Veteran editor Colin Duck has been awarded the Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award for a career in journalism, editing and publishing spanning more than five decades.
As editor of Melbourne’s Sun News-Pictorial in the late 1980s Colin reversed a decade-long circulation decline and broke many major stories. Following The Sun’s merger with the Herald in 1990 he moved into management, serving as CEO of magazine group Pacific Publications and the Geelong Advertiser.
Each year, the Melbourne Press Club honours a journalist or journalists whose career has left an extraordinary mark on Victorian and/or Australian journalism. The honour, presented at the annual Quill Awards dinner each March, is bestowed at the discretion of the MPC board.
Introducing Colin’s award this year, MPC board member and media lawyer Justin Quill confided that, as Colin’s nephew, he had been inspired to work in the realm of media by his uncle’s professional life and achievements.
Colin began his career at the Warrnambool Standard, joined the Melbourne Herald then spent a period overseas working on London’s Fleet St and at Radio Free Europe in Munich. After returning to Melbourne he took on the editorship of Listener In magazine (which became TV Scene), was made deputy editor of the Herald, then served as editor of the Sunday Press before being appointed to The Sun in 1986. With his friend Martin Thomas he co-wrote the book Whose Baby?, which was made into a very successful television mini-series by Hector Crawford.
Colin retired from full-time work in 2003 but currently runs the website sportshounds.com.au, which showcases writing from a number of well-known former journalists. Last year during the Melbourne lockdowns he published a light, humorous daily publication, the Covid Chronicle, which was circulated to both local and internationally-based friends and colleagues, to provide some cheer.