Monash journalism graduate Ashley Argoon has been named the 2013 Walkley Young Journalist of the Year.
Ashley, a journalist at The Border Mail in Albury, won the Text-based Journalism category and the overall prize for her award-winning work in The Border Mail’s campaign, Ending the suicide silence.
Ashley’s prize is a trip to CNN headquarters in Atlanta or New York or the BBC in London.
Walkley judges said Ashley, 24, was recognised for the outstanding depth of her work and contribution to changing the status quo through the Ending the suicide silence campaign.
Her work featured a combination of hard news, feature writing and social media use, which demonstrated her persistence, sensitivity and a strong journalistic skillset.
“It is an impressive achievement for someone at an early stage of their career and showcases the importance of journalism that is connected to and responsive to the needs of its local community,” the judges said.
Ashley, who studied journalism at Monash’s Caulfield campus from 2007 to 2010, said she felt drawn to the profession because “no other career felt right”.
She acknowledged Monash journalism staff whose support she described as “incredible” while building a diverse skillset.
“At Monash I not only learned about the world of journalism, I got my foot in the door,” Ashley said.
“The support from staff was the reason my first stories were published, the reason I got work experience, and the reason I secured a cadetship at The Border Mail.
“Under Bill Birnbauer’s leadership, I was involved in the Dangerous Ground website in its inaugural year, looking into the workings of the EPA. During this project I developed a love of investigation and learned the importance of perseverance.”
Monash graduate Sam Landsberger was a finalist in the Walkley’s Innovation in Journalism category.
Sam, a News Ltd sports journalist based at the Herald Sun, produced the AFL Draft preview series, Pick Me, which intensively profiles the best young footballers in Australia.
Sam was also acknowledged for his series, If you don’t mind, umpire, and exclusive story Drugs ban for VFL player.
Sam trained in sports journalism in 2010, while writing VFL football for the Herald Sun.