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Oakes defends Walkley Awards from Cave assault

ABC veteran Peter Cave didn’t have a kind word to say about the Walkley Awards — despite winning five of them. Laurie Oakes, chairman of the Walkleys board, hits back today.

Press gallery doyen and Walkley advisory board chairman Laurie Oakes has shot back at former ABC foreign editor Peter Cave, saying the legendary curmudgeon shouldn’t have entered the Walkley Awards if winning them would cause him so much angst.

Cave was handed the gong for outstanding contribution to journalism last Friday and used his acceptance speech to blast the Walkley judging process. Cave said he only truly deserved one of his five previous Walkleys and later claimed too many awards were given out to stories that are “s-xy” or “politically correct” rather than those involving real skill or effort.

I don’t see a lot of validity in what he said,” Oakes told Crikey this morning.

Peter Cave entered all five awards. Is he saying he entered them thinking they weren’t worthy? That seems odd to me. You enter the awards yourself; they’re not forced upon you … I’m puzzled by what he said.”

The Channel Nine veteran also disagreed with Cave’s criticism of the televising of the awards, saying: “At a time of declining trust in the media it’s important to put outstanding journalism on display.”

Oakes says the Walkley advisory board would welcome a submission from Cave to a review, currently underway, into the future of the awards.

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  • 1
    Will Arnott
    Posted Wednesday, 5 December 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I used to think highly of Oakes.

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