The Voiceless Media Prizes recognise the most accurate and influential reports on factory farming, kangaroo hunting, animal law and other important issues that affect animals in Australia.
Sponsored by the Dalwood-Wylie Charitable Foundation, the prizes include $5,000 for the best print journalism, $5,000 for the best broadcast journalism and $2,500 for the runner-up in each category.
ABC7.30 reporter Sarah Dingle and producer Lesley Robinson won the broadcast category for their influential investigation into traditional hunting methods in Queensland's Torres Strait. Runner-up in the broadcast category and recipient of $2,500 was ABC 7.30's investigation into the factory farming of ducks; 'Disturbing footage prompts calls for duck farming changes’ by reporter Bronwyn Herbert and producer Lesley Robinson, taking out her second title for the night.
Journalist Anna Krien took out the top print award for her essay 'Us And Them: On the importance of animals' which appeared in current affairs journal, Quarterly Essay. Runner-up in the print category and winner of $2,500 was The District Bulletin’s Maria Taylor for her exploration into the slaughter of kangaroos in ‘New evidence of flawed science, wishful counting as kangas die for petfood’.
Nominated stories were required to:
- Address factory farming, animal law, food labelling and certification, live export, hunting of kangaroos and other animals, animal experimentation, animals in entertainment (zoos, circuses and rodeos), or animals killed for fashion (furs and skins); or
- Build public understanding of animal sentience; or
- Examine the ethical relationship between human and non-human animals.
The winners were selected by an esteemed panel of judges:
- Professor John M Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature and Voiceless Patron;
- Emeritus Professor David Weisbrot AM, former President of the Australian Law Reform Commission and Voiceless Council member;
- Dr Jeffrey Masson, author of nine books on the emotional life of animals and Voiceless Director; and
- Brian Sherman AM, co-founder and Managing Director of Voiceless.
Nominations closed on 26 October at 12.00pm AEST and the winners were announced in late November at the 2012 Voiceless Awards.
Watch the winning report by 7.30. Warning: graphic images of animal suffering.