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Judging criteria

The Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism

The judges are looking for original journalism with public interest value and impact. Stories that surprise, educate and make a difference. The kind of stories that inspire news editors and audiences alike.

Who can apply?

  • The judges want journalists from all sectors, backgrounds and experience levels to apply with pitches for reportage, features and news stories. The judges hope to see a broad range of applications from diverse and emerging voices as well as experienced and well-known journalists.
  • The grant is open to both freelancers and those employed by media organisations. Please note terms and conditions before applying.
  • Academics, public intellectuals and former journalists working in Pacific-related fields. These applicants must have a strong track record in the media as an independent voice or writer.
  • Applicants must be an Australian resident or citizen but may live outside Australia, preferably in the Pacific.

Applicants must

  • Give a brief outline of their project
  • Show they have a realistic understanding of the budget for their project and provide details with their application
  • Show they have in-principle support of a publisher or broadcaster to publish the work they produce as a result of this grant
  • Submit up to three examples of their work to support their application

Judging criteria


  • Focus on an under-reported issue or development that relates to one or more Pacific island countries. (For the purposes of this grant, the Pacific islands region comprises all states and territories that would ordinarily be considered to be in Melanesia, Micronesia or Polynesia. A project which focuses solely on New Zealand will not qualify; however a project which focuses on New Zealand in addition to somewhere else in the region will be considered)
  • Originality and timeliness
  • Potential impact and newsworthiness
  • Proof that the applicant is able to produce high-quality journalism (including research, investigation, accuracy, ethics and delivery by the deadline)
  • Excellence in written or verbal communication and/or technical/production skill

Highly Desirable

  • A plan to work in collaboration with Pacific island journalists or media organisations
  • Innovation and creativity in storytelling including through the best use of formats for the project, including multimedia
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