Longlist announced for 2016 Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism

Podcasts, community radio, automated reporting, student profiles and secure communications are among the topics of the outstanding projects submitted for this year’s Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism.

The Walkley Foundation is proud to announce a longlist of 18 projects, which will go on to compete for a pool of $50,000 in seed funding from program partner Google Australia.

The four judges met last week to select their top contenders from the 80 applications received. The judges are:

  • James Kirby, wealth editor of The Australian & co-founder of Eureka Report
  • Ramin Marzbani, leading technology, internet and financial services analyst
  • Jigar Mehta, VP digital operations, Fusion
  • Jacqui Park, CEO of the Walkley Foundation

Park, who is currently completing a Knight Fellowship in the US, praised the creativity of the applications and stressed the importance of encouraging journalists to drive media innovation.

“Innovation is such a buzzword at the moment — we want to make sure that journalists have an opportunity to drive real innovation in their own work and industry,” Park said.

“Distribution platforms and funding models have been totally disrupted, but experimentation is the key to sustaining quality journalism, not cutbacks. We’re proud to offer this seed funding and throw our support behind journalists who bring their skills and expertise to that experimentation. There are some interesting proposals this year, and we were particularly impressed with the many creative story and narrative ideas people submitted for small grants,” Park said.

The longlisted projects are, in alphabetical order:

  • Chantal Abouchar: “The Media-Tech Newsletter”
  • Mark Balnaves, Janet Fulton & Paul Scott: “MyNewsAvatar”
  • Michelle Baltazar: “Filipino Australian community TV show”
  • Laura Bennett: “How to Help Dad”
  • Matthew Burgess & Oliver Nugent: “Uni Cafe Media”
  • Nick Chesterfield & Ronny Kareni: “FiveARMS Crisis Journalism Secure Reporting tool”
  • Alex Clark: “PressPatron”
  • John Corlett: “The Readers Digest of digital”
  • Alex Duckmanton: “Beetroot Radio”
  • Nick Evershed: “Time Serious”
  • Jackson Gothe-Snape: “Machines of Government”
  • Kristofor Lawson & Andrew Moon: “Moonshot”
  • William Martin, Jim Beatson & Susan Forde: “Creating a Community Radio Newsroom for the 21st century”
  • Ellice Mol, Nathan Jolly & Rhys McGowan: “IMPACT”
  • Martin Newman, Suyeon Son & Kelly Tall: “Skin”
  • Tim Paris, Chris Paver & Kat Crossley: “HiViz”
  • Brett Tweedie: “Three (or more) Word Slogans”
  • Christian Tym & Karun Cowper: “GoGonzo”

These 18 longlisters will be invited to attend a development workshop, after which the winning projects will be announced.

Judge James Kirby said: “We’ve been delighted with the range and depth of entries for the competition this year, and we’re going to invite as many candidates as possible to our workshops. Last year we found several projects transformed from concepts to feasible projects once they had the benefit of working with mentors in their area.”

Google Australia’s Communications and Public Affairs manager, Nic Hopkins, said: “Once again there’s an impressive long-list of projects vying for a Walkley Grant for Innovation in Journalism. The future of journalism depends on finding new ways for journalists to tell unique stories and build meaningful relationships with their audiences, and it’s an honour for us at Google to be able to help these innovators in their pursuit of that goal.”

The Walkley Foundation aims to celebrate and encourage great Australian journalism, telling the stories of our nation and strengthening our democracy. The innovation program is central to the Walkleys’ mission to encourage and support innovation in the Australian media.

For more information please contact Clare Fletcher: 02 9333 0925; clare.fletcher@walkleys.com.