03 December 2014

The Weekend Financial Review and Channel 7 News take out this year’s Luminous Awards for Cancer Reporting

Jill Margo from The Weekend Financial Review and Karen O’Sullivan from Channel 7 News are the winners of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s Luminous Awards for 2014.

The winners were formally announced today at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s (COSA) 41st Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne, where each award recipient was presented with a cheque for $5,000.

"Jill and Karen’s entries impressed the judging panel. They are both well-crafted examples of high-quality journalism that explore new and interesting cancer developments and research. This year marks the tenth year of the Luminous Awards and the judging panel has remarked on the high calibre journalism that the awards continue to attract," commented John Stubbs, Chair of the Luminous Awards Australia judging panel.

Karen O’Sullivan, a previous winner of the award in 2011, took out the broadcast category once again with a report titled Cold Comfort. The segment about melanoma reported that cancer cells were destroyed by being injected with the cold virus.

“It is important to keep the public informed about melanoma especially given Australia has the highest incidence in the world. That is exactly what Karen’s reporting has done,” said John Stubbs.

Jill Margo’s entry, Big Chill: How the tiny prostate is causing men huge dilemmas, discussed the problem many men face regarding PSA testing and the possibility that the rush to diagnose and treat prostate cancer, especially in the late 20th century, was a disservice to many men.

“Jill’s reporting on this controversial topic and major health issue for older men will hopefully allay the confusion and lack of clarity around prostate cancer,” said John Stubbs.

Sophie Scott, a previous two time winner of the Luminous Award in the broadcast category, was highly commended this year for her ABC Online report on Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed by a doctor.

Michael Slezak, last year’s winner in the print category, was highly commended for his New Scientist article The Making of a Monster which explained that tumours turn invasive in sudden leaps that can now be explained genetically.

The awards are of particular interest to Mr Stubbs, Executive member of cancer advocacy organisation canSpeak and a cancer survivor of some 14 years. “With the high burden of cancer in Australia, we feel it is most important to acknowledge the work journalists do in keeping the public as well as professionals informed of relevant health information and research advances,” he said.

Entries were judged by representatives from twelve of the country’s leading cancer organisations on a series of criteria including news value, presentation of new data and research, clarity, accuracy and balance in describing the science behind the story, their creative journalistic approach and effective communication for the intended audience.

This year the Luminous Awards celebrated its 10th year of honouring excellence in cancer reporting. The Luminous Award Australia is hosted by COSA and proudly supported by Eli Lilly Australia.