Finalists announced for the Walkley Foundation Grant for Innovation in Journalism

Editor's note:  Today post by Jacqueline Park, Director of the Walkley Foundation
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 provided by Google for innovative media projects.

The internet has transformed the way we do journalism. The new tools and techniques, coupled with the freedom of the web to tell true stories in so many ways, has empowered journalists while at the same time disrupting the traditional news media business models. Innovation is vital to the future of journalism and it’s essential that those creating the content are also at the centre of experimentation and innovation as we create new models for storytelling.

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 calibre and sheer number of projects makes clear that Australian journalists are ready and waiting for resources to bring their bright ideas to life.

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. All four judges agreed that the projects displayed an impressive diversity and a passion for great journalism.

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.

This new grants program is central to the Walkleys’ mission to encourage and support innovation in the Australian media.  The number of applications far exceeded our expectations for the inaugural year of the Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism, and we can’t wait to see the final projects come to life.

Posted by Jacqueline Park, Director of the Walkley Foundation