Two of television journalism's elder statesmen grabbed the limelight at the 2010 Walkley Awards, with Laurie Oakes taking the night's top award and Kerry O'Brien being honoured for his contributions to Australian journalism.
In an eventful year for Australian politics, coverage of the election and other political issues had a sizeable presence. Having earlier won the award for television news reporting, Oakes claimed the Gold Walkley in recognition of his reporting of leaks that he received during the election campaign.
The Nine Network's political editor made headlines after challenging Julia Gillard with the claim that she had reneged on a leadership deal with Kevin Rudd, and another that Ms Gillard had privately opposed paid parental leave and an increase to the aged pension.
The judges said that the reverberations following the leaks highlighted the impact of the stories.
"The question Laurie Oakes put to Julia Gillard [at the National Press Club] was inescapable - it was like a half-nelson. Showing the depth of sources at his disposal, the Canberra veteran trumped everybody and totally derailed the election campaign," the panel said.
Oakes had previously won the 1998 prize for journalistic leadership and the television news reporting award in 2001.
On what was his final night as the host of The 7.30 Report, O'Brien featured prominently, capping off his time at the ABC's flagship current affairs programme by taking home two Walkleys.
The first of the evening was the award for journalism leadership, which recognises outstanding acts of integrity and bravery in the practice of journalism. He also won in the broadcasting and online interviewing category for his interviews with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott.
The prize for the year's best scoop went to The Sydney Morning Herald's national affairs correspondent Lenore Taylor, for the explosive story in which she revealed that the Government had decided to shelve its proposed emissions trading scheme for at least three years. Taylor's rivals in the category were Oakes and the ABC's Mark Simkin and Chris Uhlmann.
While Simkin and Uhlmann missed out, the ABC featured prominently among the award-winners. The broadcaster won a total of seven awards across all media, including Stephen Long in the radio news and current affairs reporting category, and Mary Ann Jolley and Andrew Geoghegan in the international media category.
SBS took home three awards across television and radio, with videojournalists from Dateline taking out both of the television current affairs reporting categories.
Among print outlets, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald each had three winners, while The Age, The Australian Financial Review, and The Daily Telegraph had winners in two categories.
The award for best online journalism went to Andrew Meares of smh.com.au and nationaltimes.com.au for his ongoing photographic account of the federal election campaign.