Walkley Awards

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The annual Walkley Awards, under the administration of the Walkley Foundation for Journalism, are presented in Australia to recognise and reward excellence in journalism. Finalists are chosen by an independent board of eminent journalists and photographers. The awards cover all media including print, television, radio, photographic and online media. They can be regarded as the Australian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.[1][2] The 33 categories judged in 2008 embraced news and feature writing; artwork, cartoons and photography; radio and TV reporting and interviewing; business, international and sport, indigenous affairs, social commentary and investigative journalism. A non-fiction book category is open to media and non-media authors. The Gold Walkley is the most prestigious award, being chosen from all category winners. The awards have been archived by the Pandora Archive since 2002.[3]

The Nikon Photography Prizes are also awarded by the Walkley Foundation, on behalf of Nikon.


Awards were instituted in five categories in 1956 by businessman Sir William Walkley, founder of Ampol Petroleum Ltd. After his death, the awards were handled by the Australian Journalists' Association which, in 1992 was merged into the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. In 2000, the Alliance voted to establish a Walkley Foundation. In that same year, the Walkley Awards were merged with the Nikon Press Photographer of the Year Awards.


In November 2008, 34 awards were presented.[4] Excluding the non-fiction book award, only work published by Australian-based media organizations is eligible for the prizes. Entries are initially evaluated by a jury on newsworthiness, research, writing, production, incisiveness, impact, public benefit, ethics, originality, innovation and creative flair—or other relevant criteria in respect of graphics and electronic media. The jury shortlists three entrants to the Walkley Advisory Board, who select the best entrant in each category, as well as the winner of the "Press Photographer of the Year", "Journalism Leadership Award" and the "Gold Walkley".

The finalists are formally announced in October of each year and the awards are presented at a formal ceremony in late November or early December.

The 2015 ceremony was held on 3 December 2015 at Crown Casino in Melbourne and was broadcast through an online live stream, as well as on A-PAC.[5] In 2016, the event moved to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the event again broadcast on A-PAC and live streamed online[6] as well as on the Sky News Election Channel.[7]


As of 2020, awards are given in the following categories:[8]

Major categories[edit]

Longform journalism[edit]

  • Book
  • Documentary (film)

Print/text journalism[edit]

  • News Report
  • Feature writing short (under 4,000 words)
  • Feature writing long (over 4,000 words)


Nikon Photography Prizes[edit]

These are not Walkley Awards, but administered by the Walkley Foundation on behalf of Nikon.

  • Photo of the Year
  • Portrait Prize
  • Community/Regional Prize
  • Contemporary Australian Daily Life Prize

Radio/audio journalism[edit]

  • News and Current Affairs
  • Audio Feature

Television/Video journalism[edit]

  • News Reporting
  • Current Affairs Short (less than 20 minutes)
  • Current Affairs Long (more than 20 minutes)
  • Camerawork

All media[edit]

Historical categories[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Walkley Foundation. The Walkley Awards – history Archived 18 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 6 December 2006.
  2. ^ AAP MediaNet Media Release: The Walkley Awards Archived 26 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 6 December 2006
  3. ^ "Walkley awards". Pandora. National Library of Australia and partners. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  4. ^ Official list of 2008 award winners Archived 22 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Knox, David (23 October 2015). "Walkley Awards 2015: nominees". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  6. ^ Knox, David (21 October 2016). "2016 Walkey Awards: nominees". TV Tonight. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  7. ^ Knox, David (2 December 2016). "Airdate: 2016 Walkley Awards". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Walkley Award categories explained". The Walkley Foundation. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2020.

External links[edit]