Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism: Inaugural Winners

And the winners are…

Skye Doherty

Skye Doherty

Skye Doherty, “NewsCube”

NewsCube is an application designed to encourage collaboration and storytelling from multiple perspectives. The judges were intrigued by this ambitious concept and Doherty’s vision for “cubes”, or multi-faceted digital stories, which can be added to and built upon. A grant will help Doherty build and test a beta version of NewsCube.

“The aim is to enhance user engagement with content, facilitate collaboration, and encourage depth to reporting,” Doherty said. “I am honoured to receive the grant, and I think initiatives like this are important for journalism to transition from an industrial model to a more creative and flexible one, in which innovation and technology are central.”

Skye Doherty has more than 10 years’ journalism experience in Australia, Southeast Asia and the UK, including six years in production roles at the Financial Times. Since 2009 she has taught digital and interactive journalism at the University of Queensland, where she’s working on a PhD in interaction design. Twitter: @skyedoherty


Tim Dunlop

Tim Dunlop


Hugh Martin

Tim Dunlop and Hugh Martin, “The News Franchise”

This project would offer professional journalists, community organisations, businesses and other content providers the chance to franchise a fully operational and maintained news website. Their grant will go toward developing the concept to take to market for investment “The idea is to … provide them with the tools for developing a viable small-business in the new media space,” Dunlop and Martin said in their initial application. The judges were impressed with this innovative business model.

Tim Dunlop has a background in small business as an owner/operator, and was also a pioneer of political blogging in Australia and the US. He is the author of The New Front Page: New Media and the Rise of the Audience, and teaches Entrepreneurial Journalism at University of Melbourne. Twitter: @timdunlop

Hugh Martin is a former CEO of Crown Content and general manager of APN Online. He was editor of theage.com.au and of NEWS.com.au and held senior editorial roles at Fairfax. He won a Walkley in 2004. Twitter: @hughjm



Stephen Turner

Stephen Turner, “Youth Bytes”

Youth Bytes will be an online hub for student news production, providing mentoring by journalists and editors and a place for publication and networking. “Students can gain a better insight into what it takes to publish, and doing it well,” Stephen Turner said in his initial application.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Walkley Foundation on this project. I want to be able show young people how interesting, exciting and useful media work can be, and to install a “do it myself” mentality into them — to show them that the best way to fix the media is to do their own. And with the Foundation’s help I look forward to being able to connect them with real journalism mentors that can further their interests and goals. Most importantly, I also look forward to helping bring this project to rural and remote youth that might not otherwise have an opportunity like this, using a powerful online delivery system,” said Turner.

The judges love this project for its simplicity and potential impact for high school students. A grant will help Turner develop the web platform for Youth Bytes, and run a pilot program at Coonabarabran high school.

Stephen Turner is a writer and web designer/developer. He has worked in the media in various roles (at smh.com.au, CNET Australia, HWW Publishing and Horwitz Publications). For the last four years he has worked in computer support and assistance at a regional NSW high school, including two years working with the student media class. Twitter: @SteveT_AU