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Shortlist for Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism

Shortlist announced for inaugural Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism

Collaborative storytelling, video crowdsourcing and mentoring for budding journalists in high schools are among the big ideas shortlisted for the inaugural Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism. The Walkley Foundation is proud to announce a shortlist of six projects which will go on to compete for $40,000 in seed funding for innovative media projects.

A panel of four judges from Australia and the US, representing experience in media, entrepreneurialism and innovation, met last week to select their top contenders from more than 120 applications. The judges are:
James Kirby, managing editor of Eureka Report and a member of the Walkley Advisory Board
Ramin Marzbani, leading technology, internet and financial services analyst
Aron Pilhofer, associate managing editor of digital strategy at The New York Times
Jacqui Park, director of the Walkley Foundation

All four judges agreed that the projects displayed an impressive diversity and a passion for great journalism. They were looking for projects that will break new ground and channel seed funding into a brighter future for Australia media – backed by individuals and teams with the drive to bring their vision to life.

Congratulations to our shortlisted projects:
“NewsCube” by Skye Doherty: An application designed to encourage collaboration and storytelling from multiple perspectives.
“The News Franchise” by Tim Dunlop and Hugh Martin: Offering professional journalists, community organisations, businesses and other content providers the chance to franchise a fully operational and maintained news website, and to develop a small business within the new media space.
“Daticle” by Andy Kitchen, Jonathan Change and Stephanie Campisi: A web tool for enhancing news articles using a sidebar to display information and analysis automatically drawn from the relevant datasets.
“Australian Start-up and Investment Guide” by Rose Powell and Michael Lyon: An interactive data-driven multimedia site providing a comprehensive and evolving profile of the local tech start-up scene.
“Metaset” by David Ryan: A mobile video app that creates a platform for journalists and content curators to access, engage with and request crowdsourced content and citizen journalism.
“Youth Bytes” by Stephen Turner: An online hub for student news production, providing mentoring by journalists and editors and a place for publication and networking.

These six projects will go on to compete for a pool of $40,000 in seed funding from Google Australia.

In a diverse field of talented applicants, the judges also wished to recognise four projects that didn’t make the shortlist, but were very impressive. These honourable mentions go to:
“The Lismore Radio Project” by Robert Bou-Hamdan: Delivering content across various platforms including a website, social media, an audio stream and a video stream, raising awareness of local crime, while also considering local issues and supporting local business.
“Appening” by Annie Hall: A global, English language app that has creative content in response to current events.
“CAST: Connecting through Audio Storytelling” by Siobhan McHugh: CAST teaches people who are excluded how to gain empathy and connection by telling personal stories through the intimate medium of audio.
“dWriter” by Jack Zhao & the Small Multiples team: A text editor for data journalists

A total of 123 grant applications were received from all over Australia, far exceeding our expectations for the inaugural year of the Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism. It’s a response that Walkley Foundation Director Jacqui Park says reflects the Australian media’s ingenuity, enthusiasm and talent.

“The calibre of applications for this project is an overwhelming endorsement of a central fact: journalists are at the front line of innovation,” Park said.

The Walkley Foundation aims to celebrate and encourage great Australian journalism, telling the stories of our nation and strengthening our democracy. This new grants program is central to the Walkleys’ mission to encourage and support innovation in the Australian media.

This first year of the Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism is only the beginning. The Walkleys are committed to nurturing innovation in Australia, and are looking for likeminded companies to help support this program. If you’re interested in partnering, and potentially backing the next big thing in Australian media, please contact us for more information.


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