One of Australia’s most successful investigative reporters, Bob Bottom, has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to journalism and the exposure of corruption.
Mr Bottom received the award last week at a graduation ceremony for students of Brisbane-based journalism college Jschool.
Director of Jschool Professor John Henningham conferred the school’s first honorary Doctor of Journalism degree on Mr Bottom.
Professor Henningham said the award recognised Mr Bottom’s achievements over more than 40 years, particularly his investigations into organised crime and corruption in Australia. He said Mr Bottom’s reporting had been responsible for the establishment of 18 Royal Commissions or other forms of official inquiry into crime and corruption.
Queensland-based Mr Bottom said he was honoured by the recognition.
He said he had never sought awards as as he considered journalism to be a public service.
As guest speaker at the graduation ceremony Mr Bottom delivered a spirited defence of the role played by community-based newspapers such as The Independent.
He said community newspapers played a vital role in the Australian media.
“You should be just as proud if you get a front-page story in The Independentas you would be if you got one in The Sydney Morning Herald,” Mr Bottom said.
Mr Bottom himself publishes a successful newspaper at Bribie Island and has previously owned and operated several other community newspapers.
This year’s Jschool graduates have written a number of stories for The Independent as part of their course work.