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Our Watch Award 2015 winners announced

September 11 2015 By Hannah Grant, media relations officer, Our Watch

Jess Hill has been named the inaugural winner of the 2015 Our Watch Gold Award for her reporting on violence against women.

Photo of Natasha Stott Despoja, Jess Hill and Paul Linossier at the Our Watch Awards Image

The Our Watch judges said: “Jess Hill devoted a year of her life to researching and reporting exclusively on domestic violence.

“Her entry comprises two longform articles, (one for The Monthly and one for The Guardian); and two radio documentaries for the ABC’s investigative Background Briefing program.  

“Through quality journalism, she has raised awareness of the complexities of domestic violence and its prevention. Her dedication, deep research and directness of style have produced a series of reports which are both comprehensive and accessible.

“Jess Hill’s body of work is an outstanding document of record deserving of the Our Watch Gold Award for exemplary reporting to end violence against women.”

Tonight, winners across the seven categories in the inaugural Our Watch Awards have been announced. 
More than 200 journalists, industry and media identities gathered at Sydney’s L’Aqua for the gala event hosted by Julia Zemiro.

Our Watch Chair, Natasha Stott Despoja, said “the inaugural Our Watch Awards celebrate a new era in the reporting of violence against women.” 

She said the 177 entries received by Our Watch and the Walkley Foundation indicate the national conversation around violence against women and their children is progressing. 

This includes more responsible journalism when it comes to reporting on domestic and family violence and sexual assault.

“We are seeing a significant change in the public’s understanding of the drivers of violence against women and there is a growing collective commitment to prevent such violence. 

“I congratulate the Our Watch Award winners and finalists. Their workis exemplary reporting of violence against women and their children,” she said.

Australian Press Council Chair, Professor David Weisbrot, has applauded the finalists and winners of the inaugural Our Watch Awards for playing their part in preventing violence against women and their children in Australia, an issue of importance to the Council’s current strategic direction.

“Most reporting on family violence in Australia is responsible and some has assisted in raising public awareness,” Weisbrot said. “However, the Press Council is working with our members to raise standards even higher, whether through development of a Specific Standard, best practice guidelines, educational initiatives or some combination of the three. We want to emphasise that reporting should not sensationalise or trivialise family violence, nor should it add to the distress of victims or further endanger their safety."  

Winners, in category order, are: 

Best use of social media
Pat Bradley Wendy Frere Jenna Price Jill Tomlinson Naomi Worrall and the Destroy the Joint Team, Destroy the Joint, The Counting Dead Women Australia campaign 

All Media: Best news coverage
Jayne Margetts & ABC News Team, ABC TV and ABC Online, “Domestic Violence Education”

All Media: Best series or special
Jess Hill, The Monthly and Background Briefing, Radio National ABC, “Series on Family Violence”

All Media: Best local/community journalism
Simon Mann, Bec Zajac and Ania Dutka, The Citizen, “Communities combat violence against women at a local level”

All Media: Best longform
Jess Hill, The Monthly, “Home Truths: The costs and causes of domestic violence” 

All Media: Best journalism campaign 
Fairfax Media Team, The Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Life and smh.com.au, Fairfax Media “Shine a light”

Photo of Natasha Stott Despoja at the Our Watch Awards.
Natasha Stott Despoja and Dr Ann O'Neill at the Our Watch Awards.

Photo of journalist Jess Hill at the Our Watch Awards.
2015 Our Watch Gold Award winner Jess Hill.

Photo of Lisa Wilkinson at the Our Watch Awards.

Lisa Wilkinson at the Our Watch Awards. 

About the Our Watch Awards:

Our Watch has developed a new national media awards scheme to be administered by the Walkley Foundation to recognise and reward exemplary reporting of violence against women, in particular reporting that highlights the causes of violence and what we as a society can do to ‘stop it before it starts’. The Our Watch Awards is an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. 

Find out about the Awards, as administered by The Walkley Foundation. For more information on Our Watch and resources for journalists visit ourwatch.org.au. 

For information on Our Watch, the Awards, and reporting guidelines and resources please contact:
Hannah Grant, Media Relations Officer, Our Watch, T. 03 8692 9512, M. 0448844930, E. hannah.grant@ourwatch.org.au, ourwatch.org.au