Saturday, March 02, 2024

AFR pair nominated for journalist of the year award for PwC scoop


AFR pair nominated for journalist of the year award for PwC scoop

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The Australian Financial Review’s reporting team of Neil Chenoweth and Edmund Tadros have been nominated for another prestigious media award for breaking and owning the PwC tax leaks story that is still reverberating through the professional services industry and parliament.

Veteran investigative journalist Chenoweth and the Financial Review’s professional services editor, Tadros, were among four finalists announced on Friday for the 48th Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year award for a package of stories on the scandal.

Edmund Tadros and Neil Chenoweth at the Walkley Awards in November 2023.   

The award, named for a former editor of The Age, carries a cash prize of $10,000.

Financial Review journalists Peter Ker and Brad Thompson were also nominated in the Quill awards for their investigation into Fortescue Metals Group. The Melbourne Press Club’s club manages both the Quill Awards and the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year award.

Journalists, photographers, artists and designers from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald were shortlisted in 44 shortlisted entries across 22 categories.

In November, Chenoweth and Tadros won three Walkley category awards, along with the Gold Walkey top prize, for their reporting of the scandal.

The pair took out the prestigious investigative journalism and business journalism awards, and together with columnists James Thomson and Joe Aston and The Fin podcast team of Lisa Murray, Alex Gow and Lap Phan, won the award for coverage of a major news event for the PwC story.

The PwC story broke in January when Chenoweth reported that PwC partner Peter Collins had been banned from working as an accountant by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) after it found he had leaked confidential government information to other people within the consulting giant. This information was then used to develop tax schemes designed to help multinational companies sidestep the tax Mr Collins was helping Treasury design.

In May, Chenoweth and Tadros broke the story of a cache of internal emails that revealed the leak had gone much further than previously known. It was followed by dozens of stories over the following months, exclusively exposing the deep disquiet within PwC, the growing political crisis, and the internal struggle between the Tax Office and the TPB.

The aftershock

The story ultimately led to the breaking up of PwC in Australia, the biggest crackdown on misconduct by tax advisers in Australian history and unprecedented scrutiny of the consulting sector.

It has also triggered three parliamentary inquiries, an Australian Federal Police investigation, nine additional investigations by the TPB and eight Treasury reviews into the professional services sector.

These investigations and reviews continue but are likely to lead to world-leading reform of the sector.

The other finalists in the journalist of the year award are: The Sydney Morning Heraldinvestigative journalist Kate McClymont for her coverage of indecent assault claims against broadcaster Alan Jones, The Age’s Nick McKenzie for various reports, and Stephanie March of the ABC for her coverage of global affairs.

Financial Review journalists have won the Graham Perkin journalist of the year award three times since these began in 1976: Robert Gottliebsen in 1977, Rowan Callick in 1995 and Pamela Williams in 1998.

This year’s award will be announced on March 15.