Fairfax and the ABC has traditionally done best at the Walkley Awards
over the years, but this year’s list of finalists was even more
pronounced in their favour than usual.
Check out the full list of finalists here.

Poor old 3AW Morning presenter Neil Mitchell stoicly read out name
after name from the ABC at the Melbourne finalists announcement last
night as his employer, Southern Cross Broadcasting, didn’t rate a
single mention. The same went for Channel Nine, which Laurie Oakes was
last year trying to tell us was “the national broadcaster.”

The year to September 2005 was arguably the biggest 12 months of news
since 2001 and it showed with international events such as the Jakarta
bombing, the Bali Nine and the Asian tsunami dominating. The ABC’s
legendary Indonesia correspondent Tim Palmer has been
short-listed for five different Walkleys and appears destined to pick
up a couple.

There was a record number of entries this year as the bad old days of News Ltd boycotting the awards have passed, although the Herald Sun churlishly only sent cartoonist Mark Knight to last year’s awards at Crown Casino.

News Ltd are now well and truly in the tent with Malcolm Farr taking
over as chairman of the Walkleys Advisory Panel. Check out the full
list of judges here and the 2004 Walkleys Advisory Board here.

There isn’t a hotel venue big enough in Sydney to host this year’s event so
it is being moved to Luna Park. It seems that Tony Abbott’s ordinary,
off the cuff guest speaking effort in 2000 put an end to political
invitations even though Prime Ministers including Fraser, Hawke and
Keating, along with wannabes such as Peter Costello have done them over
the years.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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