Three innovative journalism projects will share a pool of $40,000 in seed funding through a partnership between The Walkley Foundation for Journalism and Google Australia.
Unique to Australia, the new Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism are an investment in the future of the industry and encourage experimental approaches to journalism.
A statement on the winners says the program is central to the Walkley Foundation’s mission to encourage and support innovation in Australian media, as well as celebrate and encourage great journalism.
Brisbane journalist and academic Skye Doherty was awarded $25,000 to develop an online platform for her unique storytelling concept “NewsCube”, while Tim Dunlop and Hugh Martin, from Melbourne, got $10,000 to build a business and content strategy for “The News Franchise”.
“Youth Bytes”, a project by Stephen Turner, will use a $5000 grant to run a pilot program in Turner’s Coonabarabran high school, introducing students to the world of journalism.
More than 120 people from around Australia applied for the inaugural grants, judged by:
- James Kirby, Eureka Report managing editor and Walkley Advisory Board member
- Ramin Marzbani, leading technology, internet and financial services analyst
- Aron Pilhofer, The New York Times former associate managing editor of digital strategy
- Jacqui Park, The Walkley Foundation director
Kirby said all judges were impressed with the creativity and passion on display in the shortlisted projects.
“Starting a media business in the current climate offers exceptional challenges and the chance of excellent rewards,” he said. “The hardest phase of financing a new media business will always be the ‘first phase’ funding, and we hope these grants can act as a catalyst to both reveal and promote new media projects across Australia.”