Walkleys recognise News Ltd chief

JOHN Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Ltd, was recognised with the award for Journalistic Leadership as the Australian media celebrated its achievements in 2008.

THE 53rd Annual Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism were held last night at Crown Casino, Melbourne.

Journalists and photographers from the News Ltd and Fairfax Media groups shared in the spoils, while the coveted Gold Walkley went to Ross Coulthart and Nick Farrow, of Channel 9’s now defunct Sunday program for their ‘Butcher of Bega’ story.

Mr Hartigan made special mention of former News Ltd executive Warren Beeby in his acceptance speech, citing him as a key driver for the company’s endeavours to promote freedom of the press. Mr Beeby was a board member of PANPA up until his retirement last year.

The Walkley for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism went to the late Pamela Bone, who was a crusading columnist with The Age before she died in April of multiple myeloma.

The print segment was split between News and Fairfax, with the metropolitan and national titles of each publisher scoring five awards each for excellence in writing, photography and cartooning.

Fairfax scooped a further five awards in the section for reporting excellence open to all media, including the only successful regional newspaper, the Illawarra Mercury, who won the Coverage Of Community Or Regional Affairs category for Mario Christodoulou’s work on Wollongong’s Corruption Scandal.

The full list of winners can be viewed by clicking here.

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