Highlights for the ABC at the Melbourne Press Club’s Quill Awards for Excellence in Journalism included Barrie Cassidy being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Matilda Marozzi being named Young Journalist of the Year.
Cassidy also won the Keith Dunstan Quill for Commentary for his work on Insiders Extra (including this analysis)and ABC journalists and teams picked up awards for business news reporting, radio journalism, reporting on disability issues and long-form television feature journalism.
Among the work for which they were recognised:
- Mongrel Bunch of Bastards, which revealed what can happen to small businesses targeted by the ATO.
- Death of Jeremy Hu, telling the story of the international student fatally bashed in a Chinatown alley.
- I Am That Girl, the Four Corners report that led to a review of laws of consent.
- Insurance Industry Reports, which told the stories of two women harshly treated by insurance companies and has led to the intervention of a Senator in one case and prompted the backdown of a major insurer in the other.
- Access to Fashion, celebrating a project showcasing inclusive fashion.
The MPC Board was unanimous in its decision to give Cassidy the Lifetime Achievement Award “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Australian political journalism”.
“Barrie is one of the finest reporters and broadcasters of his generation,” said MPC Chief Executive Mark Baker. “His work on Insiders has transformed the landscape of political journalism.”
Said Cassidy: “I’m genuinely thrilled, especially given the status this award now has in the media landscape. Other political reporters like Laurie Oakes, Michelle Grattan and Nikki Savva have won it so I’m humbled and stoked to be in that company. And I’m very conscious of the fact that I’m the first person from the ABC to win it.”
During his acceptance speech Cassidy broke the news that he would be leaving Insiders in June, but would continue to contribute to the ABC. Cassidy helped create the flagship political discussion program and has hosted it since its first episode in July 2001.
The judges said that at a young age Marozzi, “has already achieved what many others with far more experience have failed to do – change laws. Her impressive investigation on underpayment in Melbourne’s hospitality industry led to several Fair Work investigations and a Labor Government pledge to criminalise wage theft. Her writing is engaging and showed a maturity beyond her years – a bright future ahead”. Read two of her entries here and here.