Walkley Grants for Freelance Journalism: Criteria

 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 readers alike. These grants are for journalism that makes an impact—so think about the audience for your story and the best distribution channels to reach them.

The judges will look favourably on applicants who have considered their story’s audience and the distribution methods to reach them; eg applicants operating solo who can demonstrate interest from a publisher (Australian, any format) in considering the final project for publication, or freelancers who have scoped a collaborative investigation/project with an Australian publisher. The grants are for freelance reporters, not existing newsrooms.

The judges want freelance journalists from all sectors, backgrounds and experience levels to apply with pitches for reportage, features and news stories (not essays or opinion). The judges hope to see a broad range of applications and to award grants to diverse and emerging voices as well as experienced and well-known freelancers.

In assessing the applications, the judging panel will be guided by the values of the Walkley Awards criteria:

  • How the story was initiated and followed (with credit given for instigating or finding a story)
  • Newsworthiness, including exclusivity
  • Consideration of the resources available
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Research and investigation
  • Balance, accuracy and ethics
  • Consideration of production pressures or deadlines and time constraints
  • 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