Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9
Under Investigation’s Anushri Sood (Associate Producer), Gareth Harvey (Executive Producer), Liz Hayes (Host and Managing Editor) and Sonia Serrao (Editor). Photography: Adam Hollingworth @ HiredGun

Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9 wins National Media Diversity Award

Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9 – Channel 9’s acclaimed investigative journalism program, Under Investigation with Liz Hayes, was honoured with the prestigious Media Diversity Australia Award for its groundbreaking episode, Shots Fired, at last night’s 2024 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism, hosted by the Walkley Foundation.

The award celebrates journalists who are making an outstanding contribution through their reporting on diverse people or issues in Australia, and this is the first time any commercial television network has been recognised in this category.

Shots Fired investigated one of Australia’s most contentious criminal cases, involving the shooting of Kumanjayi Walker by former Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe.

This tragic incident sparked national debate and scrutiny. Under Investigation revisited the events of that fateful night, providing viewers with unprecedented access to police bodycam footage, exclusive interviews with key figures, including the Crown Prosecutor, community elders, and eyewitnesses.

The episode posed critical questions about the preventability of Walker’s death and explored complex issues of justice, race and policing in First Nations communities.

Recognised by the Walkley Foundation, the judges celebrated the episode for telling a “complex story in a clear, honest and nuanced way for a broad audience. The journalism is relational, involving respected community voices and key players, using a structure that centres on listening and talking to achieve greater understanding. At a time when audiences are avoiding traditional-style adversarial news, Shots Fired stands out.”

Liz Hayes said:

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be acknowledged, especially given our small yet mighty team at Under Investigation. Our mission is unwavering: to uncover the truth behind challenging and significant cases.

Shots Fired was a particularly challenging and sensitive episode for us, so receiving this award is a profound honour that truly celebrates the relentless effort and dedication of our entire team. At UI, we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned, and we’re eager to continue this important work.”

Executive Producer of UI, Gareth Harvey, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for our program and our talented team. It’s an immense privilege for Under Investigation, a leader in investigative journalism programming, to be awarded with the Media Diversity Australia Award – the first time for any commercial television network.

“This recognition is a testament to the dedication of everyone involved. Producing this program is incredibly rewarding and has a ripple effect beyond each episode, marking an even greater achievement.”


About the Show

Australia’s ultimate investigative program returns in a riveting new season of Under Investigation with Liz Hayes, featuring fresh mysteries, cold cases and cover-ups, from Wednesday, February 7, at 9.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.

For the program’s 2024 season, acclaimed journalist Liz Hayes takes the UI investigations to a compelling new level. Hayes travels to crime scene locations, joins forensic scientists in their laboratories and interviews witnesses and victims. Formidable teams of experts in every criminal and scientific field analyse the cases at Under Investigation’s signature War Table. 

Launching the new series of UI, there is a dramatic reinvestigation into the fatal shooting of Queensland mother Leanne Sleba. Killed by her husband Geoffrey, while searching for a snake on their rural property, Leanne’s death was ruled an accident. But UI’s experts have questions, and Hayes takes to the road seeking answers. At a ballistics range, the details of Leanne’s shooting in the back are tested with live fire, and snake experts recreate the conditions similar to those on that fateful night, to shed more light on the usual habits of these reptiles.

After a most unusual request, UI will also test the innocence of a man accused of murder. Graham Stafford – who police believe killed 12-year-old Leanne Holland. Stafford willingly submits himself to Liz Hayes and UI’s team of experts in an attempt to clear his name. Charged and convicted of the brutal 1991 murder, then acquitted after 15 years in prison, Stafford has maintained his innocence, despite Queensland Police publicly declaring there was powerful new evidence to prove his guilt. To try to resolve the case once and for all, Hayes works with a team of independent forensic scientists. Their dramatic results punctuate a powerful program.

UI also probes the mysterious disappearance of Queensland woman Sandrine Jourdan, who vanished without trace in a matter of minutes.

Computer analysis of Sandrine’s laptops reveals startling evidence that casts new light on the case. UI has also employed a handwriting expert, and in a specially created Evidence Room, Hayes and veteran detective Damian Marrett sift through personal items found near the place where Sandrine was last seen alive.

Also on UI’s case file: the suspicious death of a young man under witness protection. No one should have known his new identity or location. Then Hayes tracks the terrible crimes of one of Western Australia’s most brutal serial rapists – a predator in police uniform. Internationally, UI takes on the “Spy Nation” and reveals how China is targeting the personal data of all Australians. And when beautiful, high-achieving teenager Eden Westbrook is found dead in an idyllic Tasmanian fishing village, it would have the whole world asking questions.

Liz Hayes said:

“Our program is about shining a light on difficult and sometimes very dark stories. But it’s always about uncovering the truth, and importantly, offering the families and friends of victims a chance at finding out what happened to someone they love.

“This season I’m venturing out of the studio to meet witnesses, and see for myself some of the crime scenes. I’ll also join our experts in their laboratories and out in the field as they test key pieces of evidence. It’s all about bringing as much information as possible to the War Table.

“This season, Under Investigation is offering our viewers what I hope will be an intriguing and immersive experience.”

Under Investigation with Liz Hayes is produced by the 9Network. 

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Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9

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Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9

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Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Channel 9

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