Schwartz wins three Walkley Awards

November 24, 2023

The Monthly, The Saturday Paper and 7am were honoured at this year’s Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, with wins in longform journalism, explanatory journalism and specialist reporting.

The Saturday Paper’s senior reporter, Rick Morton, won two awards for his coverage of the robodebt saga – a story he has followed for almost a decade. Morton was recognised for his work in The Saturday Paper and his five-part podcast series on 7am, detailing the worst of the scheme ahead of the royal commission’s findings.

Editor-in-chief of Schwartz Media Erik Jensen said: “Rick’s coverage of robodebt is the sort of journalism that defines Schwartz Media – inquisitive, tenacious and humane, exploring the structures and politics of this illegal scheme while never losing sight of the people brutalised by it.”

At The Monthly, Anna Verney and Richard Cooke won the Walkley Award for Feature Writing Long, for their essay “Being John Hughes”. Verney and Cooke delivered an in-depth examination of how the acclaimed Australian author became one of the most prolific literary plagiarists in history. The award follows their mid-year Walkley for the same work.

Editor of The Monthly Michael Williams said: “Verney and Cooke’s award last night reaffirms that their essay is about more than a strange case of plagiarism. This essay – about the relationship between writing and reading, about authenticity and public life, and about the way we tell stories – is longform journalism at its best.”

The win reinforces the magazine’s reputation as Australia’s leading publication for independent longform journalism. Williams said: “Now, at a time when sound bites and hot takes dominate our media landscape, there’s more need than ever for considered, meticulously investigated writing. The Monthly is unparalleled when it comes to offering great writers the time and space and support to do just that.”

Last night’s awards cap another significant year for Schwartz Media’s titles, which included the launch of Paddy Manning’s investigative podcast Rupert: The Last Mogul and Michael Williams’ Read This.

Jensen says: “Schwartz Media is consistently publishing some of the best journalism in this country. These awards are recognition of the central place Schwartz has in quality, independent journalism, telling stories that would be otherwise overlooked.”

The Walkley Award winners were announced at the ICC Sydney on Thursday, November 23, 2023.

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