Seven News has been removed as a finalist in the All Media Scoop of the Year category for the 2023 Walkley Awards following a review by the Board of The Walkley Foundation into the Network’s relationship with former senior advisor of the Australian Liberal Party, Bruce Lehrmann, who was accused of the rape of colleague Brittany Higgins in ministerial offices within Parliament House, Canberra.
According to the Foundation, documents uploaded to the Federal Court show an exclusivity agreement made between Seven and Bruce Lehrmann in April 2023 and a leasing arrangement which provided Mr Lehrmann with 12 months of accommodation from 13 April 2023 to 12 April 2024.
It is the responsibility of The Walkley Foundation management to determine the eligibility of entries for consideration by the judging panels in each round of judging for the Walkley Awards.
In a statement, the Foundation said, “Following a review of these documents, The Walkley Foundation Board has come to the unanimous conclusion that the Seven Spotlight story ‘Trial and Error’ was not eligible for consideration in the All Media Scoop of the Year category for the 2023 Walkley Awards as the entry did not accurately describe the extent of benefits provided to Mr Lehrmann in exchange for interviews, information and exclusive access.
“The Walkley Foundation has revoked the story’s finalist status in the 68th Walkley Awards.”