2010 Perkin award winner Laurie Oakes

Congratulations to Nine Network commentator and Herald Sun/Daily Telegraph columnist Laurie Oakes, winner of the 2010 Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award.

Oakes won the coveted prize for his outstanding reporting on the federal election. Chair of the award's judging panel Les Carlyon said Oakes was "an inspiration to journalists everywhere".

He became only the fourth journalist to win the Perkin Award and the Gold Walkley in the same year. The Perkin and the Walkley are considered the top two prizes in Australian journalism. The others to score the double were Pamela Williams of the Australian Financial Review (1998), Andrew Rule when he was at The Age (2001) and Gary Hughes of The Australian (2009).

Oakes received a $20,000 prize and a plaque at the Melbourne Press Club Quill awards dinner at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on April 1 2011.

Three other journalists were short-listed for the award. They were Herald Sun Deputy Editor Jill Baker (for a personal account of her battle with cancer immediately after the death of her husband), Anthony Klan of The Australian (for more than 80 articles exposing flaws in the Federal Government’s “Building the Education Revolution” scheme) and Barrie Cassidy of ABC television for coverage of the federal election.

The Perkin commemorates the legendary editor of The Age who died prematurely at age 45 in 1975. The judges for the 2010 award were Les Carlyon, Jana Wendt and Paul Kelly.

Carlyon, the chair of the judging panel, said: “Laurie Oakes last year did something few journalists ever do. He broke two stories that not only changed the course of a federal election campaign but also lingered until its end ... and perhaps even until this day. He was, as he so often has been in the past, the classic news-breaker, an inspiration to journalists everywhere. His exclusive stories in 2010, the interviews he conducted during the campaign, his columns for the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph and his book On The Record, which appeared just after the election campaign – all these met the defining criteria for this award. And these criteria are that the journalism should be both memorable and excellent.”

A collection of Oakes' best journalism from 2010 is featured below.

Question to Julia Gillard at the National Press Club

Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to answer Oakes' question on whether Kevin Rudd attempted to make a last minute deal with her to remain Prime Minister.

Columns in the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph

Laurie Oakes' political commentary columns appear in the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph every Saturday. Notable columns from 2010 include his analysis of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's federal election chances after knifing Kevin Rudd, his appraisal of her ill-fated citizens assembly and his commentary on the former Prime Minister's decision to campaign for her during the election. View columns in fullscreen.


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