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Back-to-back awards for InDaily young gun

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InDaily journalist Bension Siebert has been named best young journalist in the SA Media Awards for the second year running, with judges praising his "admirable capacity for digging beneath the surface of local government events".

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In addition to winning the Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist for a body of work at Saturday’s awards ceremony, Siebert was also a finalist in the Investigative Journalism award for a series of articles titled “Adelaide Streetlights Tender”.

“Bension Siebert’s reports reveal an admirable capacity for digging beneath the surface of local government events and issues to discover relationships and situations that have the potential to go seriously wrong,” the judges of the Best Young Journalist award said.

“After one such story, a group of Adelaide councils withdrew a tender for $50 million worth of street lights. Local government might be where citizens are most likely to come in contact with their representatives, but Bension’s reporting is where they are most likely to encounter clear explanations of what their councillors are doing.

“His ability to inspect complicated documents and complex situations and explain them in a language all his readers can understand is praiseworthy indeed.”

InDaily editor David Washington said Siebert’s back-to-back wins in the young journalist category were well-deserved.

“Not only is he a fine reporter with a keen nose for news, he’s also scrupulously fair and highly ethical,” Washington said.

The 2017 Journalist of the Year was Alex Mann, of ABC’s 7:30, who judges said had shown “exceptional versatility and insight, patience with research and well-honed presentation”.

“The same compassionate insight and delicacy of touch that told the euthanasia story of Max Bromson, came to bear in a fastidiously-researched analysis of the Cy Walsh verdict and yet again, on the coverage of a dying Foxes Fan willing himself to stay alive, for just one more victory by his team,” the judges said.

Today Tonight‘s Hendrik Gout won the Investigative Journalism award for a trilogy of stories about the fraudulent activities of purported charity Camp Gallipoli, while The Advertiser‘s Lauren Novak was named Best Print / Digital Journalist for her reporting on sexism, child protection and domestic violence.

Samela Harris was inducted to the Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism for a career that has included being the first non-social-pages female writer at The News, the first female football columnist in Australia, and inaugural online editor of The Advertiser.

The Best Radio Broadcaster was Caroline Winter, of the ABC, and Best Photographer was The Advertiser‘s Tom Huntley.

The full list of winners is on the MEAA website.

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