Siobhan McHugh's investigative journalism podcast 'The Last Voyage of the Pong Su', a commercial research collaboration part of The Age newspaper, took out the Melbourne Press Club Quills Award for Best Podcast on Friday night. This is a prestigious award in which the McHugh's podcast beat entries from The Australian and the ABC.
The podcast investigates a failed North Korean drug heist on Victoria's shipwreck coast and seeks to humanise both the crew of the North Korean cargo ship involved and the Australian police and legal teams who pursue them.
The Last Voyage of the Pong Su utilised exceptional investigative skills, original police wiretaps and surveillance audio and research. It was creatively drawn together in a compelling and riveting narrative. Strong use of sound effects, creative audio, and a vast range of witness accounts from locals, police and political experts demonstrated the ability of the podcast to be a powerful journalistic medium.
This is Siobhan's third award-winning podcast collaboration with The Age. She is currently writing about all three for a chapter in a forthcoming Routledge anthology and a mainstream book. They also inform Siobhan's teaching; though on sabbatical at the moment, she is doing a guest lecture on this topic for Aaron Burton's subject BCM303 Collaborative Production Workshop on March 25th.