The Citizen’s cadet reporter, Jack Banister, is one of six Australian journalists and reporting teams who have been awarded inaugural grants under the Michael Gordon Fellowship program administered by the Melbourne Press Club.
Banister, who has just completed his studies for a Master of Journalism at the Centre for Advancing Journalism, will use the grant to research a story for The Citizen in the Tiwi Islands. The award comes on the heels of the announcement last week that he shares a prestigious 2018 Walkley Award for Innovation, as part of a Guardian Australia team investigation into Indigenous deaths in custody. Banister worked on the project as an intern in the final phase of his studies.
The Age’s Michael Gordon, who died suddenly last year, was one of Australia’s most highly regarded journalists. His legacy is remembered with a new fellowship grants program established to encourage and enable the kind of journalism Gordon exemplified by funding reporting projects in the field of social justice journalism in Australia and overseas – covering areas such as Indigenous affairs, migration policy, human rights and international development.
As a consequence of shrinking newsroom budgets globally, philanthropic support has become a mainstay of ambitious storytelling in the United States and Europe. There are, however, still very few philanthropic opportunities available to Australian media.
The fellowships are administered and promoted by the Melbourne Press Club and awarded by an independent panel appointed by the club in partnership with the Gordon family. Full details can be found here.