2016 Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism winners announced

The grants program is central to the Walkleys’ mission to encourage and support innovation in the Australian media

Four media projects will receive cash grants in the third year of the Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism.

MORE: Finalists announced for Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Projects focused on podcasting, community radio, secure communications and automated data journalism will share in the pool of $50,000 in seed funding from the Walkleys’ inaugural innovation partner Google Australia.

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

The judges agreed that it was difficult to divide the pool of funding among so many promising ideas. All projects on the long list were outstanding, and were invited to develop their pitches at a workshop and Storyology in Sydney in August.

Judge James Kirby said the panel was pleased with the way the four funded projects represent the challenges and opportunities of today’s media.

“Community radio, podcasting, data-driven automated stories, secure communications — these are some of the big trends and issues in journalism this year, so it’s great to back projects that will break new ground in these areas,” Kirby said.

The funded projects are:

• “FiveARM Crisis Journalism Secure Reporting Tool”, Nick Chesterfield (West Papua Media): $15,000
FiveARM will help get accurate reports out of hard-to-access crisis areas by connecting eyewitness accounts with simple, secure and tested smartphone technology.

• “Time Serious”, Nick Evershed: $15,000
Time Serious is an application that automatically takes in data, analyses it, and outputs a news report in natural language, with publication-ready graphics.

• “Moonshot Podcast”, Kristofor Lawson & Andrew Moon: $5,000
Moonshot is a narrative-driven podcast that explores seemingly impossible technology ideas and the people that believe they can make them happen.

• “Creating a Community Radio Newsroom for the 21st Century”, William Martin, Jim Beatson & Susan Forde: $15,000
This project is focused on reinvigorating local news and participatory democracy at a grassroots level by providing a model, tools, engagement and distribution for citizen journalism within the community broadcasting sector.

All four projects will be featured on the Walkley website, sharing updates from their entrepreneurial journeys. They will also receive support from program partners Google, iSentia and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

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