A unique award fostering critical journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand is now open for applications.
The Bruce Jesson Journalism Award, unlike any other journalism award in this country, provides up to $4000 up-front to fund the time and resources required to produce journalistic work.
The work can be in any format but must be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.
The award, established in 2004, has helped some of the country’s leading freelance journalists such as Nicky Hager, Rebecca Macfie and Max Rashbrooke to write books and articles on critical social issues.
Last year’s award, for the first time, went to a mainstream media organisation with a grant to Stuff’s Northland reporter Denise Piper and photographer Jason Dorday to part-fund an investigation into whether we are doing enough to save our kauri trees from kauri dieback. Bruce Jesson Foundation co-chairs Maria Armoudian and Simon Collins said the grant reflected the dramatic changes that the internet has brought to the news media, forcing even commercial media to rely increasingly on public and donated funds to keep serious public journalism alive.
The foundation, founded in memory of Auckland journalist and writer Bruce Jesson who died in 1999, also offers an award of up to $1000 for published work by a New Zealand journalism student nominated by a journalism programme leader. This work must also be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”. The increased value of this prize is possible thanks to the support of a gift from the Grace Memorial Trust in memory of Diana Unwin.
Applications for both of this year’s awards are now open and close on Friday 2 September.