Melbourne-based Crikey staff are reeling this morning after it was announced the Walkley Awards ceremony will be held in Brisbane this year. A deal stitched up between premier Anna Bligh and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has sent the prestigious prize back to the pineapple state for the first time in over a decade.
Bligh was ecstatic, releasing the following statement: ”Getting such a prestigious event back to Brisbane for the first time since 1999 is a major coup — especially because this year we celebrate 100 years of professional journalism in Australia.”
The night of nights on November 27 will top off a week of training courses and the second annual Walkley Media Conference.
Laurie Oakes, who won last year’s Gold Walkley for his National Press Club questions on Kevin Rudd’s knifing, was also chuffed: “As well as recognising the quality of journalism in Queensland, we hope that the events we have planned for Brisbane, including our media conference and journalism’s night of nights, the Walkley Awards, will shine a light on a community that has been through so much this year. I am very much looking forward to being there and I hope the nation’s media professionals will join me.”
Unfortunately Crikey management appear reluctant to stump up airfares for its Melbourne-based journalists, especially in a post-Tiger world. “It doesn’t matter, because the chance of a low grade hack like you winning anything is precisely zero,” one senior bean counter told this scribe this morning.
Brisbane will host the awards again in 2013 but a spokesperson for the Alliance said the news wasn’t all grim. The glitz and glamour could return to the bleak city as early as next year — depending on who emerges triumphant in a fierce “bidding war” with Sydney.