Freelance Journalist of the Year

The Freelance Journalist of the Year recognises the unique contribution that freelance journalists make across all media platforms to the future of the industry, and is open to residents of either Australia or New Zealand. The award is an initiative of the Walkley Foundation in partnership with Media Super and MEAA.

The 2019 Freelance Journalist of the Year finalists are:

  • Yaara Bou Melhem, Witness, Al Jazeera English and Foreign Correspondent, ABC, “Maria Ressa: War on Truth” and “The Oasis”
  • Jo Chandler, The Monthly and The New York Times,  “Our Nearest Neighbour: Reports from Papua New Guinea”
  • Nina Funnell, The Mercury, and The Daily Telegraph, “#Let Her Speak”

See the full list of 2019 Mid-Year Celebration finalists here.

Media Super logo

2019 finalists were announced on May 29. Winners will be announced on June 26.

The prize

The winner of the Freelance Journalist of the Year will receive 2 x tickets to the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner.

Entry fee

Thanks to the support of Media Super the entry fee for the Freelance Journalist of the Year has dropped to $50.

Entry remains free for MEAA members.

Judging criteria

The Freelance Journalist of the Year will be chosen on the basis of journalistic excellence.  Judging will be for a body of work (3 pieces) published or broadcast in any medium. The criteria used for judging will include:

  • Research
  • Storytelling ability
  • Originality and innovation
  • Tangible public benefit
  • Accuracy and ethics
  • Excellent use of the medium/media

Judges will take into regard the resources available and entrants should be explicit about their available resources in their statements.

Conditions of entry

Works must be submitted before the deadline of Thursday 26 April 2019, and have been produced between 27 April 2018 – 26 April 2019. Entries are open to residents of both Australia and New Zealand.

All entrants must certify that the entry is their original work. Apart from standard sub-editorial/production treatment, submissions must adhere to the MEAA Code of Ethics in their preparation; undertake to abide by this Code of Ethics; and have complied with all copyright requirements.

Full Terms & Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions, please contact either:

Lauren Dixon or (02) 9158 3820

Gemma Courtney or (02) 9158 3822

Barbara Blackman or (02) 9158 3821

Past winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Freelancer of the Year, Karishma Vyas, Al Jazeera English“Bride and brothels: The Rohingya Trade”, “Afghanistan: Asylum denied”, and “Forced back to cambodia”.

See the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.

2018 Judges: Angela Priestley (Women’s Agenda), Miki Perkins (The Age) and Verica Jokic (Freelance)

View all the 2018 finalists here.


Winner of the 2018 Freelancer of the Year Award: Karishma Vyas, Al Jazeera English, “Bride and brothels: The Rohingya Trade”, “Afghanistan: Asylum denied”, and “Forced back to cambodia”.


Watch "Brides & Brothels: The Rohingya Trade" by 2018 Freelancer of the Year, Karishma Vyas, Al Jazeera English.