For the first time in its 60-year history, the Walkley Foundation is staging a public campaign asking Australians to back quality journalism.
Walkley Award-winning journalists are the face of the “What Price Would You Pay?” campaign, which will roll out in the coming weeks across billboards and television, in print and online.
The campaign highlights the cost of delivering quality news, underlining the importance of good reporting to a fair and democratic society.
Created through pro bono support in partnership with Naked Communications, and with media placement donated by more than 15 media outlets, the campaign calls for donations to the Walkley Foundation, as well as appealing to people to pay for quality journalism.
“Putting yourself on the line as a journalist can come at a cost,” Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said.
“We’re shining a light on the price that journalists pay to deliver the truth, and asking the public to think about what price they would pay for that truth. Quality journalism isn’t free – it costs a lot to produce – and we want Australians to understand that we all should subscribe, pay or donate to support the fourth estate,” she said.
As part of the campaign, investigative journalists Hugh Riminton, Louise Milligan, Michael Ware, Adele Ferguson and Hedley Thomas speak compellingly to-camera about what they’ve faced personally.
Michael Ware speaks of being kidnapped and facing the prospect of having his execution filmed with his own camera. Hugh Riminton tells of children’s bodies being thrown in open graves, “to the look in the eyes of the mother as the children are dying at your feet”. Louise Milligan talks of going to court to protect confidential sources.
Other people featured in the campaign are investigative journalists Kate McClymont and Steve Pennells, journalist Peter Greste, journalist and presenter Tracy Grimshaw and a survivor of institutional abuse, James Miller.
The campaign asks Australians to stand up for quality journalism and subscribe, support or become a member of one (or many) Australian media organisations. The campaign also encourages donations to the Walkley Public Fund. The Fund supports the Foundation’s scholarship program, funds grants for journalism projects in the public interest and programs to support the next generation of journalists through mentorship programs and training.
The Walkley Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation at the heart of the Australian media. It relies on support from corporate organisations, foundations and individuals to develop a wide range of programs including scholarships and grants.
Visit the What Price Would You Pay? website to find out how you can support the campaign. Donations to the Walkley Public Fund over $2 are tax deductible.
Watch the video here.