Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award finalists announced

The Walkley Foundation is delighted to announce finalists in the 2017 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards, highlighting the best emerging talent of the new generation of journalists.

All were selected on the basis of journalistic excellence in the fundamental tenets of the craft as well as their ability to present distinctive and original journalism that pushes the boundaries of the profession.

Finalists, in alphabetical order, include:

Shortform Journalism

Category partner ABC

Tyla Harrington, Vivienne Duck, Rusty Woodger, Riverine Herald, “Murder on the Murray”
Tom Minear, Herald Sun, “Minister’s dog act” “Gone to the dogs” “Boned”
Primrose Riordan, Australian Financial Review, “Sam Dastyari pledges to support China on South China Sea beside Labor donor” “China’s local emperor Huang Xiangmo says politics just like sport” “Sam Dastyari-linked political donor resigns from Bob Carr institute after major review”

Longform Feature or Special

Category partner Fairfax Media

Michael Safi, Guardian Australia, “The takeover: how police ended up running a paedophile site”
Carl Smith, The Science Show, Radio National ABC, “Bionic Bodies”
Emily Verdouw, HuffPost Australia, “Men are killing themselves to be real men”

Community/Regional Journalism

Category partner UNSW

Bridget Judd, ABC Local Radio Victoria, “MedsASSIST Loopholes” “Naloxone barriers” “Let’s Talk”
Michael McGowan and Carrie Fellner, Newcastle Herald, “The foam and the fury”
Danny Tran, AM and ABC Radio News, “Ballarat Police under fire over new brutality allegations “Ballarat police officer stomps on woman in cells because of knee jerk reaction” “Catholic Crush”

Visual Storytelling

Category partner Sky News

Kirsty Johansen, SBS World News, “Somaliland”
Dave May, SBS Viceland, “Bullying’s Deadly Toll” “Australia’s Only Town Against Same Sex Marriage” “Suburban Exorcists”
Nick Wray, BuzzFeed Australia, “What is Privilege?” “This 11-Year-Old Wants To Make Life Easier for Trans Kids” “Sister Girls of the Tiwi Islands”

Public Service Journalism

Category partner News Corp Australia

Rhian Deutrom, The Courier-Mail, “Poisoned Lives” “Defence Barrier” “Toxic Level Shock”
Paul Farrell, Guardian Australia, “The Nauru Files”
Christopher Knaus, The Canberra Times, “Catholic officials turned blind eye to abuse” “Dark past: The church cover-up that sent know sex offenders to a Canberra school” “Fresh claims of abuse at school”

Student Journalist of the Year Award

Category partner Macleay College

Jessica Cortis, Western Sydney University and Nepali Times, “Healing Langtang” “Forget Me Not” “Trending: Australian education”
Christiane Barro, Mojo News, Monash University “‘I would have sat every day of those 20 years in jail’ – parents still in legal limbo over cannabis oil” “It’s not our fault: Dole recipients say they’re not bludging the system” “‘It’s safer for everyone’: heroin addicts plead for a safe injecting room”
Emily Smith, University of Technology Sydney and The Sydney Morning Herald, “Better Prisons?” “Rheumatic Heart Disease in Australia” “Good news for Azalyiah Sole as National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in NSW”
Results for this category were updated June 15, 2017, due to the ineligibility of one finalist.

Walkley Young Journalist of the Year

Category partner Jibb Foundation

In addition to those who have nominated themselves or been nominated for this award, the winner of each category will be in the running for the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year. Finalists are not announced in this category.

Thanks to support from a philanthropic grant from the Jibb Foundation, the winner of the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award will receive a two-week trip to US newsrooms, with return flights provided by Cathay Pacific, and the Walkleys will match category winners with mentors to further boost their careers. The grant also supported a lower entry fee.

The Young Journo awards, now in their 10th year, were revised this year after a four-month review of young journalists’ changing role in the industry. The awards place more emphasis on digital knowhow and creativity, while still encouraging and rewarding traditional skills, such as dogged research and nimble storytelling. Categories were redefined and made all-media, and the age limit was raised.

Winners will be held at the Walkleys Mid-Year Awards Celebration on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Sydney. Subscribe to the Walkley newsletter for details.

The Walkley Foundation thanks all category and prize partners for their support.


Media enquiries: Kate Golden, kate.golden@walkleys.com / 02 9333 0951
Award questions: Lauren Dixon, lauren.dixon@walkleys.com / 02 9333 0913