Australia– The heraldsun.com.au team won the Walkley for Outstanding Continuous Coverage of an Issue or Event for its coverage of the Black Saturday bushfires.
And Patrick Carlyon received the Walkley for Newspaper Feature Writing for his account of the fire that destroyed Marysville titled “Where the Hell is Everyone?”.
Herald Sun Editor Simon Pristel said heraldsun.com.au came of age during the bushfires, not only breaking stories, using video and audio to show the extraordinary devastation, but importantly playing a vital role in helping the community connect with each other.
“Patrick’s award is a reward for investigative print journalism at its best. It required tremendous persistence and the support of many brave fire victims telling their heart-breaking stories,” Mr Pristel said.
“Patrick never lost sight of what really matters: the people at the heart of this tragedy.”
The bushfires featured heavily in the awards, with The Australian’s Gary Hughes receiving the Gold Walkley for his moving personal account of Black Saturday.
Hughes, who also took out the Best Print News Report category, lost three Walkley trophies when the fires destroyed his Kinglake home.
Judges said: “For someone to nearly lose their life, their family, everything they own and then file a story like that – that’s what print journalism is all about.”
While Hughes was unable to attend the ceremony, his wife Janice and daughter Kirsty accepted the awards on his behalf and a pre-recorded video message expressed his gratitude. The Hughes family were also presented with three Walkley trophies to replace those Hughes had lost to the bushfires.
The Australian’s photographer Renee Nowytarger was named Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a body of work, which the judges praised as rounded and versatile. Her standout photograph of an exhausted Malcolm Turnbull was singled out for special praise.
Awards were presented in 33 categories at a gala event attended by more than 900 journalists and media indentities at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
The Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership was won by Michael McKinnon for his outstanding work in the cause of freedom of information over more than two decades.
The Walkley Trustees awarded the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism to former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Tony Stephens.