First recipients revealed for Walkley Grants for Freelance Journalism

The Walkley Foundation has announced it will fund 11 journalism projects in the inaugural round of the Walkley Grants for Freelance Journalism.

The winners were selected by a committee from a field of 117 applicants on the basis that their stories would serve the public interest, make an impact and otherwise not be published.

Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said the winning projects covered a wide range of topics including the environment, health policy, banking, sport, development, school funding inequality, migrant food workers, refugees and the impact of border policies, and more.

“The stories vary from regional and community-based, to national interest and global issues,” Graham said.

The winners were announced at The Walkley Fund for Journalism Dinner held on April 5 by chair Kerry O’Brien.

The funded journalists are:

Carol Altmann
Jessica Cockerill
Michael Cruickshank
Nicole Curby
André Dao, Michael Green & Tia Kass
Erin Delahunty
Nina Funnell
Vivienne Pearson and Margaret Paton
Kylie Stevenson and Tamara Howie
Dale Webster
Brian Wilson

The winning projects will take a variety of formats, including investigative features, podcast series, multimedia stories, interactive features, data maps, an open source investigation and vignettes/profiles.

Each project will be published in the Walkley Magazine online under a Creative Commons licence, in addition to co-publishing with any publications organised by the grant winners.

“Through this program we want to foster a collaborative media environment that encourages co-publishing where journalists are funded and paid for their work,” said Graham.

The grants were launched in February, calling for story pitches on any topic, in any format (including investigations, news stories or features, but not essays or opinion) and on any media platform to request funding between $2,500-$10,000 to cover reporting costs.

The initial pool of $50,000 from the Walkley Public Fund for Journalism was boosted by an additional $25,000 contribution from the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

Also announced at The Walkley Fund for Journalism Dinner was a $10,000 grant which will support significant work of Australian journalism about an under-reported issue or development in the Pacific.

The Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism is named in honour of veteran reporter Sean Dorney who had a 40-year career as an ABC journalist in Papua New Guinea and throughout the Pacific islands region.

“Having recognised Sean’s outstanding contribution to journalism at last year’s Walkley Awards, we were very aware of his decades of inimitable work in the Pacific,” said Graham.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with Sean on this grant. It’s a practical and powerful way to empower a journalist and a media outlet to report on the Pacific, and to continue Sean’s impact and legacy in the industry he loves.”

Full terms and conditions will be available when applications open next Friday April 12. Applications close on May 7 and the winner will be announced at the Walkley Mid-Year celebration on June 26.


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