Australian Regional Media online news editor Owen Jacques with wife Bianca Clare and daughter Madeleine Jacques at the Amnesty Media Awards in Sydney this week.
Australian Regional Media online news editor Owen Jacques with wife Bianca Clare and daughter Madeleine Jacques at the Amnesty Media Awards in Sydney this week.

Death Ship investigation wins Amnesty International award

SUNSHINE Coast journalist Owen Jacques has taken out one of Amnesty International Australia's top gongs at its annual media awards in Sydney this week.

The online news editor for Australian Regional Media - which publishes this website - took home the Print/Online category for his two-year investigation into how three men mysteriously died aboard the Sage Sagittarius coal ship.

His work was the first to report allegations of abuse aboard the ship, which led to a coroner being appointed to investigate the cases through an inquest.

READ THE SERIES: Aboard The Death Ship pt1: What killed the chief cook?

A Senate Inquiry will also examine the international shipping industry more broadly, after Mr Jacques published a series which included claims the ship's captain was physically and verbally abusing a homosexual crewmen and illegally running guns on board.

The Sagittarius has previously visited Queensland ports of Abbot Point, Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane.

Also competing for the best online/print report were two entries from Fairfax Media and one from The Australian.
 

The award was presented by SBS managing digital editor John Bergin and Amnesty International Australia director Claire Mallinson.

Accepting the award, Mr Jacques said it was a "tremendous honour" to be recognised by Amnesty International Australia for his work.

He also thanked his wife Bianca Clare - who works at the Sunshine Coast Daily as news director  - and who attended the ceremony with their four-month-old daughter Madeleine Jacques.

Bryce Johns, Australian Regional Media's editorial director, said the win was proof investigative journalism was not dead.

''Owen led this project fantastically but carving out that time for him is no easy thing. We do it because it's our job to tell the important stories on our patch,'' he said.

His work examining the Sage Sagittarius won a Queensland Clarion Award in 2014 for Best Regional Report and was a finalist for Best Investigative Reporting category.



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