Crikey proprietor (the boss behind Boss) Eric Beecher was last night honoured at the 2007 Walkley Awards with a special Walkley for journalist leadership. There was a tribute video: 

 And an acceptance speech:

JENNY BROCKIE: He’s a risk taker whose career has been at the forefront of evolving media, always looking to the future. Ladies and gentlemen, Eric Beecher. ERIC BEECHER: I can’t see the auto cue. I’m really honoured to get this award, obviously. But to me, it’s actually an award for the things that the people like me do. And that’s about, I think, about independent journalism, and increasingly, over the last few years, about independent journalism on the internet. As some of you in this room would know, I have some very strong views about what’s happened to concentration of ownership of the media in this country. I think that what happened a year ago, particularly when the Government changed the laws, was a travesty. And it resulted, almost immediately, in considerable extra concentration of ownership in companies like Rural Press and Southern Cross Broadcasting disappeared, and West Australian Newspapers fell into the hands of one of the big companies. I’ve got nothing against those big moguls, I just think there should be more media. But the great thing about all of that, now, in my view, is that the barriers to entry are crumbling. And I’m having the time of my life working in new media, creating reasonably substantial online new media – things like Crikey and Business Spectator and Smart Company and Eureka Report. And I think the great – I mean, some people would say it’s the lunatics taking hold of the asylum. I would actually put it a different way and say that the talent is taking hold of the asylum. And every day, when I go into work, I work with people like Alan Kohler and Stephen Bartholomeusz and Bob Gottliebsen and Jonathan Green and Christian Kerr and Amanda Gome and people around me. They are the best in the business. They are the creme de la creme. And we are all the owners. We own the media. We don’t – when we sit down and decide what to do, we decide. And we have a lot of fun doing it. So thank you for this award.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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