Women in Media is delighted to announce the winner of the Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award for 2021 is Brooke Littlewood from Western Australia
Brooke is an agricultural writer at Farm Weekly, and the fifth recipient of the award since its inception in 2017.
Brooke has worked in Victoria and South Australia and was previously highly commended in the Caroline Jones Award for her work on the Sunraysia Daily.
Farm Weekly is the largest-selling rural paper in WA and Brooke’s role involves enormous travel, resilience, and self-sufficiency.
Her winning entry contained long-form and in-depth explorations of the complex challenges of life on the land today.
Brooke has also displayed a strong and ongoing personal commitment to improving mental health outcomes in regional and rural Australia, designing drink coasters for greater awareness to be distributed widely across clubs and sporting bodies.
Runner-up for this year’s award is Samantha Jonscher, a multi-platform ABC reporter based in Alice Springs.
Samantha submitted a series of topical and sensitively presented stories on the long-term shortage of housing for Indigenous people in the NT, and the contentious, nationwide issue of the allocation of water rights.
The award is supported by the National Press Club and seeks to shine a light on outstanding reportage by female journalists working across our regions.
It is named in honour of Caroline Jones AO, a ground-breaking journalist who joined the ABC in 1963 and became the first female reporter for This Day Tonight.
She reported for Four Corners between 1972-1981 before presenting Radio National’s Search for Meaning program.
In 1996, she became the presenter of Australian Story.
Caroline is also the co-patron of Women in Media federally.
Caroline praised the quality of this year’s entrants, all of whom provided coverage of important stories from around the country.
“Once again this year, the judges were impressed by the high quality of journalism submitted by our young rural and regional award applicants, giving a voice to their communities on local matters which are often of national public interest,” she said.
Caroline praised Brooke’s tenacity in driving hundreds of kilometres in order to speak with farmers “producing absorbing sprawling sagas of country life” and respecting her subjects through meticulous detail and extensive quotes.
Women in Media Canberra Convenor and judge Emma Macdonald said Brooke showed a clear commitment to revealing the challenges and inner lives of some of the country’s most isolated communities.
Women in Media Canberra committee member and social justice reporter Ginger Gorman said Brooke’s passion to ensure rural communities were represented was admirable and she wrote in a compelling way.
Brooke has won a $2500 personal development grant and the opportunity to spend a week in Canberra being mentored by Women in Media members working in the Press Gallery and national capital media outlets.
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This award is supported by Women in Media and the National Press Club of Australia.