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The Lowy Institute Media Award

The annual Lowy Institute Media Award recognises Australian journalists who have deepened the knowledge, or shaped the discussion, of international policy issues in our country.

One of the long-standing objectives of the Lowy Institute is to deepen and enrich the discussion of international policy in Australia.  We pursue that aim in a variety of ways:  through our research, our events and conferences, and our engagement with policymakers, business people, academia, media and the broader community.
 
We recognise that a lively and sophisticated discussion of the key global issues affecting Australia’s future requires a broad range of contributors.  One of the most important of these is the Australian media.
 
At a time when the media industry is going through a period of great change and uncertainty, we believe it is vital that Australian journalists continue to report and comment on events in the world that impact on Australia. It is for this reason that we have decided to establish this media award.
 
The Lowy Institute Media Award will be given to an Australian journalist or journalistic team who either through a single piece of reporting or commentary, or through a series of reports, has deepened the knowledge, or shaped the discussion, of international policy issues in Australia in the course of the last year.

A panel of eminent judges will nominate candidates whose work over the last twelve months they feel best meets the award criteria, specifically:


2017 Lowy Institute Media Award

Matt Brown receiving the 2017 Lowy Institute Media Award from UK High Commissioner Menna Rawlings.

The winner of the 2017 Media Award was Matt Brown, Middle East Correspondent for the ABC, who won the award for his coverage of the military campaign to against Islamic State in Iraq, and in particular the battle to recapture Mosul. Brown was awarded a cash prize of $20,000 as well as the Lowy Institute Media Award trophy, created by Dinosaur Designs.

Along with Brown, the finalists for the 2017 Lowy Institute Media Award were as follows:

  1. Four Corners/Fairfax for the joint investigation into the Chinese Communist Party’s political and social influence in Australia.
     
  2. The Guardian Australia, for ‘The Nauru Files’.
     
  3. Sophie McNeill of the ABC, for ‘Yemen: The War on Children’ on Foreign Correspondent (Cameraman: Aaron Hollet); and for coverage of the siege of Aleppo.
     
  4. Cameron Stewart of The Australian, for his coverage of the DCNS Scorpene leaks; and for his coverage of the Australia–US relationship in the era of Trump.
     
  5. Eric Tlozek of the ABC, for ‘PNG: A Bloody Boycott’ on Foreign Correspondent; and for coverage of the PNG election.


     

2016 Lowy Institute Media Award

Jewel Topsfield.

The 2016 Lowy Institute Media Award ceremony. From left to right: Michael Fullilove, Jane Anderson, Jewel Topsfield, Michelle Guthrie and Steven Lowy. 

The 2016 Lowy Institute Media Award was won by Jewel Topsfield for her reporting on Indonesia and the bilateral relationship with Australia in the aftermath of the execution of several Australians in Indonesia and the cash-for-turnbacks allegations.

Topsfield, the Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media, was awarded a $20,000 cash prize as well as a Lowy Institute Media Award trophy, created by Dinosaur Designs. The other finalists were:

  • Amanda Hodge, South East Asia Correspondent Jakarta – The Australian
     
  • Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard and Daniel Quinlan – The Age Investigations team in conjunction with the Huffington Post
     
  • Eric Tlozek, Papua New Guinea Correspondent – ABC
     
  • Philip Wen, China Correspondent – Fairfax Media


The keynote address on the night of the Award was delivered by ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie.

We are pleased to recognise IAG's sponsorship of the 2016 Lowy Institute Media Award.


2015 Lowy Institute Media Award

Paul Maley. 

The 2015 Lowy Institute Media Award ceremony. From left to right: Michael Fullilove, Jane Anderson, Paul Maley, Elizabeth Bryan and Robert Thomson. 

The 2015 Lowy Institute Media Award was won by Paul Maley for his coverage of Australian foreign fighters. 

Maley, who is National Security Editor at The Australian, was awarded a $20,000 cash prize as well as a Lowy Institute Media Award trophy, created by Dinosaur Designs.

Other finalists were:

  • Foreign Correspondent, ‘Into the Hot Zone’, ABC News

Foreign Correspondent sent one of the last media crews to the centre of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone before strict border controls went into effect, and helped deepen our understanding of the severity of this crisis.

  • Rowan Callick, The Australian

Rowan Callick’s writing on Australia’s economic and trade relationships with Asia reflected his deep knowledge of these issues. In particular, his insightful work on the free trade agreement reached with China helped to explain this new development in one of Australia’s most important bilateral relationships.

  • Lindsay Murdoch, Fairfax Media

Lindsay Murdoch’s coverage of the baby Gammy controversy touched on the intersection of Asian and Australian culture and told a broader story about our role in the region. It had a meaningful policy impact in Thailand and Australia.

  • Peter Stefanovic, Nine News

Peter Stefanovic’s coverage of the conflicts in Northern Iraq and Gaza was immediate, compelling and important reporting for an Australian audience.
 

The keynote address was delivered by Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.  Thomson has served as editor-in-chief of Dow Jones, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and editor of The Times. He has held several posts at the Financial Times, including Editor of the US edition, Editor of the Weekend FT and Assistant Editor. He has also been a correspondent himself in Tokyo and in Beijing.  Thomson began his career as a journalist in 1979 with The Herald.

We are pleased to recognise IAG's sponsorship of the 2015 Lowy Institute Media Award.


2014 Lowy Institute Media Award

Hayden Cooper.

Photo by Mathew Marsic

The 2014 Lowy Institute Media Award ceremony. From left to right: Michael Fullilove, Malcolm Turnbull, Kate Torney (on behalf of Hayden Cooper) and Andrew Greste. 

On 12 August, the 2014 Lowy Institute Media Award was given to Hayden Cooper for his ABC Foreign Correspondent report on the trial of Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.

The keynote address at the award ceremony was delivered by The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.

Other finalists selected by the judges were Amanda Hodge (News Corp, The Australian) for her coverage of the Indian elections and Indian sexual violence, Christopher Joye (Fairfax, Australian Financial Review) for his coverage of intelligence and spying issues, Michael Bachelard (Fairfax, Sydney Morning Herald) for his coverage of the Indonesian elections and Michael Edwards for his coverage of the polio epidemic in Pakistan (ABC, Foreign Correspondent).

The judging panel for the 2014 Lowy Institute Media Award winner included: former Australian minister and Ambassador Amanda Vanstone, Gold Walkley Award winning investigative journalist and author Chris Masters, former ABC foreign correspondent Jane Hutcheon, Lowy Institute Board Director Mark Ryan and Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove. Media Award trophy kindly donated by Dinosaur Designs. 


2013 Lowy Institute Media Award

On 26 September 2013, the inaugural Lowy Institute Media Award was given to Fairfax's John Garnaut by a panel of eminent judges including multi award-winning journalists Jana Wendt and Max Uechtritz, Lowy Institute Board Director Mark Ryan, former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove.

The keynote address for the ceremony was delivered by Nick Warner AP PSM, Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Warner made a speech in tribute to his late father, distinguished war correspondent Denis Warner OBE CMG. The Lowy Institute intends to honour past Australian foreign correspondents such as Denis Warner at each year’s Award ceremony. The Media Award trophy kindly donated by Dinosaur Designs. 

The other finalists for the 2013 award were Jo Chandler from The Global Mail, Rowan Callick from The Australian and Trevor Bormann from the ABC.


 

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