ABC’s Coronacast wins Walkley Award
The ABC’s daily COVID-19-focused podcast, Coronacast, has taken out the Radio/ Audio: News and Current Affairs category at this year’s 65th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
The podcast, which tends to last for about 10 minutes each day, first launched on Wednesday, March 4.
It has tackled everything from contracting coronavirus when you’re pregnant, to the efficacy of face masks, and banning mass gatherings, to the most recent outbreak in South Australia.
Dr Norman Swan, Tegan Taylor and Will Ockenden from Coronacast were up against two other ABC contenders, including ‘The Village Idiot Killing’ from AM by Mark Willacy, Alexandra Blucher and Rory Callinan; and Avani Dias’ work on triple j’s Hack, ‘The colleague, the girl, the police: Student framed and imprisoned over terror offences tells whole story for the first time’.
The Radio/ Audio: Feature category went to Rachael Brown, Josie Taylor, Tim Roxburgh, Marty Peralta and the Trace Team for their work on the ABC’s Trace: The Informer, about police informant and gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo.
This category’s fellow finalists were Hedley Thomas, Slade Gibson and Peter Murphy for their podcast via The Australian, The Night Driver. Audible’s Debutante podcast by Nicola Harvey, Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsel was also in the running.
Winners were selected by the Walkley Judging Board. Chair of the board, journalist Lenore Taylor, praised the range and depth of this year’s winners.
“During last summer’s fires factual information at times made the difference between life and death,” she said.
“Likewise, facts have been the most important tool for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, and our audiences have had a seemingly insatiable thirst for information. It was the role of journalists to go out and bring us reliable information – because facts are what we do. “I am always heartened, if slightly overwhelmed, when I see the array of excellent reporting and writing in contention for a Walkley Award – and the journalistic skill and determination evident in every entry.”
The Walkley Foundation’s chief executive Louisa Graham added: “The Walkley Foundation has a great deal to be proud of. The challenges of the last year have shown us that journalism is critical to keeping Australians accurately informed; this year’s list of finalists and winners is a testament to the outstanding journalism that is so critical to our democratic process. The Foundation remains strong and stable, enabling us to deliver on our mission to support and celebrate great Australian journalism.”
Coronacast also won a Silver award over the weekend at the Australian Podcast Awards in the Moment of the Year category for ‘Coronacast: Can You Catch Corona From A Fart?’ It also received a Bronze for Best Lockdown Podcast.