Who cleaned up at the Kennedys Awards for Excellence in Journalism last night? Depends who you ask. As far as the Nine papers go, the top line item from the evening was “Herald and Age journalists win Kennedy Awards in ‘bumper news year’”. In The Australian it was “The Australian’s journalists scoop Kennedy Awards”.
As far as news.com.au is concerned, the only noteworthy event of the night was that its reporter Sam Maiden won (unsurprisingly) “Journalist of the Year” for her agenda-setting reporting of the scandal following the alleged rape of former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins in Parliament House.
But journalism awards are not just an excuse for exhausted journalists to don some formal wear and slap ourselves on the back while the industry in which we toil crumbles around us — we also get speeches.
And apparently, not all of those went down brilliantly. According to several people who attended, Australian Financial Review columnist Michael Roddan got up and made a crack about the Kennedys being the “Bogan Walkleys”, and for his trouble, had to leave soon after:
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
There is surely no better way to celebrate the health of an industry dedicated to the robust exchange of ideas without fear or favour than asking someone to leave for making a joke. If the fact that Roddan was joking around wasn’t already clear, we’re told he also claimed to have “never heard” of Kate McClymont and Neil Chenoweth.