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Journalism Awards

The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award

Supported by Women in Media and the National Press Club of Australia

We deeply mourn the loss of our co-patron Caroline Jones, but we are honoured to continue one of her proudest legacies – the award which bears her name and which seeks to elevate the importance of reportage by female journalists working across our regions.

For the sixth year, Women in Media Australia, in partnership with the National Press Club of Australia, is calling for entries for the country’s pre-eminent award for up-and-coming regional reporters.

The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award recognises tenacity and passion for the craft of journalism from young women working across rural and regional Australia.

It seeks to immerse the award winner in an intensive experience of journalism, politics and government in Canberra and to open doors to the experience and generosity of some of the country’s top female journalists.



  • A $2500 personal learning fund
  • Travel to Canberra with five nights’ accommodation
  • Attend a National Press Club lunch and ask a question
  • Mentorship from the members of the Women in Media Canberra committee
  • The winner will spend time in a variety of Canberra and Press Gallery newsrooms during the week

This award seeks to foster commitment and passion for journalism among young women practitioners in rural and regional Australia.

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, Jones became the presenter of Australian Story.

Caroline was the national co-patron of Women in Media, a mentoring, networking, and professional development initiative for Australian women in media modelled on a successful group first established in Western Australia in 2005.


The award is the first of its kind in encouraging young female rural and regional journalists to experience first-hand the complexities of the media and political landscape across the nation’s capital.

It is a life-changing, horizon-broadening and immersive prize, exposing the winner to the institutions of Canberra, including the Press Gallery and National Press Club.

It also brings them into contact with the Women in Media network – providing mentorship, guidance, and insights from Canberra’s most prominent female journalists.

“This award is offered as a tribute to the women who, sometimes far from colleagues or mentors, choose to cover regional or remote areas of our country, reporting on local issues which are often of vital national interest,” Jones said.

“Maybe it’s because I come from the bush; or because my grandfather Ashley Pountney was editor of the first newspapers in north-west NSW, this award is close to my heart.”



The National Press Club is delighted to announce that the winner of the Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award for 2022 is Samantha Jonscher.

Samantha is the lead reporter for the ABC in Alice Springs and has also spent time reporting for ABC in Darwin.

She is the sixth recipient of the award since its inception in 2017.

Runner-up is Briana Fiore from ABC’s Great Southern region in Western Australia.

Samantha impressed the judges this year with a multi-platform selection of stories covering domestic violence, Indigenous femicide, and water rights. Her stories were of national significance and showed a deep commitment to elevating the voices of First Nations people while telling their stories with compassion.

Samantha is also a keen visual journalist, overlaying her reportage with powerful images that enhance its value and impact.

Her stories have come about only after years of dedicated work to establish trust with Indigenous communities, made more challenging when communities have a legacy of colonisation and suspicion of media.

This year, Samantha was awarded The Walkley Foundation’s Our Watch Fellowship.

She was last year’s runner up in the Caroline Jones Award for another series of excellent articles on Indigenous affairs, which Caroline described at the time as being “powerful and impeccably objective” and prepared with the utmost “cultural sensitivity”.

Caroline tragically passed away in May, having taken enormous joy in her involvement with the award and its recipients each year.

Judges, including Women in Media Patron Victoria Laurie, former Women in Media national co-chair Cath Webber and Women in Media Canberra Convenor Emma Macdonald, praised Samantha for her dedication to the Indigenous communities she writes about and for producing highly principled journalism.

Ms Laurie said Samantha displayed “a deep understanding and empathy in reporting Indigenous stories in a way that gives the subjects power over their own story”.

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.

Samantha 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.


Applicants are required to disclose if their entry or related journalism is or has been subject to any form of litigation such as claims for defamation or libel etc.
In any event, applicants will indemnify the National Press Club, its judges and corporate partners from any claim for damages and other financial settlements awarded by a court


The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award Winners


Eliza Goetze

Bundaberg News Mail


Emily Smith



Virginia Tapscott



Elly Bradfield



Brooke Littlewood

Farm Weekly


Samantha Jonscher


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