Seven West scoops media awards with Father Joe documentary, world-class photography and thought-provoking opinion

Seven West scoops media awards with Father Joe documentary, world-class photography and thought-provoking opinion

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An online investigation into the death of a popular Perth priest has taken out the top prize at the WA Media Awards on a night when Seven West Media dominated the field.

Freelance journalist Kristin Shorten received The Daily News Centenary Prize and was named West Australian Journalist of the Year for her series on Father Joseph Tran, published on thewest.com.au.

Investigative reporter John Flint was also a big winner at last night’s awards, landing three prizes for pieces published in The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times columnist Gareth Parker won The Matt Price Prize for his incisive and thought-provoking commentary.

Shorten’s complex story, Father Joe: Saint or Sinner?, was told in four chapters — as a special feature made available to online subscribers of The West Australian — which explored the depths of Tran’s suicide and alleged abuse of a child that sent shockwaves through the community.

Seven West staff took home 15 of the 26 awards handed out.

West Australian Newspapers senior editor Anthony De Ceglie said the awards were a worthy recognition of the hard work of staff across the company’s metro, regional and community newspapers and websites.

“We strive every day to shine a light on the truth and write compelling stories,” he said. “The many awards across so many different fields is a testament to the hard work of the reporters and our commitment to first-rate journalism.”

De Ceglie said he was very proud of Shorten for winning WA Journalist of Year.

“The four-part Father Joe series was brave and compelling,” he said.

“It was an example of the very finest of investigative journalism and shows what can happen when you dig into a story that others deem too controversial to tackle.”

7NEWS Perth cameraman Simon Hydzik was awarded the vaunted Clarion Award for his achievements and commitment to the profession.

Flint’s investigative body of work for The Sunday Times included an expose on lead-leaching components in drinking fountains at Optus Stadium which won the health and environment categories.

Another series of reports by Flint, which uncovered the plight and brain injuries of seven commercial divers working off WA’s northern coast, won the news coverage prize for print.

Business reporters Sean Smith and Neale Prior were rewarded for their breaking coverage of collapsed lease-for-life scheme Sterling First.

SWM photographers Danella Bevis, Ross Swanborough and Kelsey Reid swept the photo categories.

7NEWS Perth’s Rory Campbell beat all other outlets for best sports report.

Former The West Australian State political editor Nick Butterly was awarded The Beck Prize for a piece predicting the resignation of Mike Nahan as opposition leader.

Community News reporter Sarah Brookes won the suburban category for her investigation into rehab centre Shalom House.

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