What’s going on with Australia’s most prestigious media awards? It seems that winning a Walkley award these days is a precursor to costly legal action in which the journalist who won is pilloried in the courts for doing what their profession considers to be an outstanding job.

At least three cases in recent years demonstrate that winning a Walkley does not provide immunity from prosecution. The most recent example is being played out this week in the ACT Supreme Court, where the millionaire’s factory, Macquarie Bank, is suing The Australian and its business columnist, Michael West, over a story in March 2005.