*Pic: Mark Horstman’s pic of TT Founder/Publisher Lindsay Tuffin, left and Bob Burton … On Friday night the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, announced the Tasmanian Media Awards. The ABC’s Edith Bevin was named Tasmanian Journalist of the Year. Tasmanian Times’ Bob Burton was the winner in the “Comment and Analysis” category and one of three finalists in the Science, Environment and Health category.

Media Release: Winners of the 2015 Media Awards announced

Edith Bevin has been named Tasmanian Journalist of the Year at the 2015 Tasmanian Media Awards announced in Hobart tonight. Bevin was recognised for her body of work for the ABC.

The Tasmanian Media Awards, supported by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) promote, recognise and celebrate the courage and excellence of Tasmanian journalism. The awards were announced this evening at a cocktail event at the Handmark Gallery, Salamanca Place in Hobart.

Bevin’s win was narrowly ahead of two other finalists: last year’s winner Matthew Denholm of The Australian and Michael Atkin of the ABC. The judges said they had found it difficult to short-list just three contenders for the Journalist of the Year award due to the record number of entries this year and the high quality of the submissions. Bevin also took out the Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. Bevin had previously won the Tasmanian Journalist of the Year award in 2013.

In recognising Bevin this year, the judge’s said: “Edith Bevin’s body of work demonstrated her consistent ability to break stories that have an impact on both the state and national news agenda. Her work demonstrates a dedication to working her round and digging to find the story behind the story. Edith is able to present complex and detailed issues clearly and accurately…”

Among the other winners announced tonight were Matthew Denholm who took out Best News Story for his story “Cops Act After ‘Dead’ Abuser Found’. The judges said: “Matt Denholm’s exclusive story of the discovery alive and well and living in New Zealand of alleged paedophile Ronald Thomas, believed by the child abuse royal commission to be dead, to be the stand out story of the year. The story led to resumption of a police investigation and raised questions about the procedures and evidence given to the commission by a number of witnesses.”

The Best New Journalist award went to Mitch Broughton of Southern Cross Australia for his body of work. The judges said: “His entry showed he is able to competently tackle any issue. His stories demonstrated a skill to engage with his audience whether reporting dramatic rescues, lighter issues or sports stories. Like others in Tasmanian television news, Mitch works with limited resources and backup, being left to do his job with the responsibility of coming up with the goods.”

Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs went to Mark Hortsman of the ABC for “Earth on Fire” which exposed to a wide audience the historical significance of bushfire in an urban setting and the world leading science being done into the reasons for and the likely effects of so called “mega fires” in the future.

MEAA extends its warmest congratulations to all the finalists and winners in this year’s Tasmanian Media Awards for their outstanding work.

Anna Magnus
National Manager, State Media Awards

2015 Finalists and Winners

Best News Image

Sponsored by Media Super

Finalists:

Scott Gelston, The Examiner, Tooms Lake Drowning

Richard Jupe, The Mercury, Hobart Cup Weather

Winner: Mark Jesser, The Examiner, Gastro shuts down LGH

The Judges said :

Very strong field of images, from both print and television.

The judging panel was impressed with the innovation and picture quality of a range of entries, but settled on “Gastro shuts down LGH”, “Hobart Cup Weather” and “Tooms Lake Drowning” as the three finalists.

The LGH photo by Mark Jesser in the The Examiner wins the 2015 Best News Image because of its overall composition and drama, highlighting and matching the story.

Best Sports Coverage

Sponsored by Cascade Brewery

Finalists:

Brett Stubbs, The Mercury

Chris Rowbottom, Southern Cross Austereo

Winner : Brent Costelloe , WIN Television

The Judges ‘said:

The judges enjoyed the variety of entries in the Best Sports Coverage category – from print, photographic and television – with many different angles and stories, from grand finals to court.

Judges thought the pictorial “essay” from the TSL Grand Final by The Examiner’s Scott Gelston was excellent, as was the work by The Mercury’s Simeon Thomas-Wilson on track star Jack Hale.

The winner is WIN Television’s Brent Costelloe, who showed great initiative and delivered outcomes with his exclusive interviews with injured Clarence footballer Cameron Thurley emerging from his coma and Boston marathon runner Scott Mundy, returning to the scene of the massacre.

Arts Reporting

Sponsored by Media Super

Finalists:

Airlie Ward, ABC

Tyson Shine, ABC

Winner: Fiona Blackwood, ABC

The Judges ‘said:

The judges commend Fiona Blackwood for her range of topics that appeal to diverse interests: Her story about artist George Davis was a retrospective on a local artist, her MOFO item on creation of an Aboriginal canoe dealt solidly with the issue of recreation of an art which had been largely lost for 150-years and showed how a combination of science, history, memory and culture contributed to the making of a canoe and it is not often that the ABC takes a look at death metal bands.

Tyson Shine was commended for also stretching his arts reporting into lesser-known territory including a curious piece about a group of doll makers. Like Blackwood, he also travelled to Cape Barren Island to talk to a fascinating artist.

Airlie Ward was also commended for her David and Goliath story about a young artist who took on a major clothing company for stealing one of her designs and won.

Science, Environment and Health

Sponsored by Health and Community Services Union

Finalists:

Felicity Ogilvie, ABC, Toothfish Tussle Name

Bob Burton, Tasmanian Times, Mt Wellington cable car

Winner: Annah Fromberg, ABC, Health Nepotism – A Culture of Spin & Cover Up

The Judges ‘said:

This category attracted several quality entries. While the judges had some difficulty choosing finalists, Anna Fromberg stood out for both content and impact. Fromberg broke the story about the Integrity Commission investigation into misconduct within the Health system before the government released the report in Parliament. She is commended for pursuing a story that could have easily could gone unnoticed and presenting it in a clear and objective style.

Felicity Ogilvy is commended for doggedly developing her expertise in Southern Ocean affairs and other environmental issues of Tasmania. Her entry was representative of the skill and hard work that ensures her work is often of national significance.

Bob Burton’s investigation of the use of false identities in public submissions was commended by the judges for not only raising important issues about transparency during public consultations, but also for undertaking old-fashioned investigative reporting, with a keyboard rather than a gumshoe.

Mental Health Reporting

Sponsored by Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate

Finalists:

Airlie Ward, ABC , Royal Derwent Hospital

Tim Martain, The Mercury, Therapeutic Storytelling

Winner : Sam Ikin, ABC , The eating disorder nobody wants to talk about

The Judges ‘said:

The judging panel has awarded Sam Ikin for his brave and bold opinion piece that cast light on a barely spoken about issue. The author is to be commended on using his personal story as a catalyst for generating discussion and media interest in this issue, and allowing those also affected by this disorder to share their experiences.

Tim Martain is commended for his entry on storybooks, which subtly addressed the key trauma issues facing refugee communities, but in a positive and empowering way. The joy felt by the authors of the books came across in the piece. Tim Martain showed dedication to covering issues related to mental health.

The judges also commend Airlie Ward’s command of sensitive storytelling. Her entry thoughtfully followed a very personal and harrowing story, while also situating the personal within the broader political sphere. It brought the past into the immediate present and serves as a pressing call to action for the community.

Comment and Analysis

Sponsored by University of Tasmania

Finalists:

Matthew Denholm, The Australian, Polls and Policy

Zona Black, The Examiner, Zona Black’s Opinion Columns

Winner: Bob Burton, Tasmanian Times, Tasmanian Governance

The Judges ‘said:

The entries in this category were of an incredibly high standard, but the judges all agree that the work submitted by Bob Burton writing for the Tasmanian Times was a clear winner.

Bob’s three submissions – one investigating the enigmatic Nathan Carswell, the others examining the vexed issue of political donations – all demonstrate deep knowledge of the subject, a commitment to research, fearless journalism, and clear and persuasive expression.

The pieces covered ground familiar to many Tasmanians, but Bob’s careful and critical approach illuminated fresh perspectives, reminding us of the power of great print journalism.

The other finalists in this category are Matthew Denholm in the Weekend Australian and Zona Black in the Examiner.

Matthew’s work takes the complex story of Tasmania’s forest industry to the national audience while Zona’s warm, personal and contemporary reflections show how both big and small issues can make for great stories.

Excellence in Legal Reporting

Sponsored by Butler, McInyre & Butler Lawyers

Finalists:

Edith Bevin, ABC

David Killick, The Mercury

Winner: Sophie Kuryl, WIN Television

The Judges ‘said:

Sophie Kuryl’s entry comprised a competent and ethical body of work.

Her reports were comprehensive, fair and professional. The entrant impressed with an ability to encapsulate clearly while apparently maintaining fidelity to the nuances and particulars of testimony.

The pieces entered for judging showed good human interest, the stories were engaging, she avoided sensationalism and provided good context.

Her coverage of the hearing of a man who admitted to a double murder at Hamilton and her report on a community vigil following a Bridgewater murder were sensitive and managed to convey the human dimensions of the crimes while avoiding the dangers of comment on criminal proceedings.

These qualities of providing human interest while remaining sensitive and avoiding senmationalism were highlighted in particular in her piece on the guilty verdict of then DPP Tim Ellis to a charge of causing death by negligent driving.

In total, a consistently admirable body of work produced under the pressure of daily deadlines.

Best Feature Documentary or Current Affairs

Sponsored by Telstra Country Wide

Finalists:

Felicity Ogilvie, ABC

Michael Atkin, ABC, Forestry

Winner: Mark Hortsman , ABC , Earth On

The Judges ‘said:

The judges were very impressed with the overall standard in this category with at least half a dozen outstanding entries.

Highly Commended awards: Tyson Shine for his series of television stories on the institutional response to child sexual abuse. Felicity Ogilvie’s radio current affairs reporting on issues including the pirate fishing vessel Thunder and the Palmer United Party and Michael Atkins’ prescient TV feature on the financial situation facing Forestry Tasmania.

The overall winner: Mark Horstman – Earth on Fire.

He and fellow reporter Anja Taylor’s Catalyst special documentary beautifully integrated material from the USA, Victoria and to a significant degree Tasmania.

The Tasmanian material exposed to a wide audience the historical significance of bushfire in an urban setting and the world leading science being done here into the reasons for and the likely effects of so called ‘mega fires’ in the future.

The documentary was engaging, powerful and important on an international scale.

Best News Story

Sponsored by Media Super

Finalists:

Annah Fromberg, ABC, Health Nepotism – A Culture of Spin and Cover-up and follow-up stories Integrity Report & Integrity Complainant

Edith Bevin, ABC, Zac Webster

Winner: Matthew Denholm, The Australian, Found & Cops Act After ‘Dead Abuser Found

The Judges ‘said:

This year the standard of entries in Best News Story Category was excellent. All the entrants were worthy of consideration and the entries by the three finalists were all-outstanding which made the judging difficult.

However, the judges agreed Matt Denholm’s exclusive story of the discovery alive, well, and living in New Zealand of alleged paedophile Ronald Thomas, believed by the child abuse royal commission to be dead, to be the stand out story of the year.

The story led to resumption of a police investigation and raised questions about the procedures and evidence given to the commission by a number of witnesses.

The judges wish to highly commend the other two finalists:

Anna Fromberg, for her initial exclusive report, and series of stories on the Integrity Commission’s investigation into allegations of nepotism and cover-up in the Department of Health and Human Services, which has had a major impact on the administration of health in Tasmania and which is ongoing.

Edith Bevin, for her story on Zac Webster. While other media were reporting on the success of another young Tasmanian footballer making the AFL draft, Edith delved deeper to break the story of his conviction for making illegal sex tapes of women. The story ran nationally and was followed by mainstream “footy” media, forcing the AFL to re-examine its code of conduct and sanctions regarding the misuse of social media.

Best New Journalist

Sponsored by The Mercury

Finalists:

Stephanie Anderson, ABC

Ellen Coulter, ABC

Winner: Mitch Broughton, Southern Cross Australia

The Judges ‘said:

This year television stood out in the Best New Journalist category with the finalists representing each of the states locally based free to air station.

The three finalists are Stephanie Anderson from WIN, Mitch Broughton, Southern Cross and the ABC’s Ellen Coulter.

Ellen Coulter presented a fine collection of well-produced and informative stories showing confidence in her writing and on camera presence.

Stephanie Anderson in her role as State Rounds reporter put together stories which showed not only she is on top of her round but also confidently produces stories under tight deadlines and with limited direction and back up. Her general interest stores too have an engaging feel.

Mitch Broughton too presented a good collection of stories spanning a wide range of subjects. His entry showed he is able to competently tackle any issue. His stories demonstrated a skill to engage with his audience whether reporting dramatic rescues, lighter issues or sports stories. Like others in Tasmanian television news, Mitch works with limited resources and backup, being left to do his job with the responsibility of coming up with the goods.

In a very tight finish this year, the Best New Journalist is Mitch Broughton

Keith Welsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

Sponsored by MEAA

Finalists:

Matt Smith, The Mercury

Airlie Ward , ABC

Winner: Edith Bevin, ABC

The Judges ‘said:

Both Matt Smith and Airlie Ward were worthy entrants for the Keith Welsh Award, which recognises exceptional contribution to journalism in Tasmania – Matt for the range and volume of his stories, his ability to consistently break stories and for his political analysis and commentary, and, Airlie for her contribution over a long period as the face of state-based TV current affairs at the ABC as presenter for Stateline and later 7.30 Tasmania where she has reported many significant stories.

However, the judges were impressed with the high quality and of work by Edith Bevin, her persistence, professionalism, forensic style and demonstrated commitment to journalistic excellence and ethics. Edith’s consistently high standard of achievement and quality brings strong credibility to all her work and she is therefore a deserving winner of this year’s Keith Welsh Award.

2015 Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by MEAA

Finalists:

Matthew Denholm, The Australian

Michael Atkin, ABC

Winner: Edith Bevin, ABC

The Judges ‘said:

Judges found it difficult to short-list just three contenders for this award due to the number and quality of the entrants.

Edith Bevin’s body of work demonstrated her consistent ability to break stories that have an impact on both the state and national news agenda. Her work demonstrates a dedication to working her round and digging to find the story behind the story, as shown by her piece on Zac Webster. Edith is able to present complex and detailed issues clearly and accurately without resort to hyperbole – as amply demonstrated by her ABC 7.30 report on the Standage story. She has enormous credibility as a thoroughly believable journalist, against a backdrop of entrenched cynicism shown towards the media generally.

The judges highly commend Matthew Denholm for the consistent quality of his writing over such a wide range of topics and his ability to break big stories of national and state significance.

Michael Atkin is also highly commended. The judges were impressed with his concise and analytical coverage of complex issues and his use of the human-interest factor to better illustrate his stories.

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Bob Burton’s winning entries were:

Who is Nathan Carswell?

Who’s knocking on Tasmania’s aldermanic doors?

Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

• don knowler, in Comments: … was very depressed last week when the outgoing editor of the guardian in britain said on abc lateline the demise of the printed edition during the life of the incoming editor was inevitable. but on bob burton’s showing, what follows won’t be so bad …

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Also on Tasmanian Times …

Public-interest journalism is under threat …, the opening speech at the Tasmanian Media Awards by Carolyn Dunbar from the Media, Entertainment, Arts Alliance (MEAA).