Walkley Foundation opens up $110,000 grant pool for public interest journalism

The Walkley Foundation has opened up a $110,000 grant pool to fund public interest journalism, split across three grant categories: Walkley Grants for Freelance Journalism on Regional Australia ($75,000), the Judith Neilson Institute Freelance Grant for Asian Journalism ($25,000), and the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism (one $10,000 grant).

Applications are open now and close 26 April 2020, with the winners to be announced at the Walkley Mid-Year Celebration on 17 June.

A total of $75,000 – funded by the Walkley Public Fund and Twitter – will be put towards grants for freelance journalists to produce a “significant work of journalism” covering regional Australia, in any medium.

The grant courtesy of the Judith Neilson Institute – set up by the philanthropist to support journalism – will provide a total of $25,000 in grants for freelance journalists telling stories about the Asian region in “intelligent and compelling ways”.

And finally, one $10,000 grant will allow an Australian journalist, whether freelance or on staff, to produce journalism that “will give voice to Pacific island perspectives on an under-reported issue or development of importance to Australia and the region”. Named after the foreign correspondent who has spent his career covering the Pacific, particularly, Papua New Guinea, the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism will be awarded annually.

Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said the grants will allow journalists to do vital work.

“Public interest journalism has never been more important in Australia, and we’re delighted to be able to invest from the Walkley Public Fund into helping journalists, particularly freelance journalists, to tell the stories that matter for Australians,” Graham said.

“This year we’re pleased to have support from partners to offer more grants than ever before, to a total of $110,000. The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas are supporting grants for freelancers to cover the complex and important stories coming out of Asia, and Twitter Australia are supporting grants for freelance journalism that reports on regional Australia.

“For the second year we’re also awarding the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism, continuing the legacy of one of our greatest foreign correspondents and his dedication to the Pacific islands region.”


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