Overall, judges will be looking for journalistic courage and creativity in Walkley entries.
In all cases, "report" refers to either a single report or a collection of reports/coverage of an event, subject or issue, although entrants are limited to submitting no more than three pieces of work per category. Only one entry per category is allowed.
The Walkleys recognise excellence for senior journalists in the following categories:
Outstanding contribution to journalism: Each year, the Trustees recognise the achievements of someone who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the highest standards of journalism – truth, rigour, integrity, fairness – over a lifetime. Nominations can be made through state branches of the Alliance or directly in writing to the Walkley Foundation Trustees, 245 Chalmers Street, Redfern NSW 2016.
Journalism leadership: In recognition of outstanding acts of courage and integrity in the practice of journalism. Persons wishing to nominate cases should write to the Chairman of the Board, c/– The Walkley Foundation. Nominations could include examples of previous work, citations from senior media and other personal references.
Gold Walkley: The Walkley Advisory Board chooses the winner of the Gold Walkley from among the winners of all other categories, except the “Journalism leadership” and “Outstanding contribution to journalism” awards.
Long Form Journalism
Walkley Book Award: The Walkley book award specifically recognises journalism in book form, and is open to all examples of journalistic non-fiction works by Australian writers. Entries may cover a diversity of issues, from true crime and biographies through to political analysis, business, war reportage, investigative journalism and foreign correspondence, for example. Authors must be Australian citizens or residents of Australia. Titles can be an edited collection by no more than five authors, can be on an Australian or international subject matter and/or historical in context. Entrants must submit the Walkley Book Award Entry Form.
The Walkley Documentary Award: The Walkley Documentary Award will recognise excellence in documentary production that is grounded in the principles of journalism – accuracy, impact, public benefit, ethics, creativity, research and reporting – together with rigorous filmmaking. The award is open to a variety of documentary storytelling styles and the judges will be looking for courage and creativity in concept, approach and execution.
Documentaries may encompass and in-depth examination of issues of local, national or international importance or of contemporary or historic events and may include investigative, biographical and first person stories that reflect the emotion and drama of the human experience.
Eligibility: any non-fiction film made for cinema, broadcast or web release with a running time of at least 40 minutes, NOT including entirely scripted or improvised fictionalisations of actual events. 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, one of whom must be the credited director who exercised directorial control.
Print & Wire Service Journalism
News Report: In this category, up to THREE related news items may be entered. Judges are particularly looking for courageous journalism, as well as writing excellence, accuracy, storytelling, newsworthiness, ethics, research, impact and public benefit.
Newspaper Feature Writing: Keeping in mind the parameters of the medium, creativity, originality and writing flair will be highly regarded in this category, in addition to the general criteria.
Magazine Feature Writing: Keeping in mind the parameters of the medium, creativity, originality and writing flair will be highly regarded in this category, in addition to the general criteria.
Three headings: Sub-editors can enter their three best headlines. Judges will be looking for originality, flair and the headline’s relevance to the story it heads.
Artwork & Cartoon
The artwork category has expanded. Judges will be looking for artwork, illustrations, digital photo illustrations or information graphics displaying creativity, innovation and style, combined with artistic technique.
Cartoon: Creativity, innovation, wit and style will ideally combine with newsworthiness and artistic technique for the winner of the best cartoon award.
There is a new entry system for photography category entries. Go to www.walkleys.com and click on the separate ‘photography entry’ button where you will be sent to upload your images and give a brief description of the images, publication and dates. After you have completed the entire uploading process you may hit the submit button and the rest of your contact details will be gathered. There is no longer a need for you to send in a separate disc or entry statement.
All photographers may also enter the relevant all-media category, eg. 'International journalism', but entry into any all-media category must be done on the Walkley entry website. You will need to post them in on a disc together with your confirmation email with entry number for that particular category. The disc should also be clearly marked with your name and entry number.
Entries to all photography categories may be either a single photograph or a series (up to five images) on the same subject – except in the case of photographic essay (up to 12 images), portrait (one image only) and press photographer of the year (six to eight images).
News photography: Newsworthiness, impact, technical superiority, creativity and originality will be looked at in this category. This category incorporates the previous categories of spot and general news, but still includes the criteria of capturing an exclusive or spontaneous news moment and depicting news-value images on the day. Up to five images on one subject, story or event (not theme) may be entered.
Daily life/feature photography: Images submitted for feature or magazine purposes. Ideally, they should be human-interest photos displaying creativity, originality and technical photographic excellence.
Sport: This category will reward those who capture the emotion and drama of sport. Entries may show action and/or feature imagery in the sporting arena. Will be judged on an entry of up to five images on one subject, story or event (not theme)
Photographic essay: Up to 12 images of a news or feature story, of which one photograph must have been published.
Nikon-Walkley press photographer of the year: Entrants must submit a body of work of six to eight images showing the photographer’s range and self-editing skill. Body of work can encompass any genre.
Nikon-Walkley photographic prizes: Nikon-Walkley prizes are awarded before the Walkley Awards Gala Ceremony. Winners receive a prize from Nikon, and their work is showcased in the Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Finalists exhibition. Images entered in Nikon-Walkley prizes can also be entered in other photographic and all-media categories.
Nikon-Walkley Prize for Portrait Photography: Recognising excellence in portraiture, photographers can enter a single image for this Nikon-Walkley prize.
Nikon-Walkley Prize for Community/Regional Photography: Celebrating the best work of photographers working in regional and community media, entries for this Nikon-Walkley prize can comprise up to five images.
In radio, judges will take into account the resources available for the preparation of the work entered and the collaborative nature of this medium.
News and current affairs reporting: The criteria are newsworthiness, courage, impact, immediacy and making use of the qualities of the medium in reporting news and pursuing excellence in journalism. High regard will be paid to research, writing, production, incisiveness, impact, the public benefit and journalistic ethics.
Feature, documentary or broadcast special: Here, radio journalists have the time to research and explore news issues and current affairs in a longer format.
In television, judges will take into account the resources available for the preparation of the work entered, and the collaborative nature of this medium.
News reporting: In particular, the judges will reward reports demonstrating newsworthiness, courage, impact, incisiveness, public benefit and ethics. Entries in this category may be a single short news report or no more than three related reports on the same subject.
Current affairs reporting (less than 20 minutes): This category was created to recognise daily current affairs and analysis of news events. Reports should highlight research, public benefit, ethics, courage and impact.
Current affairs report, feature, documentary or special (more than 20 minutes): This category will recognise excellence in long-form current affairs, highlighting research, impact, storytelling and public impact.
Best online journalism: This category was created to showcase, benchmark and promote the professionalism of online journalism. It recognises original, courageous and ethical journalism in the evolving online field. The judges will also take into consideration innovative techniques in news gathering and presentation including interactives, multimedia, audio, video, animation and live interaction, crowd-sourcing and modes of distribution.
The all-media awards recognise all forms of media, including photography, print news and features, radio and television news and documentaries and/or a collaborative effort by a group or team of journalists or a media organisation.
Sustained Coverage of an Issue or Event: This category displays tenacity and creativity in sustained-coverage of an issue or event over time but the entry must consist of work during the current Walkley period of entry (1 September 2010 – 31 August 2011). Each entry should include the initial story and up to four subsequent stories over the course of days, weeks, or months. The progression of the initial developing story should be apparent from the follow-up coverage. Each entry must be accompanied by a supporting statement of up to 400 words. Details should include the story's chronology and circumstances affecting its gathering and presentation as well as resources available. It should recognise innovation and creativity, and the use of new technology and either single or multi platforms in the presentation of news and information. It can include an entire media organisation or individuals working across a range of platforms. Access to any online entries must be available during August to November 2011.
Scoop of the year: This award seeks to recognise the journalistic resourcefulness applied to breaking news through what is traditionally known as a ‘scoop’. A scoop is defined as a report which contains revelatory facts which inform and change public understanding or knowledge of an issue or event. The judges will be looking for a significant revelation, with public impact. It will display the skill of the journalist in getting the information and having it published or broadcast, and the degree of difficulty in so doing. Supporting documentation should include a chronology and must include and document the exact moment of broadcast or publication.
Business journalism: This award recognises excellence in business, economics and finance journalism.
Broadcast Camerawork: This category has been expanded to include photographers working on online video and soundslides. This category still recognises camera work in Australian news, current affairs and documentary.
Coverage of community and regional affairs: This category is open only to journalists working in the suburban or regional media and recognises their role in reporting on and informing their local communities.
International journalism: This award recognises excellence in international journalism in the Australian media.
Investigative journalism: Recognising its valuable role, this category will reward well-researched and presented investigations.
Coverage of Indigenous affairs: This award recognises excellence in coverage of Indigenous issues. Journalists and photographers working in both the Indigenous and mainstream media are encouraged to enter.
Sport reporting: A story or series of stories on a sporting issue. Judges are looking for impact, newsworthiness and will reward ethics, creativity and application of the story to the sporting media. Analysis, breaking investigations and comment can also be considered.
Social equity journalism: This award recognises the vital role of public service journalism and media reporting which addresses issues relating to social and economic equality, human rights and participatory democracy. The award will be given to journalism that measures business, governmental and social affairs against clear ideals of the common good.
Commentary, analysis, opinion and critique: This category is open to those journalists involved in comment and analysis and includes leader writers, reviewers and opinion columnists covering arts, sports, business or politics. Entrants should submit three samples, not necessarily related, to be judged as indicative of their work.
Broadcast and online interviewing: Based on three samples indicative of an entrant’s work, this category will be awarded to consistently good journalism in either radio, television or online. Judges will be looking for excellence in interviewing, both live and pre-recorded, and/or hosting live broadcasts.