In the last semester of his Master of Journalism studies, Jack Banister joined the Guardian Australia newsroom as an intern working on a special investigation. Last week, while on assignment for The Citizen newsroom, where he works as a cadet, Banister discovered that he was part of a reporting team that had just won Australia’s most coveted media prize.
The Guardian’s “Deaths inside project”, which tracked Indigenous deaths in custody since 2008, won the innovation award at the 63rd Walkley awards for excellence in journalism. Banister was acknowledged as part of the award winning team alongside The Guardian’s Lorena Allam, Calla Wahlquist, Nick Evershed, Helen Davidson and Miles Herbert, site developer Andy Ball and illustrator Charlotte Allingham.
The reporting team spent months coming through every coronial finding relating to an Indigenous death in custody. It showed that, since a Royal Commission investigated the issue in 1991, there have been 407 more Indigenous deaths in custody.
The project was the first to be completed with the support of a landmark partnership between the Centre for Advancing Journalism, the Guardian Australia and philanthropic partners. The partnership was forged to facilitate coverage of Indigenous affairs and in-depth reporting into a range of other critical but neglected topics. The arrangement allows the Centre for Advancing Journalism, The Citizen and student journalists at the University of Melbourne to partner with the Guardian Australia’s editors and specialist reporters in producing in-depth stories on Indigenous, environment, human rights, inequality and governance issues.
For a full list of the 2018 Walkley Award winners, link here.