by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : February 2006
February 2006 PANPA BULLETIN | 19 CONTENT Hamish McDonald Walkley Award Winner for Newspaper Feature Writing The Age/ Sydney Morning Herald "What's wrong with Falungong' was the result of six days of intensive interviewing of the source in Beijing, where Hamish was working at the time. He has just returned home and is currently painting his house (as recreation Hamish?) before taking up the position of International Editor. Why were you attracted to the story? "I was really interested in what lay behind the official story but I needed someone to take me through the whole thing including the brainwashing. It was both fascinating and horrifying. Essentially my source came and stayed with me and my family in the diplomatic compound. The Chinese police were looking for her and we had to smuggle her in and out." Did anything surprising or amusing happen while you were working on the story? "Yes, while she was (secretly) staying with us and being looked after by my wife the compound was being guarded by Chinese police." How did you feel about winning? "My editor Michael Scott rang me in Beijing and told me I'd won. They were all quite 'merry' by then but we were three hours behind so I hadn't had a drink." Mark Whittaker Walkley Award Winner for Magazine Feature Writing The Australian 'Ordinary Heroes' described the experiences of the witnesses of the horrific 'Roundhouse' accident in NSW where two toddlers were badly injured when a car ploughed into the day care centre. Mark is currently 'just plugging away' at his job. Why were you attracted to the story? "I wasn't. It wasn't my idea and it had been done about three times already on 60 Minutes so I wasn't that wrapped in the idea. "There had been a trial and so the witnesses hadn't been able to speak much, but by then the trial was nearly over, so I switched the story from the victims to the rescuers. What they physically had to face. It was dark and smoky they were quite eloquent and expressed their fears well. How did you feel about winning? "I didn't think I had much chance at all. Then on the night they show a par of each story -- on the big screen -- and there was a punctuation error. I just blamed the Walkley's or the subs. Later I went back and checked and it was MY mistake. That happened to be the par they chose! (clockwise from far left) Michael West, getting leaked documents was a pleasure. Mark Whittaker didn't want to do it. Eric Lobbecke, four hours and glory. Andrew Dyson getting all fingers again. Walkley winners