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Friday, November 27, 2009

FOI features in journalism's Walkleys

Michael McKinnon

Congratulations to the Walkley Award winners, particularly Gary Hughes of The Australian, who took the Gold for his very personal and highly professional reports of the Black Saturday bushfires. Special mention of Michael McKinnon, FOI Editor of Seven Network, who received the award for Journalism Leadership for his 20 year involvement in Freedom of Information, and was one of the Seven News team who won the All Media Investigative Journalism award for reports on police corruption.Nice on air tributes from John Hartigan, Matthew Moore and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (did they ask Treasury boss Ken Henry?), and Rick Snell was one of those included in McKinnon's "thank you" list. Commonwealth Ombudsman Professor John McMillan said McKinnon has played a “pivotal role in the transformation of Australian FOI law and practice” by drawing public attention to the cause:
“He has shone a light on many government actions that would otherwise be buried from public scrutiny, on matters such as asbestos contamination, tax administration, Treasury forecasts, weapons safety, grant schemes, bulk billing and Reserve Bank decision making,” said McMillan.


  1. Anonymous10:26 am

    Congratulations to all!

  2. Anonymous10:28 am

    I know I'm an FOI geek when seeing Michael get the Walkley I applauded and cheered. Rest of the family didn't understand at all.
    Colleagues did, and the second Walkley explains why he was quiet on this Dept's FOI register....

    Public Servant in Canberra

  3. It is indeed a great achievement! Freedom of information is
    a powerful tool but it has been eroded to some extent and those who have trouble
    gaining access to all relevant records may need to find a lawyer to assist them with their
    legal problems. Unfortunately, legal costs are often not worth it but if the
    matter is important then legal assistance should be obtained.