Seven News senior reporter Chris Reason has won Australia’s richest journalism prize for his outstanding coverage of the Lindt Café siege.
Reason was named Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year for 2014 at the Melbourne Press Club’s Quill Awards dinner in Melbourne.
The award judges described as “simply outstanding” Reason’s coverage over more than 24 hours of the Sydney terrorist attack in which two hostages were killed.
“On a day when there was an excess of wild speculation and false reporting, Reason’s reporting was restrained and sober, as was appropriate in covering an event in which so many lives were at stake,” the judges said.
“He didn’t speculate wildly. He explained to viewers what was going on and where. He used the unique platform he literally had overlooking the scene of the siege but he also adapted to changing conditions and access.
“He led coverage that was, as a result, utterly authoritative. And he did so live, on the fly, over an exceptionally long period of time.”
The Journalist of the Year Award honours legendary Age editor Graham Perkin and includes a $20,000 cash prize provided by The Age.
Three other journalists were finalists for the award: ABC Europe Correspondent Philip Williams and Age journalists Adele Ferguson and John Silvester.
The judges were Australian Financial Review political editor Laura Tingle, Sunday Herald Sun editor Jill Baker and Nine News political editor Laurie Oakes.