PUBLISHED ON: 4 December 2015
In their acceptance speech on behalf of the Four Corners team, Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Sam Clark paid tribute to Animals Australia's and Animal Liberation Qld’s investigators, who put their own lives on the line to capture the evidence required to bring cruel 'live-baiters' to justice.
Caro, Sam, and their Four Corners crew took to the stage at the media industry's night of nights, in front of a room packed full of Australia's most respected journalists, to accept not only the Investigative Journalism award — but also the coveted Gold Walkley for journalistic excellence in covering the 'live baiting' scandal that has rocked Australia's greyhound racing industry.
The judging process is what gives the Walkley Awards its credibility. The judges are senior journalists — people who know the skill, quick wit, depth of research and analysis, resourcefulness and even physical courage that it takes to create the best journalism.Walkley Advisory Board Chair, Kate McClymont
We were thrilled to be acknowledged by reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna in her acceptance speech for our ground-breaking investigations that brought the once clandestine practice of live baiting to public attention. (And we were more than a little chuffed when Caro declared the award should be shared with our Chief Investigator, Lyn White).
These in-depth investigations proved to be some of the most challenging we have ever conducted. Recognising this, Caro has honoured the Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Qld investigators as "heroes who have to remain nameless". Watch what they uncovered:
Animals go for gold — again
This is the second time Animals Australia's investigations have led to a prestigious Walkley Award. Our 2011 investigation into the brutal treatment of Australian cattle exported to Indonesia — also broadcast by the fearless team at ABC Four Corners — attracted a number of Walkleys, including the top-honour, the Gold Walkley.
A Bloody Business sparked an unprecedented wave of media interest in animal protection, creating a much needed platform to debate the many other issues impacting animals used by profit-driven industries. A rural journalist famously declared at the end of 2011 that animal welfare was 'the new black'. This is the power of a single media story — a story that exposes injustice, inspires compassion and motivates change.
Hope for the future
The presentation of this prestigious award tells us that not only do an ever-growing number of people think 'animal stories' should be reported on, but that the exposure of animal cruelty, wherever it occurs, is worth its weight in gold Walkley's!
The Gold Walkley is not only a win for the Four Corners team — it is a win for animals everywhere, and a triumph of compassion over cruelty.
Please join us in congratulating Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Sam Clark, Max Murch, and the entire Four Corners reporting crew, for winning this spectacular award, and giving hope to countless innocent Australian rabbits, possums, piglets — and greyhounds.
To help ensure we can continue our life-saving work on behalf of the animals, please make a donation to our Investigations Unit today.