Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards

The Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards recognise and reward the hard work of our most outstanding young Australian journalists.

In 2019, these the awards will recognise those aged 28 and under who demonstrate excellence in the fundamental tenets of the craft as well as the ability to present distinctive and original journalism that pushes the boundaries of the profession.

The 2019 finalists are:

All media: Shortform journalism
Supported by ABC

  • Avani Dias, Hack, triple j, ABC “A botched terror case and police failings: revelations of a wrongful arrest and an alleged revenge plot”
  • Jennifer Duke and Michael Koziol, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, “‘They hate her’: emails show ABC chairman told Michelle Guthrie to fire Emma Alberici” “‘Dear directors’: explosive dossier reveals bitter war between Michelle Guthrie and ABC board” and “Tonightly c— skit: Ex-ABC chairman wanted to change editorial policy”
  • Isabella Higgins, ABC News 7pm bulletin, ABC TV and ABC Online, “Life in the grips of a suicide crisis” “Strength in the suicide community” and “The fight of our lives”

All media: Longform feature or special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age

  • Jack Banister, The Citizen and The Guardian, “More than a game in the Tiwi Islands, footy helps heal a hurting community”
  • Oliver Gordon, Background Briefing, Radio National, ABC Radio, “The Black & White Hotel: Inside Australia’s Segregated Hotel Rooms”
  • Laura Murphy-Oates, The Feed, SBS, “Turned Away”

All media: Coverage of community & regional affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative

  • Rachel Baxter, PRIME 7 News North West (Tamworth), “Tingha Plateau Bushfire Coverage”
  • Aneeta Bhole, ABC, “A tale of two seasons”
  • Henry Zwartz, ABC News Regional, “‘This is Tasmania’s Ballarat’: Abuse survivors speak out”

All media: Visual storytelling
Supported by Sky NEWS

  • Mridula Amin, The New York Times, “The Nauru Experience: Zero-Tolerance Immigration and Suicidal Children”
  • Annika Blau and Zoe Osborne, ABC News,  “Extraordinary stories of women in Asia”
  • Rebecca Metcalf, VICE Video, “South-Sudanese Australians Talk Police, Politics and the Media”

All media: Public service journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia

  • Osman Faruqi, Radio National, ABC and ABC Life, “Exposing the terrifying new frontier in online abuse”
  • Oliver Gordon, AM and Background Briefing, Radio National, ABC, “Segregation in Australia: Commissioner calls for law reform after two stories highlighting racial discrimination”
  • Laura Murphy-Oates, SBS, “Reporting on Indigenous affairs”

All media: ​Student journalist of the year
Supported by Macleay College

  • Matilda Boseley, Monash University, The Age and Mojo News, “‘I had no way of getting home’: Calls for changes to liquor laws,” “Grey Area: Let’s Talk About Rape” and “ZOE – Vegans Invade a Melbourne Slaughterhouse”
  • Reena Mukherjee, UNSW, “Birds of Change: The Voices that Call to Us”
  • Ciaran O’Mahony,University of Melbourne and The Guardian, “Killing Times: Stories of Aboriginal Massacres”

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by Jibb Foundation
The winner of each category will be in the running to win the overall Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award.

See the full list of 2019 Mid-Year Celebration finalists here. The winners will be announced on June 26.

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

The prize

All category winners will receive mentoring from a senior journalist.

The winners of all six categories will also automatically go into the draw to be named as the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year. Through the funding of the Jibb Foundation, the organisation supporting this award, the 2019 prize-winner will receive:

  • a paid two-week trip to US newsrooms
  • receive mentorship from senior journalists

Entry fee

A philanthropic grant from the Jibb Foundation subsidies entry fees, allowing them to remain at $50 for all categories except for the Student journalist of the year award, which is free to enter.

Entry remains free for MEAA union members.

Judging criteria

The Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year aims to encourage and recognise the rising stars of Australian journalism. Winners will be selected on the basis of journalistic excellence in the fundamental tenets of the craft as well as the ability to present distinctive and original journalism that pushes the boundaries of the profession.

Judges will be looking for the individual they think has made the most impact, but in general criteria will include:

  • How the story was initiated and followed (with particular credit given for instigating or finding a story)
  • Newsworthiness, including exclusivity
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Research and investigation
  • Balance, accuracy and ethics
  • Consideration of production pressures or deadlines and time constraints
  • Consideration of the resources available
  • Demonstration of best use of the format/s in which the work was published or broadcast, including clever choices in storytelling through multimedia
  • Excellence in written or verbal communication and/or technical and production skill
  • Public impact or benefit, including audience engagement and serving specific communities

Conditions of entry

The 2019 awards are open to young journalists 28 years and under, employed full-time or freelance, who have self-published or had work published or broadcast through Australian media outlets, including online publishers, between April 27, 2018 and April 26, 2019.

Contact us

If you have any further questions, please contact either:

2018 winner

Congratulations to the 2018 Young Australian Journalist of the Year, Laura Murphy-Oates, for her work at SBS, “Young and black”“Kids of Kalgoorlie” and “Vanished: Canada’s missing women”. Laura also won the Public Service Journalism and Longform categories.

Thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation, Laura will fly to the USA to undertake two weeks’ worth of work experience with BuzzFeedThe New York TimesColumbia Journalism Review, Twitter and Quartz. She and all the category winners will also receive mentoring from the Walkley Advisory Board.

View the full list of winners for the 2018 Young Journo Awards, as well as the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.