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Entries open for awards recognising reporting on violence against women

June 05 2018 By Clare Kermond, Senior Media and Communications Advisor

Recent high-profile cases of family violence such as the murder of four children, their mother and grandmother in Margaret River, WA last month have highlighted an urgent need for more support and training for journalists reporting on these horrific crimes.

Our Watch Awards  Image

Newly-appointed head of Our Watch, Patty Kinnersly, said while there had been huge improvements in reporting on family violence in recent years, the issue was complex and challenging for all sections of the media. 

Reporting that repeated a description of Peter Miles as “a good bloke” - after he shot his wife, daughter and four grandchildren - was unhelpful and distressing to friends and relatives of the murdered family, Ms Kinnersly said. 

The debate that ensued in the weeks following the murder, however, showed that Australian journalists care deeply about their role during awful events such as these, she said. 

"It is clear that many in the media want to be part of the solution to the problem of gendered violence, and the evidence for this is the large number of entries to the Our Watch Awards in the three years they have been running," Ms Kinnersly said.

"I am pleased to declare entries to the 2018 Our Watch Awards open, and look forward to seeing the work submitted this year."

The Our Watch media awards, administered by the Walkley Foundation, recognise excellence in reporting on violence against women and children. Entries for work completed between July 8, 2017 and July 7 2018 will be accepted from 5 June.

Ms Kinnersly said the media played an important role in reminding the public about the prevalence of family violence in all socio-demographic groups.

“We know, for example, that one woman in Australia is murdered by her current or former partner each week and 657 family violence incidents are dealt with every day by police,” Ms Kinnersly said.

Our Watch has produced guidelines on reporting of domestic violence which are freely available online.

About the Our Watch Awards:

Our Watch developed a national media awards scheme to recognise and reward excellence in reporting on violence against women, in particular reporting that highlights the drivers of this violence and what we as a society can do to stop it before it starts. The Our Watch Awards is now in its third year. 

For more information about the awards, which are administered by The Walkley Foundation, please visit the Walkleys' Our Watch Awards page. For more information on Our Watch and resources for journalists, visit ourwatch.org.au.