Inaugural Awards for Civil Liberties Journalism 2019

(Photo L to R, Kate Allman, Richard Ackland, Paul Farrell and NSWCCL President Pauline Wright)

The 2019 NSWCCL Annual Dinner (held on September 10th) was marked by the presentation of the Council’s Inaugural Awards for Excellence in Civil Liberties Journalism. Two awards were presented for an article or series of articles, or a radio, television or podcast presentation, promoting civil liberties. One award was for young journalists under the age of 30, and the other an Open award. Criteria for the awards included both the excellence of individual items and, particularly in this inaugural year, the significance of a sustained body of work. The judging panel was drawn from Journalism, Academia, and the Law.

The short-listed finalists in the Young Journalists category were Kate Allman, Paul Farrell, and Laura Murphy Oates. The winner was Paul Farrell, for his investigative work over several years with The Guardian, Buzz Feed, and ABC 7:30, especially his treatment of civil libertarian issues. Kate Allman was also commended, particularly for her work in developing a series of short videos presenting key legal concepts in concise accessible terms for a young audience.

In the Open category the short-listed finalists were Bernard Keane of Crikey; Richard Ackland, best known for his work through Justinian, the ABC, and more recently The Saturday Paper; and Steve Cannane of ABC TV, 4 Corners. The winner was Richard Ackland whose commentary on human rights and civil liberties over many years has been consistently marked by knowledge, dry wit, and style.

In a year when issues of journalism and civil liberties have been frequently in the news it was of special note that the awards were presented by ABC Chair Ita Buttrose AC. OBE.

- John Cleary, Judging Panel, 2019 Awards for Civil Liberties Journalism

Read more about the dinner and Ita's keynote address HERE.