The West Australian’s federal political editor Andrew Probyn has taken out one of the nation’s top journalism prizes for the second year in a row.
Probyn was last night named Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery Journalist of the year for a series of stories published in The West about the Government’s plans to privatise the payments system for Medicare.
Probyn won the sought after award in 2015 along with colleague Nick Butterly for reporting on highly sensitive security and asylum seeker issues.
The judges noted the “consistently high standard of journalism” in the body of work submitted, saying Probyn’s stories triggered a chain of events that dogged the Government throughout the election.
Probyn wrote in a report in February: “Reforms don’t get much bigger, or more politically dangerous, than this. Turnbull will have to decide whether a massive privatisation of national health payments is worth the political pain. Does he roll the dice or will this be another bright idea left for another time?”
The judges said that as well as providing “clear and insightful coverage and analysis” of the issue and other political events, the ‘MediScare’ story, as it came to be known, made a large impact both on the political debate and, ultimately, the election outcome.
Editor of The West Australian, Brett McCarthy, said: “Andrew is one of the finest political journalists in the country and thoroughly deserves this award again.’’