Neil Mitchell wins Radio Walkley | radioinfo

Neil Mitchell wins Radio Walkley

Friday 29 November, 2013

Sarah Dingle wins Radio Doco category.

3AW's Neil Mitchell has won the  Radio News and Current Affairs Walkley for his Ford closing scoop. Radio National's Sarah Dingle has taken out the Radio Documentary award.

Neil Mitchell

Mitchell’s scoop that Ford would stop manufacturing vehicles in Australia after 2016 came two hours before the rest of the Australian media began reporting the story. After receiving a late tip and making calls to confirm his first source, Mitchell declared on air when his show started that the decision would be announced by Ford later that morning.

The story unfolded on air, with the wife of a worker, and a union leader, calling to confirm the rumour. Mitchell sought comments from Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, Victoria’s former premier, Jeff Kennett, and Premier Dennis Napthine, before having the decision confirmed on air by Bob Graziano, the CEO and president of Ford Australia.

Mitchell began at 3AW on weekends and Drive in 1987. He has been a reporter, columnist and news executive at The Age for 16 years, has worked for Time Magazine, and presented documentaries and his own talkback TV program on both the Nine and Ten networks. Mitchell was Australia’s Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year in 2011, is an Officer in the Order of Australia, and a member of the Radio Hall of Fame. This is his first Walkley.

The judges said the story was "an example of radio news journalism at its finest. Neil Mitchell got a tip Ford was to close its manufacturing in Australia. He broke it and confirmed it hours ahead of the rest of the media. From the show’s opening, Mitchell directed the story. He had politicians, the company and workers coming to him to tell their story. He set the agenda and the nation followed."

Sarah Dingle

Radio National's Background Briefing reporter Dingle is a producer and presenter with investigative radio documentary program Background Briefing on the ABC’s Radio National. She has worked as an ABC television and radio reporter in four different states, for 7.30, AM, PM and The World Today. In 2012 she won the Voiceless Media Prize, and in 2010 she was the ABC’s Andrew Olle Scholar.

While discussion of the royal commission into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church dominated the national agenda, Sarah Dingle reported on the situation for sex abuse victims left out of the commission’s terms ofreference. Looking at child sexual abuse within families, Dingle talked to victims, perpetrators and non-offending family members. She allowed child victims to tell their stories, as well as a man named John, who had pleaded guilty to abusing his own daughter. Dingle remained objective throughout her sensitive report, but the listener was left with an intimate and confronting insight into her interviewees’ experiences. Her winning reports are “The family trap” and “Some home truths about child abuse”  

The full list of award winners is here.

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