2016 Women’s Leadership in Media Award winner: Jess Hill
Entry: The Monthly & RN Background Briefing, “Home Truths: The costs and causes of domestic violence”, “A Cycle of Violence”, “Suffer the children: Trouble in the Family Court”
Jess Hill is a freelance investigative reporter for the The Monthly and Background Briefing. In 2011, while she was a producer for ABC Radio Current Affairs, she represented Australia on the Edward R Murrow Fellowship in the United States, and a few months later, moved to Cairo as Middle East correspondent for The Global Mail. In 2012, Foreign Policy ranked her in the top 100 women to follow on Twitter, and in 2013, she was one of Cosmopolitan’s 30 most influential women under 30. In 2015, her reporting on domestic violence won three Our Watch Walkley awards, including the inaugural Gold Award for reporting on violence against women. She’s currently writing a book about domestic violence in Australia, due out in 2017. She is on Twitter @jessradio.
In naming her the inaugural winner of the Women’s Leadership in Media Award, the judges were most impressed by the scope and depth of Jess Hill’s work.
Jess said of her body of work:
“When I started researching domestic violence in 2014, I had no idea I would spend the next two years of my life on it. This work represents the areas of domestic violence that I believe people need to understand: the costs and causes of domestic violence; the central nexus of control at the heart of chronic abuse; the enormous range of perpetrators (and why they do it); and the dangerous lack of understanding in the Family Court, where women have their allegations routinely disbelieved and diminished.
“The significance of this work – and why I keep doing it – is its impact on survivors. Hundreds of women (and a few men) have contacted me to say that it wasn’t until they read/heard my stories that they even realised they were in a situation of domestic violence, which was the best feedback I could have hoped for.
This award is supported by PwC: