There is no more polished, professional or practiced media operator in Australia than the host of Radio National’s must-listen-to daily breakfast news feast, Fran Kelly. She’s personally on air for almost two hours from 6am, a solo act (with a patently outstanding production staff supporting her) juggling something like eight issues each morning, in addition to regular slots on sport, business and politics. She is the master of the brief – actually more like a dozen briefs each day – and her consistency across those subjects is spectacular. Whether it’s a complex breaking foreign story, an economics issue, a human interest tale or her own area of expertise, national politics, she handles them all with a sense of apparent knowledge and deep interest. Not only has she has filled some large shoes in this demanding slot, she has made Radio National Breakfast more mandatory for anyone interested in issues than at any time before. Few journalists anywhere can match Fran Kelly for sheer professionalism – or listenability.

Crikey readers say:

Tony Jones – his interviewing has only gone from strength to strength – Michael Stanley

Richard Carlton for the most memorable exit. – Niall Clugston.

2005 Winner: Tony Jones of Lateline.

The judges for the Media section of the Crikey Honour Roll 2006 were Eric Beecher, Christian Kerr, Sophie Black and Glenn Dyer.