lyndalAccess ABC: ABC Radio journalist Lyndal Curtis has won the prestigious 2009 Paul Lyneham Award for Excellence in Journalism for the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.

The judges - former High Court Judge, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, the former NSW Premier, Hon Nick Greiner AC, and the former Editor of The Age, Michael Gawenda - were glowing in their praise, saying that Lyndal's work reflected "the same high standards that Paul Lyneham set himself."

"She constantly presented her stories under extremely severe deadlines," the judges said. "A feature of them was the interplay of voices expressing differing points of view all attractively packaged in a seamless whole for one of the flagships of the national broadcaster, the ABC.

"So among regular excellent contributions to the programs AM, World Today and PM, Lyndal Curtis contributed to setting the agenda which was taken up by print and other electronic media.

"Hers was reportage of a very high order all the while displaying good humour, calm and humanity and a degree of understanding of the pressures under which elected leaders and other officials operate, often with minimal appreciation."

They also gave a special commendation to Steve Lewis of News Limited for the "large impact" of his "graphically written" political reporting that would often "initiate both radio and television coverage."

Lyndal receives a $5000 cheque and will have her name inscribed on the Paul Lyneham perpetual trophy. Past winners include Matt Price, Tony Walker, Laura Tingle, Paul Daley, Mark Riley, Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy.

The Paul Lyneham Award is restricted to members of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery and is made possible by Paul Lyneham's family - wife Dorothy Horsfield, daughter Chloe and sons Joel and Mathew Lyneham.