eporter Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were tonight recognised with the Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism in the Television/Video: News Reporting category for their courageous broadcasting efforts after being assaulted by US riot police live on air while covering a Black Lives Matter protest just a stone’s throw from the White House.
The team were broadcasting live to Seven’s Sunrise on June 1 when Myers was assaulted with an armoured shield, and Brace hit with a truncheon, as police violently cleared Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. Despite their injuries, the pair went on to broadcast non-stop for some 12 hours to Australia across Sunrise, 7NEWS and The Latest.
Myers’ images of the protest police aggressively clearing peaceful protesters were hailed as depicting a violation of constitutional rights and an infringement on press freedoms. Brace later addressed a US congressional committee about the incident as part of a broader investigation into the police response to peaceful protesters that day, where she made a stand on the importance of a free press.
“Brave and composed, Amelia Brace and Tim Myers were a standout. When they were both physically attacked during a live cross, Brace stayed on the air for several minutes amid the chaos, continuing to provide nuanced and incisive commentary. They showed courage and strong news judgement, maintaining clarity of message while under fire." - Judges comments.
"This story was never about us. It’s about the people who were peacefully and legally protesting. We’re grateful and humbled that our coverage drew attention to what happened that day. It was a confronting moment for America and certainly for us. We hope this serves as a reminder of the important role of the media and the need for us to do our jobs safely. Tim and I appreciate the ongoing support of the team at Seven and the recognition of the Walkley Foundation. I, personally, appreciate Tim’s professionalism, camera work and, most of all, friendship through those days and weeks in Washington, and the many years in the US." - Amelia Brace, 7NEWS reporter.
"Amelia Brace and Tim Myers’ coverage of protests outside the White House had a profound impact around the world. The far-reaching nature of their reporting, their storytelling ability and their gripping pictures provided a raw insight into the civil unrest that was engulfing the US. Brace and Myers showed not only outstanding camera work but also outstanding courage. They were live on-air outside the White House when riot police violently moved in, assaulting both Australians. Myers was struck in the stomach by a shield and punched in the face; Brace was struck in the back with a truncheon and gassed with a chemical irritant. Both were hit with non-lethal rounds from automatic weapons. They displayed composure under stress, continuing to broadcast live as they made their way to safety." - The Walkley Foundation
"You shouldn’t become the story by simply doing your job but in the chaos the world witnessed there are circumstances you have no control over. Amelia and Tim produced fearless and measured reporting across a frantic 24 hours. The award is a tribute to their courage and poise under extreme pressure." - Craig McPherson, Network Director of News and Public Affairs
The pinnacle of achievement for any Australian journalist, the annual Walkley Awards recognise creative and courageous acts of journalism that seek out truth and give new insight to an issue’ and reward excellence, independence, innovation and originality in storytelling and distinctive reporting across 30 categories.