Our Watch Awards
Entries have closed.
About the Our Watch Awards
Our Watch’s national media awards scheme, which is administered by the Walkley Foundation, recognises and rewards exemplary reporting on violence against women, in particular reporting that highlights the causes of violence and what we as a society can do to prevent it. The Our Watch Awards are funded by the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts.
The Our Watch Awards are open to all journalists and media organisations for work produced in Australia during the eligibility period of July 8, 2017 through to July 7, 2018.
- Best Use of Social Media
- All Media: Best News Coverage
- All Media: Best Series or Special
- All Media: Best Local/Community Journalism
- All Media: Best Longform
- All Media: Best Journalism Campaign
The Our Watch Gold Award winner is selected from the above categories.
Entries across all Our Watch Awards categories are free and open to all journalists and media organisations for work produced in Australia.
The Awards are designed to recognise and reward exemplary reporting to end violence against women, in particular reporting that highlights the causes of violence and what we as a society can do to prevent it from happening in the first place. The Our Watch Awards are administered by the Walkley Foundation.
Gina McColl was named winner of the 2017 Gold Our Watch Award for her entry ‘Gendered violence at work’ for The Age.
McColl’s two-month investigation revealed that sexual harassment in the workplace is a daily and damaging occurrence for women across a wide range of industries.
“Gina’s in-depth investigations gave a voice to employees who had been expected to accept that harassment from customers was harmless and ‘part of the job’,” the Our Watch Awards judges commented on the piece.
“In addition to shining a light on an issue that has received little attention, McColl’s work achieved real change, prompting a hospitality industry campaign to keep female staff safe.”
Find the full list of 2017 Our Watch Award winners here.
The judging process
The Our Watch Awards judging process is administered by the Walkley Foundation and follows the processes put in place for the Walkley Awards.
It’s a peer-judging process that requires the rigorous efforts of professionals chosen from across all areas of journalism and those working in the field who are fighting to prevent violence against women and their children.
The two-tier judging process is in line with the Walkleys ethos of encouraging excellence in the media industry.
Four judges (2 x journalists and 2 x industry professionals) are assigned to each Our Watch category. Judges are carefully selected to ensure a balance of:
- Media organisations
- Geographic mix/states
- Expertise in a medium
- Industry experience
These expert panels are given at least two weeks to review the entries for their category before meeting in person or via teleconference to select three finalists and the winner of their category. As the panels are made up of journalists and industry professionals they all bring unique and expert skills sets to the judging table.
The winner of each category then goes in the running to win the Gold Our Watch Award. The Gold Our Watch Award judging panel includes the winner of the previous year’s Gold Our Watch Award, the Our Watch CEO or senior staff member and a senior journalist and industry professional.
Judges are supplied with appraisal forms to help evaluate entries according to different criteria. And they are also given guidelines encouraging them to consider factors such as resources, demands on time and geographic location.
The entire judging process is confidential.
What happens when a conflict of interest arises?
The Walkley conflict guidelines are based on the understanding that in all cases an actual conflict of interest in judging is to be avoided and that even a perceived conflict can be damaging to all parties.
A conflict is considered to arise where a judge has a personal or professional relationship with a person, which may throw into question their ability to fairly and independently judge their entry. Being from the same news organisation does not necessarily make it a conflict of interests.
Prior to judging, all panels are sent a list of entrants to the categories they will judge which enables them to identify possible conflicts and alert the Walkley Foundation and other judges. The onus for declaring a conflict falls on individual judges.
If a possible conflict is raised, judges are called together to discuss it and decide whether this will have any influence on the judging process. A judge may abstain or remove themselves from judging all together or another judge may be called in to fill the gaps.
For award entry questions please contact Lauren Dixon: email@example.com / 02 9333 0913.
For information on Our Watch or reporting guidelines and resources, please contact Clare Kermond, Senior Adviser Media and Communications Our Watch: firstname.lastname@example.org / 03 8692 9510 / 0438 507405.
Background and more information
The creation of the Our Watch Awards in 2015 coincided with the launch of the Media Representations of Violence Against Women report, which examined the nature of reporting of violence against women in Australia in 2015. This research from Our Watch and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) was the first national study of its kind.
The Our Watch Awards are funded by the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.
For more information about a service in your state or local area, download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.
For more resources for journalists visit the Our Watch website.