Persistence, sensitivity and adaptability in combining hard news and feature reporting with social media use led to 24-year-old Ashley Argoon (@AshArgoon) being named the 2013 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year.
Ashley won the 2013 Text-based Journalism category and the overall prize after impressing judges with her body of work on youth suicide and services in her region, which included 44 feature articles, hard news leads and columns.
Ashley had attended her first Albury-Wodonga Suicide Prevention in 2011, having securing a cadetship at The Border Mail following work experience at The Age. A year on, The Border Mail launched its campaign, building relationships with people who had lost loved ones, mental health experts, crisis counsellors and those who had tried to take their own lives. The campaign won the newspaper two Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism in 2012.
She currently works as a general news and gaming reporter for The Herald Sun.
Judges chose Ashley as the overall winner in recognition of the outstanding depth of her work and contribution to changing the status quo: “It is an impressive achievement for someone at an early stage of their career and showcases the importance of journalism that is connected to and responsive to the needs of its local community.”
“As I embark on the trip of a lifetime to gain experience in some of the best newsrooms in the world. This award has been an incredible validation it has helped fuel my passion as a journalist and bolstered my self-belief that this is the right career for me.” – Ashley Argoon, 2013 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year