Al Jazeera English and the Al Jazeera’s Investigations Unit took home two very important wins at the 64th Walkley Awards held in Sydney, Australia on November 28th, 2019.
From among 1,300 entries judged by more than 100 senior industry representatives; How to Sell a Massacre won Scoop of the Year; and All Hail the Algorithm won in The Television/Video Current Affairs Short category at the prestigious Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Presented annually in Australia to recognise and reward the best in the craft, the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism exist to recognise “creative and courageous acts of journalism that seek out the truth and give new insight to an issue”. They reward excellence, independence, innovation and originality in storytelling and distinctive reporting.
‘How to Sell a Massacre’ is a three-year investigation into the US’s gun lobby. Using hidden cameras, the investigative team recorded several meetings between the US National Rifle Association and the Australian One Nation party. These episodes provide a rare inside view on how the NRA deliberates over mass shootings and seeks to manipulate the media to push its pro-gun agenda.
“It is an honour to win this prestigious award. It validates the bold journalism of Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit and I am proud of the hard work of our team. Awards like this also invigorate bold investigative journalism, which is increasingly necessary in our world to expose the wrongdoing of the powerful,” said Acting Director of Investigative Journalism, Phil Rees.
‘All Hail the Algorithm’ is a unique online-first series produced and presented by Ali Rae alongside programme’s executive producer Meenakshi Ravi that explores the impact of algorithms on our everyday lives.
Executive Producer Meenakshi Ravi said: "It is an honour to have this series recognized by the Walkley’s jury. Our aim was to educate, empower and engage our audiences, and having our efforts acknowledged by the Australian media fraternity gives us an extra boost to keep doing this kind of work."
Commenting on the win, Ali Rae said: “As an Australian I’m absolutely thrilled ‘All Hail the Algorithm’ has received this recognition from our industry peers at the prestigious Walkley awards in Sydney. Algorithms may seem like a complex topic at first – but we hope our human-centred approach to the analysis helps the content be more accessible and elevates a wider variety of global voices to the discussion.”