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Fairfax dominates at Walkley Awards as Kate Geraghty picks up three gongs

Fairfax Media collected more than double the awards of News Corp at the 62nd annual Walkley Awards last night, with Australian photojournalist Kate Geraghty picking up three awards, including the Gold Walkley.

In total, Fairfax collected 11 awards, while News Corp managed five and the ABC picked up seven.

The result was much more successful for Fairfax than last year’s ceremony, which was its worst performance in 23 years. 

The awards were also evenly divided between both male and female journalists and production staff, with 41 men named as winners compared to 40 women.

The ABC’s Liz Jackson received a standing ovation for her documentary with Martin Butler, Bentley Dean and Tania Nehme about Parkinson’s disease.

Louise Milligan won of the Walkley Book Award for her investigation into Cardinal George Pell and sexual abuse in the church.

Geraghty and Michael Bachelard’s Surviving IS: Stories from Mosul picked up the Gold Walkley, as well as the prize for feature writing (under 4,000 words). The Fairfax Media multimedia team also took out the Walkley for production on the same project and Geraghty was awarded the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year.

Bachelard told the audience: “First of all, Kate Geraghty, you’ve just seen her work in press photographer of the year. You don’t see all the work she puts in behinds the scenes to get to the places she gets to go. She is relentless, as the editors of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will attest. If she wants to go somewhere she will work tirelessly to get there.

“We cooked up a mad idea to go to Mosul and then an ever madder one to go back a second [time] and see the final days of the liberation of Mosul and what we found there was incredible, devastating, an appalling waste of human life and a terrible situation which made obviously for incredible rich photographs,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Age’s Michael Gordon was recognised for his outstanding contribution to journalism.

Gordon said he was “overwhelmed”, “humbled” and “delighted” to receive the honour.

“45 years ago, I walked into The Age building as a 17 year old, naive and shy, and I want to thank everyone who has been part of a wondrous journey ever since.

“My biggest debt is to those whose stories I’ve told, whose courage and honesty and integrity in the face of great hardship and discrimination has been an inspiration.”

Lisa Wilkinson, former Today Show co-host, editor at large of HuffPost Australia and host of the awards ceremony also recognised the demise of HuffPost’s joint venture with Fairfax Media.

“Timing can be for the best and the worst sometimes. The news that broke this afternoon that Huffington Post Australia is scaling back is sad news for everyone who cares about media and just one more example of the international and domestic pressure on media companies and journalists.

“Having myself been editor at large of HuffPost Australia these last two years makes it especially tough knowing and respecting the wonderful and talented journalists and colleagues I’ve worked with who are going to be affected by this decision.”

The winners:

PRINT/TEXT NEWS REPORT
Nick Hansen, The Daily Telegraph, “EXCLUSIVE – Steal as you earn: tax chief’s son accused of helping mastermind $100m tax fraud”; Sons and Fraudsters”; Family tax benefits: ATO boss tried to help scamming son”

PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM
Joanne McCarthy, Newcastle Herald and The Age, Fairfax Media, “Living a Nightmare” I’m living a nightmare; We tried to warn them; Mesh move

INNOVATION
Rachael Brown, Jeremy Story Carter and Jesse Cox, ABC, “Trace”

HEADLINE, CAPTION OR HOOK
Michael Nolan, The Saturday Paper, “The father, the son and the Hillary ghost”, “Dualling ban grows” “Carpe PM: Turnbull biographer Paddy Manning turns on the PM”

FEATURE WRITING LONG (OVER 4,000 WORDS)
Helen Garner, The Monthly, “Why She Broke: The Woman, her Children and the Lake”

FEATURE WRITING SHORT (UNDER 4,000 WORDS)
Award Partner: Fairfax
Michael Bachelard, Kate Geraghty and The Age Multimedia Team, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media, “Surviving IS: Stories of Mosul”

COVERAGE OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
Jane Bardon, 730, ABC TV,  AM & PM, ABC Radio and ABC Online, “Demanding Justice: Marshall Wallace, BushMob and Stolen Generation 2”

COVERAGE OF COMMUNITY OR REGIONAL AFFAIRS
Carrie Fellner, Newcastle Herald, “The sorrow on Cabbage Tree Road”
The sorrow on Cabbage Tree Road; Profiles: the 50 cancer cases of Cabbage Tree Road; Rare cancer strikes twice in the red zone

CARTOON
Cathy Wilcox, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, “Low-cost housing, London”

SPORTS JOURNALISM
Jamie Pandaram, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, “Western Force saga”
Western Force set to be axed; Frank exchange between Western Force officials and ARU duo that sparked legal row; Force fate hangs on 15 games

SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY
Scott Barbour, Getty Images,“Split Second”

RADIO NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS JOURNALISM
Award Partner: ABC
Matt Brown, AM, ABC Radio, “The War on Islamic State”
Mosul Front; Mosul Battle; Turkey Terror List

RADIO/AUDIO FEATURE
Michael Green and the Behind the Wire/Wheeler Centre team, “The Messenger”

PRODUCTION
The Fairfax Multimedia Team, theage.com.au, smh.com.au, watoday.com.au and canberratimes.com.au, “Surviving IS: Stories from Mosul”

SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Annika Smethurst, Herald Sun, “Ley of the Land”
Flat a Ley Buy on Trip; New year’s farce; Ley of the Land

COVERAGE OF A MAJOR NEWS EVENT OR ISSUE
Peter Ryan, AM, PM & The World Today, ABC Radio, ABC News & BBC World Service, “Commonwealth Bank Scandal – accused of 53,000 breaches of anti-money laundering and terror financing laws”
Breaking News – CBA risks massive fines over anti-money laundering & terrorism financing law breaches; CBA chief executive Ian Narev in first broadcast interview re scandal – tells Peter Ryan “mistakes were made” but not resigning; CBA cuts Ian Narev’s bonus to “zero” as a result of Austrac money laundering allegations; ASIC to investigate CBA disclosure to stock exchange. When did it know about money-laundering risks?; Ian Narev to retire by 30 June 2016 as CBA chief executive; APRA announces independent inquiry into CBA; ASIC to investigate CBA disclosure to stock exchange. When did it know about money-laundering risks?; Ian Narev to retire by 30 June 2016 as CBA chief executive; APRA announces independent inquiry into CBA

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO JOURNALISM
Michael Gordon

NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
Justin Brierty, The Cairns Post,“Don’t Shoot”

BUSINESS JOURNALISM
Adele Ferguson and Mario Christodoulou, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, “The Domino’s Pizza Expose”
Boxed In What life is really like inside pizza giant Domino’s; Domino’s Scandal – Franchisees ‘selling visas’; A small serve Domino’s deal not so fair

FEATURE/PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY
Sam Ruttyn, The Sunday Telegraph, “Lion Heart Leo”

TELEVISION/VIDEO: CAMERAWORK
Daniel Fallshaw, Guardian Australia, “The Fight”

TELEVISION/VIDEO: NEWS REPORTING
Sally Sara, ABC News, “Six Days in Somaliland”

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS SHORT (LESS THAN 20 MINUTES)
Dimity Clancey, A Current Affair, Nine Network, “Malcolm Naden Confession”

TELEVISION/VIDEO CURRENT AFFAIRS LONG (MORE THAN 20 MINUTES)
Tara Brown, Grace Tobin and Sean Power, 60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Bitter deal”

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert and Klaus Toft, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media & Four Corners, ABC TV “Bleed Them Dry Until They Die”

COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS, OPINION AND CRITIQUE
John Silvester, The Age and The Saturday Age, “Naked City”
Tough-guy laws: brave or stupid?; PSOs: Victoria’s dumbest policy?; Knight condemned by his own hand

WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Martin Butler, Liz Jackson, Bentley Dean and Tania Nehme, ABC TV, “A Sense of Self”

WALKLEY BOOK AWARD
Louise Milligan, Cardinal: The rise and fall of George Pell, Melbourne University Press

NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Kate Geraghty, Fairfax Media

GOLD WALKLEY
Michael Bachelard and Kate Geraghty, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media, “Stories of Mosul”

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