Walkley Awards 2017 Terms and Conditions

Entries Open: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Entries close: Midnight Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

All entries must have been published, broadcast or televised in Australia in the 12 months from Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017. Eligibility for the Walkley Awards is based on independent acts of journalism, free from any commercial or corporate interests.

All entrants must certify that their entry, apart from normal subeditorial/production treatment, is their original work and that they have adhered to the MEAA Code of Ethics in the work preparation, undertake to continue to abide by the Code of Ethics and have complied with all copyright requirements.


  • Entry is open to journalists residing in Australia working for an Australian media outlet on a work visa, Australian citizens or permanent residents. Entry is also open to Australian citizens working for international news outlets whose work is available to an Australian audience.
  • Entry is open to Australian journalists who have self-published, including blogs and social media.
  • Self-published entrants should provide relevant URL links and where possible, verification of the work’s authenticity. If the entrant is verifying their own work they must make this clear in their supporting statement.
  • All entries must declare any legal complaints, defamation actions, contempt of court actions, suppression orders, challenges to the accuracy, corrections or claims of plagiarism, relevant to the work at the time of entry.
  • To facilitate easy access for judging, entrants should provide URLs not restricted by any pay wall. If that proves infeasible, the entry should provide a username and password for judges, plainly indicated in the supporting statement, or upload PDF copies of their work.
  • Entrants must declare if the creation of the work involved payment for information or an interview.
  • Entrants are allowed to submit the same entry into any two categories either as an individual, as a group or team entry. Entrants must complete a new and separate submission for each award category.
  • Each entrant may enter only once in each category. The exception is with group or team entries. In this instance you may submit up to two entries per category. That is: one single entry and one group or team entry, or two different group or team entries.
  • Group entries may include two or three names, with one person nominated as the primary contact.
  • Team entries may include any number of people with the name of the team clearly stated. One person will be the primary contact for this entry, but all names, positions and membership details should be submitted on a separate piece of paper attached to the numbered entry form when submitted with the entry. The exception is for entries to Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue, where entries can be made by a news organisation.
  • The winner in each category, except recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism award, will be a contender for the Gold Walkley.
  • Journalists entering more than one category must complete a separate entry form for each category.
  • Only journalists employed by community and regional media, or in regional bureaus of organisations, are eligible to enter the Coverage of Community/Regional Affairs category. Regional media shall be taken to include those outside of Australian capital cities and the ACT, and do include Darwin.

Cost of entry

The cost of entering the awards, including GST, is $295 per entry, except for the documentary or book award. Through its support of the Walkley Awards, MEAA covers the entry costs for its financial members as a benefit of membership. Financial members are not required to pay the entry fee except where a non-member is part of a group entry, in which case the normal entry fee ($295 only) is required.

To qualify for the Walkley entry fee waiver, MEAA members must retain financial MEAA membership for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of joining/reinstating.

The cost of entering the Walkley Documentary Award or Walkley Book Award is $260 per entry for non MEAA members.

Photographers only need to pay a single $295 entry fee to enter multiple photographic categories or prizes — but see the details in the conditions for photographers section.

Other conditions

Judges have the right to reject an entry which in their opinion does not comply with the requirements of the competition. The judges’ decision will be final. The Walkley Advisory Board reserves the right to withdraw a Walkley Award if it later finds the entrant did not comply with the entry conditions.

The entrant acknowledges that the Walkley Foundation may reproduce, broadcast and communicate materials submitted for the purpose of promoting the Awards, conducting the presentation ceremony and making the finalist and winners entries available to the public and agrees and warrants that the Foundation may use the material for these purposes.

Please keep copies of all material submitted. Entries will not be returned.

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism: Each year, the Trustees recognise the achievements of a person or group that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the highest standards of journalism – truth, rigour, integrity, fairness – over a lifetime.  Enter or nominate someone for this award HERE

Documentary entries

Eligibility: Any non-fiction film made for cinema, broadcast or web release with a running time of at least 40 minutes and a maximum time of three hours, not including entirely or scripted or improvised fictionalisations of actual events. If the documentary is part of a series that exceeds the three-hour limit entrants must choose the three hours of content they wish to be judged on i.e the first three episodes.

Entries that have appeared within regularly scheduled television current affairs programs must be documentary in nature and execution.

Number of entrants: The named entrant(s) should be the individual(s) most involved in the key journalistic and creative aspects of the filmmaking process. A maximum of three persons may be designated as entrants, at least one of whom must be the credited director who exercised directorial control.

You must submit six DVD copies of the work entered.

Presentation of the awards

Key dates:

  • 62nd Walkley Award presentation and dinner: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017
  • National finalists in most categories announced: Thursday, Oct. 19
  • Documentary and photographic finalists, including Nikon prizes, announced: Thursday, Oct. 12
  • Business finalists announced: Tuesday, Oct. 17
  • Book Award shortlist announced: Friday November 10

Judging criteria

The purpose of the Walkley Awards is to recognise creative and courageous acts of journalism that seek out the truth and give new insight to an issue.

The judges will consider the following criteria as well as those in the description for the category they are judging:

  • How the story was initiated and followed (with particular credit given for instigating or finding a story)
  • Newsworthiness, including exclusivity
  • Consideration of the resources available
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Research and investigation
  • Balance, accuracy and ethics
  • Consideration of production pressures or deadlines and time constraints
  • Demonstration of best use of the format/s in which the work was published or broadcast, including clever choices in storytelling through multimedia
  • Excellence in written or verbal communication and/or technical and production skill
  • Public impact or benefit, including audience engagement and serving specific communities

The awards seek to recognise excellence, independence, innovation and originality in storytelling and distinctive reporting. This can be through research and investigations, well-crafted and innovative presentations, news breaking single stories or engaging, entertaining and/or informative reporting.
Judges will consider the resources and time available in creating the work, the pressure and demand of reporting deadlines, and the location of the journalist, taking into consideration potential isolation or exposure to outside forces, danger or pressure in presenting a story. Read the category descriptions here

Judging process

All entries are initially judged by a three-person jury, except in the case of the photographic awards, which will have a five-person jury. The jury will recommend the best three entrants to the Walkley Advisory Board. That board will then select the winner in each category including the winner of the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year and the Gold Walkley. The Walkley Trustees select the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism winner.

Learn more about the Walkley judging process here.

How to enter the awards

The Walkley Awards recognise that journalism today draws on a broad range of interactive tools and multimedia platforms, including social media, data journalism, podcasting, blogging and video journalism.

Complete the entry form registration online (except for photography categories), print a PDF version of your confirmation email and send it in with the following material. Failure to supply the following may result in disqualification of the entry.

Entry pdf

Print/Text entries

Send one copy of your entire entry saved to USB and a copy of your signed entry form (there is a button to download a PDF version of your entry on the right-hand side under “My Entries”).

For work published digitally, please add the link to your entry when prompted. The link must be working and unaltered for judging from August to December. We still require a copy of your entry form to be mailed to us.

Radio/Audio entries

Send one copy on USB of the work entered in addition to a copy of your  entry form (there is a button to download a PDF version of your entry on the right hand side under “My Entries”).

For work available on Soundcloud or elsewhere online, please insert the link to your entry when prompted. The link must be working and unaltered for judging from August to December.

Television/Audio-Visual entries

Send one copy on USB or DVD of the work entered. Each entry must all include an entry form (there is a button to download a PDF version of your entry on the right hand side under “My Entries”).

For work available online/YouTube etc., please insert the link to your entry when prompted. The link must be working and unaltered for judging from August to December.

Photography entries

There is a separate online entry form for photographic entries. See instructions above in Conditions of entry for photographers. Photographers no longer need to send files or an entry statement by mail.

Cartoon entries

Cartoonists must upload their work electronically. During the online entry process, you will be prompted to upload your work as a PDF or JPEG. New in 2017, cartoonists enter a single image.


Book entries

The Walkley Book Award specifically recognises journalism in book form, and is open to all examples of journalistic non-fiction works. Please forward six full versions of the published work, in addition to the online form. Titles can be an edited collection of up to five people, can be on Australian or international subject matter, and can be historical in context. Entries may be a joint collaboration. All titles must be submitted by the writer and authorised by the publisher. Authors must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Books will not be eligible if a significant portion has been previously published in book form. 

If you have any questions or need help please contact either Lauren Dixon lauren.dixon@walkleys.com / (02) 9333 0913 or Barbara Blackman barbara.blackman@walkleys.com / (02) 9333 0921