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Walkley Award to WikiLeaks

For 'justice through transparency'.


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REDFERN (Rixstep) — WikiLeaks took home a prestigious Walkley Award for the 'most outstanding contribution to journalism' in a ceremony in Australia tonight. The annual Walkley awards, instituted by William Gaston Walkley in 1956, recognise and reward excellence in journalism.

Finalists are chosen by an independent board of journalists and photographers. Awards cover all media - print, television, radio, photographic, and online media. The Walkley Awards are Australia's counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize.

For 'Justice Through Transparency'

The motivation for the 2011 Walkley Award to WikiLeaks for the 'most outstanding contribution to journalism' was given as follows.

Most outstanding contribution to journalism: WikiLeaks

This year's winner has shown a courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency.

WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.

Its revelations, from the way the war on terror was being waged, to diplomatic bastardry, high-level horse-trading and the interference in the domestic affairs of nations, have had an undeniable impact.

This innovation could just as easily have been developed and nurtured by any of the world's major publishers - but it wasn't.

Yet so many eagerly took advantage of the secret cables to create more scoops in a year than most journalists could imagine in a lifetime.

While not without flaws, the Walkley Trustees believe that by designing and constructing a means to encourage whistleblowers, WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange took a brave, determined and independent stand for freedom of speech and transparency that has empowered people all over the world.

And in the process, they have triggered a robust debate inside and outside the media about official secrecy, the public's right to know, and the future of journalism.

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