan revealed widespread bullying in Victoria Police, forcing a review of anti-bullying procedures in the force.
Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker's reports on alleged corruption on a grand scale at Leighton's were full of detailed reporting deciphering information from a wide range of sources.
Christie Cooper of Seven News Melbourne has won the Quill for Best Use of Digital or Social Media.
Cooper pulled every lever in the digital world to deliver compelling content on a breaking news story against deadline. She made intelligent use of User Generated Content, and showed what good old fashioned news hounding can achieve when married with the capabilities of digital media.
Highly commended were Marc Moncrief, Craig Butt, Aisha Dow, Crowdspot and the DataMap team of theage.com.au.