Historically, good, worthwhile journalism made a difference. Governments would react. Ministerial scalps would be claimed. Reports that attracted relatively small audiences could drive action if the report was shocking enough. The craft had important metrics to determine the worthiness of journalism; a mix of editorial judgement (what stories were splashed on the front page) and peer-driven prizes.
Last week in Sydney, the Walkley Awards again recognised the outstanding journalism that continues to be produced in Australia. The gold-winning story from Melbourne’s Herald Sun suggested, like last year’s gold winner, that journalism is valuing investigative true-crime reporting.