Walkley Awards: Four Corners team take gold; ABC, Guardian take Scoop of the Year
5 December 2014
Walkley award winners gather on stage at the end of the awards (photo: Walkley Foundation).
The ABC's Deb Masters and Mario Christodoulou and Fairfax Media's Adele Ferguson have jointly won Australian journalism's highest award, the Gold Walkley, for a Four Corners investigation of the Commonwealth Bank.
The judges said the Banking Bad program had elevated business journalism by capturing the human side of poor financial advice from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), through dogged investigation.
The program examined the "profit at all costs" sales culture within the bank's financial planning division and revealed how customers took on both the bank and the corporate regulator.
Ferguson said she was shocked to receive the award.
"Really, this is about the victims, the victims who are fighters," she said.
"But also to Jeff Morris, the whistleblower at CBA... he put his career on the line and sacrificed so much.
"Journalism is such a privileged profession ... we're putting the spotlight into corners where people don't want it."
Masters and Christodoulou expressed their thanks to their families and to Four Corners' executive producer Sue Spencer, who has announced she is leaving the program.
Banking Bad also won the award for best TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs program.
Imprisoned Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste won the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism for his fight for democracy.
Greste and two fellow Al Jazeera journalists are locked up in an Egyptian prison after being convicted of having ties with the banned Muslim Brotherhood, an accusation they deny.
Andrew Greste accepted the award on behalf of his brother, saying "stay strong brother, let's get you home for Christmas."
ABC and Guardian take Scoop of the Year for Yudhoyono spy storyA joint ABC News and Guardian investigation which angered Prime Minister Tony Abbott and upset relations with Indonesia was named the Scoop of the Year.
Reporters Michael Brissenden, Ewan MacAskill and Lenore Taylor were presented the award for their story revealing that Australia's spy networks were targeting Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's personal mobile phone.
After the stories were broadcast the Prime Minister accused the ABC of "not being on Australia's side".
The reporters were among ABC journalists who won 12 Walkleys, including the Gold Walkley, on Thursday night.
Australian Story's Belinda Hawkins took out the category for Social Equity Journalism with her story on the search by donor-conceived children for their biological fathers.
Middle East correspondent Hayden Cooper was honoured for his coverage of the Peter Greste trial, winning the Walkley for Radio News and Current Affairs reporting.
Matt Brown, Hayden Cooper, Aaron Hollett, Stuart Watt, Michael Carey and the ABC news teams won Best Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue, with their reporting on the Gaza conflict.
Matt Brown and Mark Solomons won the Walkley for TV/AV Reporting for three exclusives about Australian jihadists in Syria.
Radio National's Sarah Dingle won the Radio/Audio Documentary award for her investigation into the Salvation Army's sex abuse cover-up.
ABC News and Foreign Correspondent cameraman Wayne McAllister was honoured for his work in Thailand, the South China Sea and Ukraine.
Four Corners, ABC TV and The Australian shared the Investigative Journalism award for their reports into the treatment of children caught up in conflict in the West Bank.
7.30's Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker and Sam Clark won the TV/AV Daily Current Affairs award for their investigation of corruption, kickbacks, rackets and organised crime within the building industry and the CFMEU.
ABC TV's Compass, Mint Pictures and Identity Films won the Documentary award for investigations into child abuse at a Orthodox Jewish boys' school in Melbourne.
The event was hosted by the ABC's Sarah Ferguson in Sydney's Dockside Pavilion in Darling Harbour.
Other winners included Paul Maley and Greg Bearup from The Australian for Best Print/Text Journalism, and the SBS Online team for Best Multimedia Storytelling.
The full list of winners can be viewed at The Walkey Foundation website.
Originally published at ABC.