Women in Media has announced that Brooke Littlewood from Western Australia is the 2021 winner of the Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award.

Brooke is an agricultural writer at Farm Weekly – the largest-selling rural paper in WA – and her role involves enormous travel, resilience, and self-sufficiency. She has worked in Victoria and South Australia and was previously highly commended in the Caroline Jones Award for her work on the Sunraysia Daily. 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 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. “The judges were impressed by the high quality of journalism submitted by our young … applicants, giving a voice to their communities on local matters which are often of national public interest,” Caroline said.

She 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. Brooke has won a $2500 personal development grant and the opportunity to spend a week in Canberra being mentored by Women in Media members.

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