29th Quills: The Gold Quill

John Ferguson of The Australian has won the Scoop of the Year Quill with “Police investigate mass poisoning in Leongatha”.


Judges' Citation

John Ferguson broke the most-talked about story of 2023.

In journalism’s modern era of social media, high tech, iPhone videos and analytics, Ferguson’s story proves nothing counts more than a reporter’s competitive edge.

This was a good old-fashioned scoop in one of the most competitive beats in this town, where nothing stays secret for long.

Ferguson stood the story up and broke it online on a Saturday, all the time conscious the clock was ticking.

But this was no one-hit wonder – he stayed ahead of the pack with two more exclusives online and in print – an interview with the now-charged woman and a story uncovering key details of her past.

These set the agenda for a story which has captivated Australia and the world.

This was journalism which celebrates, and honours, everything the Gold Quill stands for.


John's speech


See all 29th Quill Awards winners

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