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News, Fairfax excel at Kennedy Awards

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Australian publishers Fairfax Media and News Corp Australia celebrated big wins at the Kennedy Awards for Excellence in NSW Journalism last Friday, taking out 18 of the 32 categories.

News Corp Australia’s The Daily Telegraph won all five pictorial categories, with sport photographer Phil Hillyard winning two. The award for court reporting was presented to Emma Partridge of The Daily Telegraph, while colleague Ray Thomas won the Rod Allen Award for Racing Writer of the Year.

The Australian’s Greg Bearup received the award for Outstanding Turf Reporting, while Catherine Marshall of The Weekend Australian won the travel writing category. Overall, News won 10 awards.

Among Fairfax Media’s eight awards was Young Journalist of the Year, which was presented Jack Morphet of the Wagga Daily Advertiser, while Stephanie Wood, of the The Good Weekend, was recognised in the Jim Oram Award for Outstanding Features Writing.

The Age’s investigative podcast series Phoebe’s Fall – which also was featured by The Sydney Morning Herald – took home the gong for radio current affairs and audio blog. The highly-successful work won a gold medal at the New York Radio Festival in June and a Melbourne Press Club Quill for Radio Current Affairs.

The specialist reporting categories were key awards for Fairfax, with Michael Smith, Angus Grigg and Lisa Murray, of the Australian Financial Review, winning the finance category and The Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Barrett, Adam Collins winning sport.

The major award of the night, the 2017 Kennedy Journalist of the Year, was presented to Nine News’ Chris O’Keefe. This year’s lifetime achievement award was presented to Ita Buttrose.

Now in its 6th year, the Kennedy Awards received more than 500 entries across the 32 categories. Many of the awards are dedicated to the memory of some of the country’s best journalists, including Les Kennedy, Rebecca Wilson and Sean Flannery.

2017 Kennedy Award winners:

  • 2017 Coca-Cola Kennedy Journalist of the Year: Chris O’Keefe (Nine News)
  • Les Kennedy Award for Outstanding Crime Reporting: Allan Clarke (NITV and BuzzFeed News)
  • Paul Lockyer Award for Outstanding Regional Broadcast Reporting: Lucy Langtry, Rod Smith (Prime 7 North Coast)
  • Chris Watson Award for Outstanding Regional Newspaper Reporting: Jack Morphet (The Daily Advertiser, Wagga)
  • Rod Allen Award Racing Writer of the Year: Ray Thomas (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Outstanding Turf Reporting: Greg Bearup (The Australian)
  • Sean Flannery Award for Outstanding Radio Reporting: Natalie Peters (2GB)
  • Outstanding Radio Current Affairs and Audio Blog: “Phoebe’s Fall” (Fairfax Media)
  • Cliff Neville Award – Team Player: Shaun Besgrove (7 News Sydney)
  • Peter Frilingos Award – Outstanding Sport Reporting: Chris Barrett, Adam Collins (The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • 2017 Young Journalist of the Year: Jack Morphet (The Daily Advertiser)
  • 2017 Participation Award: Crinkling News
  • Outstanding Travel Writing: Catherine Marshall (The Weekend Australian)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ita Buttrose
  • John Newfong Award – Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting: Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Mary Fallon, Elise Worthington (Four Corners)
  • Gary Ticehurst Award – Outstanding Television News Camera Coverage: Adam Bovino (Nine News)
  • Harry Potter Award – Outstanding Television News Reporting: Chris O’Keefe (Nine News)
  • Outstanding TV Current Affairs: Michael Usher (7 News)
  • Outstanding Nightly TV Current Affairs: James Thomas, Lesley Robinson (ABC 7.30)
  • Peter Ruehl Award – Outstanding Columnist: Rick Morton (The Weekend Australian) Outstanding Finance Reporting: Michael Smith, Angus Grigg, Lisa Murray (The Australian Financial Review)
  • Outstanding Consumer Affairs Reporting: Sophie Scott, Meredith Griffiths (ABC 7.30)
  • Outstanding Online News Breaking: Emily McPherson (nine.com.au)
  • Outstanding Court Reporting: Emma Partridge (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Outstanding Reporting on the Environment: Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Jaya Balendra, Alex McDonald (Four Corners)
  • The Rebecca Wilson Award – Scoop of the Year: Chris O’Keefe (Nine News)
  • The Vince O’Farrell Award – Outstanding Illustration: Cathy Wilcox (The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Outstanding Investigative Reporting: Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Mary Fallon, Elise Worthington (Four Corners)
  • Jim Oram Award – Outstanding Features Writing: Stephanie Wood (The Good Weekend)
  • Outstanding Political Journalist: Chris O’Keefe (Nine News)


  • Outstanding News Photo: Toby Zerna (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Outstanding Portrait: Phil Hillyard (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Outstanding Sports Photo: Phil Hillyard (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Outstanding Online Video: Nathan Edwards, Sarah Blake, Toby Zerna (The Daily Telegraph)
  • People’s Choice Award: Dylan Robinson (The Daily Telegraph)


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