Can you name any other prolific Australian columnist who continues to surprise you, week after week, with not so much his viewpoint as the constant purr of his ideas? A columnist who spends his professional life doing almost nothing else but writing columns, and who therefore understands that originality of research is just as important — perhaps more important — than originality of view. A columnist who is dedicated to the idea of dissecting society through hard-based facts onto which he grafts opinions, instead of just opinions alone. A columnist who is meticulous in supporting his ideas with a lot more than ideology or polemic. A columnist who sees his role as making Australia a better place, not just making Australia a place that reflects his worldview. That columnist is The Sydney Morning Herald’s Ross Gittins.
2005 Winner: Laurie Oakes in The Bulletin.