There is a $6500 cash prize pool across five awards.
- Best long-form and investigative journalism – $1500
- Best news reporting – $1500
- Best opinion, analysis and commentary – $1500
- Best student / early career journalism – $1000
- Gold award – $1000
The Victorian Homelessness Media Awards fall into four categories:
Best long-form, investigative or series journalism
Long-form journalists have more time to examine the issue and gather a variety of perspectives. There is no word limit / time length criteria for this category, though entries to this category are generally those with long lead times. This category includes documentaries, essays and books. This category recognises reporting excellence, accuracy, storytelling, originality and high standards of ethics and research. An entry may be a single report, or a series (up to three).
Best news report
News reporters face several demands and limitations unique to their round, including tighter deadlines, a shorter word count, covering multiple stories on any given day, and having their story compete for space in daily coverage. Entries to this category will be judged on accuracy, balance and fairness and the ability to improve the reader’s understanding of homelessness. The entry will also be judged its ability to respectfully and ethically cover the issue in a short time-frame. Judges will also consider the inclusion of a variety of voices, and other factors such as accompanying images. An entry may be a single report, or a series (up to three).
Best analysis, opinion and commentary
This category is open to commentary which presents a fresh and engaging perspective on the issue of homelessness and related social issues. This category provides platform to recognise opinion and analysis not usually incorporated in standard news reporting. Entries are open to opinion articles, political commentary, satirical work, blogs, talkback radio segments, podcasts and digital content (e.g. YouTube videos and social media content).
Best student journalism or early career journalism
This category is designed specifically to recognise student journalists, and journalists who are early in their career. Entrants must satisfy one of the following criteria: A student entrant must have been working toward a degree during 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019, and be in their second year or later. An early career journalist is defined as having worked in media/journalism for no more than two years prior to the date their entry was published/broadcast.
In addition to the four categories, a Gold Award will be presented to the most outstanding entry across all categories. This award will be judged by a panel of people with a lived experience of homelessness.