Bateman trumps class field to win the MPC Student Journalist of the Year

Monash University journalism student Peter Bateman has trumped a class field of entrants to win the Melbourne Press Club’s 2018 Student Journalist of the Year award.

Mr Bateman, a journalism and international relations Masters’ student, was recognised for his brilliant coverage of the under-payment of pamphlet deliverers by Salmat, Walking the Poverty Line, published in The Age.

“It was amazing to be nominated along with three of my classmates, who all put together incredible stories, and to be honest a bit of a shock to get the win among that kind of competition,” Mr Bateman said at the Crown Palladium on Friday night (March 15).

Mr Bateman has won return airfares to Houston, Texas, where he will attend the 2019 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference in June.

“I can't wait to make it to the USA, it's an incredible opportunity that I'm going to make sure I make the most of,” he said.

The Quill judges said Mr Bateman showed “great initiative and news sense in identifying and pursuing the story about the under-payment of pamphlet deliverers by Salmat”.

“His report led to a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation, numerous people sharing their stories and a share price plunge for the pamphlet distributor,” the judges said.

“As the way we work changes dramatically, these types of investigations are increasingly relevant.”

Head of Journalism Associate Professor Fay Anderson said four Monash journalism students were worthy finalists for the Melbourne Press Club Student of the Year award.

The other student finalists included ABC reporter Selby Stewart, AFL specialist Adrian Johnson and World Vision Australia journalist Angus Smith.

“I want to congratulate all nominees of the Student Journalist of the Year and particularly highlight the winner of the prestigious MPC Quills award, Peter Bateman,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“Peter exposed the exploitation of walkers who deliver pamphlets and catalogues, and who are paid well below the minimum wage (and sometimes not at all).

Walking the Poverty Line illuminated with compassion and clarity, the importance of compelling journalism. Congratulations to Peter.”

Monash University alumni were among the Quill award-winners, presented at the Crown Palladium.

Calla Wahlquist, a Monash journalism graduate in 2009, won the Quill for Innovation in Journalism. Ms Wahlquist was a key member of The Guardian Australia’s Deaths inside project, which tracked Indigenous deaths in custody since 2008.

Monash graduate Naomi Selvaratnam, with ABC Radio AM colleagues Amy Bainbridge and Rachael Brown, won the 2018 Radio Journalism (Short Form) Quill for Insurance Industry Reports.

Monash Arts alumnus and Herald Sun associate editor Andrew Rule won the 2018 Harry Gordon Australian Sports Journalist of the Year for his superb writing on the sensational racehorse, Winx.

Monash PhD graduate Dr Waleed Aly was highly commended in the The Keith Dunstan Quill for Commentary category for his views in The Age.

Monash journalism graduate Craig Butt and his Age colleagues Timna Jacks and Soren Frederiksen were highly commended for Peak Hour Project in the RACV Transport Quill.

Other finalists included Monash journalism’s Associate Professor Margaret Simons (feature category), Monash alumni Chris Gillett (ABC 7.30), Jeremy Story Carter (ABC News), Danny Tran (ABC Radio) and Caroline Tung (Sporting Chance).

All Quill winners here.