In 2017, Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker of The Age won The Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year, Australia’s most coveted journalism prize, for an outstanding year breaking political scandals.
The award, for work in 2017, was presented at the Melbourne Press Club’s annual Quill Awards dinner in Melbourne on Friday 16 March 2018.
In a series of reports for The Age and ABC Four Corners, McKenzie and Baker unveiled growing Chinese influence over Australian politics, and spectacularly caught out Senator Sam Dastyari warning a Chinese donor that he was under surveillance, a scandal that ended his political career. McKenzie and Baker also broke the Lobster with a Mobster story in Victoria.
The pair have dominated investigative journalism in Australia for more than a decade. Nick is also the most decorated journalist in the 23-year history of the Quill Awards, having won 24 awards including the Gold Quill twice.
The Australian Journalist of the Year Award honours legendary Age editor Graham Perkin. It includes a $20,000 cash prize provided by The Age and is supported by Melbourne Press Club Principal Sponsor Virgin Australia.
The other 2017 finalists were: Adele Ferguson (The Age), Sally Sara (ABC) and Cameron Stewart (The Australian).
The judges were Barrie Cassidy, Caroline Wilson and Helen Trinca.
See some of McKenzie and Baker's 2017 work
'China's Operation Australia', Fairfax Media
'Lobster with a mobster', The Age, 8 August 2017
'Dastyari 'pressured' Plibersek on China', The Age, 11 December 2017
'Dastyari tape raises heat', The Age, 30 November 2017