7am first daily news podcast to be a Walkley Award finalist
7am is a finalist for the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism in the category of Public Service Journalism for its April 5, 2022 episode “The Killing of Ann Marie Smith”.
In the episode, host and executive producer Ruby Jones interviews disability activist and contributor to The Saturday Paper Georgia Cranko about the death of Ann Marie Smith, who died from staggering neglect in her Adelaide home. Smith’s carer was sentenced for manslaughter, but many in the Disability community believe that the charge should have been murder. The episode was produced by Elle Marsh and edited by Erik Jensen.
Scott Mitchell, editor of 7am, says, “The episode and the way that story was told by Georgia Cranko, Ruby Jones and our team is an incredibly powerful example of what audio journalism is capable of. To see a daily news podcast listed next to a 4 Corners investigation and a fantastic crowd-sourced investigative project by ABC News Digital – to me it’s a watershed moment for the media industry. It’s a great list of finalists that recognises the breadth of public service journalism being done in Australia.”
Since its launch in 2019, 7am has become the most popular daily news podcast in the country. The podcast consistently captures pressing issues through in-depth interviews and sharp analysis: the background, who’s involved and why it matters.
Mitchell continues, “To have 7am nominated for a Walkley is a huge achievement not just for the team behind Australia’s number-one news podcast and for Schwartz Media – it’s an achievement for podcasting and audio journalism. This is a great chance to say to audiences looking for news: our daily podcast is the place where you can listen to some of the very best storytelling and journalism in this country.”
The nomination comes at an important time for the podcast as it sees its audience continue to grow and engage with 7am’s compelling news with narrative on a daily basis.
Schwartz Media’s editor-in-chief, Erik Jensen, said the episode tells an important story from a perspective that is not heard often enough. “Reporting this piece, Georgia was able to bring an emotional and intellectual framework to a story that was not receiving enough attention. To hear Georgia’s voice as she makes clear what really happened in this case to a woman living with cerebral palsy, as Georgia does, is a reminder of the unique power of podcasts to tell intimate stories.”
The Walkley Award winners will be announced at the ICC in Sydney on Thursday, November 17, 2022.
Caraline Douglas, Head of Marketing & Partnerships