Both Seven and Nine have won big at the Walkley Awards.
Reporter Tara Brown and producer Rebecca Le Tourneau, of Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, last night won the 2015 Walkley Award for TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs.
The accolade was bestowed in recognition of their report into the horrific crimes of Australian paedophile Peter Scully during which the pair gained the confidence of the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation and the Australian Federal Police.
With exclusive access to the investigation, they were on the spot when Scully was caught and also recorded interviews with his accomplices and victims. Despite the subject matter, Brown’s interview with Scully was cool and forensic. This was a story with impact in the region.
Tom Malone, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, was full of praise for both Tara and Rebecca:
“Tara is one of the country’s most respected and versatile journalists. Equally, Rebecca is an extremely talented producer whose dogged persistence brought this story together. This was an incredibly tough story for them to pull together, but one with enormous impact. We are all so immensely proud of Tara and Rebecca and their award. It’s also testament to everyone who works so tirelessly hard on 60 Minutes each week.”
It caps off a great year for 60 Minutes, finishing 2015 as the most watched weekly news and current affairs show.
Walkley Award judges commented: “This is remarkable television journalism. The 60 Minutes team spoke to investigators, victims and offenders connected to the world’s worst paedophile ring. Tara Brown’s questioning of Peter Scully, the Australian at the centre of the syndicate, was cool and forensic, giving the viewer a unique insight into the mind of a monster. Brown has become a fantastic interviewer who excels under difficult, uncomfortable circumstances. The access was so unusual – hearing from a paedophile in your lounge room. Compelling, emotional, gutsy, powerful.”
Seven News and senior correspondent Chris Reason have been recognised with Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism for livereporting of the Lindt Café siege.
The Seven News team received the Walkley Award for Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue, and Reason earned the WalkleyAward for TV/AV News Reporting.
Reason last night accepted the award at the 60th annual gala event at Crown Palladium in Melbourne. He said it was “difficult and a little confronting” to receive an industry award when it is attached to a moment of such misery. “But I take this as recognition that we did a hard job well,” said Reason.
“We have been fortunate to receive several awards for our coverage of the siege, and each time we have dedicated them to victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson. I do the same with this award.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the news team behind the award – the chiefs of staff, producers, journalists, and in particular, GregParker and the other Seven News cameramen who were scattered around Martin Place that same night, without the comfort of being inside a TV studio.”
Now in its 60th year, the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 34 categories to recognise and rewardexcellence in Australian journalism.
This year, The Walkley Advisory Board recognised Sunday Night crime producer Debi Marshall with the 2015 Leadership Award.