The Weekly Times has been named Media Outlet of the Year at the Rural Press Club of Victoria’s Journalism & Photography Awards, held at South Wharf in Melbourne on Friday, August 26.
The newspaper claimed the prestigious title, ahead of three other finalists - the Latrobe Valley Express, the Bendigo Advertiser and the Geelong Advertiser.
The Weekly Times editor, Ed Gannon, accepted the award on the night.
Rural Press Club of Victoria President, Rex Martinich, said:
"On behalf of the Rural Press Club of Victoria, I congratulate the Weekly Times and every other award winner, as well as all who entered their work." "The difficulty our judges had in ranking the top awards entries in each category was a testament to the quality of journalism being produced in regional Victoria."
The Geelong Advertiser’s Mandy Squires was named Journalist of the Year, an award she also received last year. Mandy received the award ahead of Simone Smith, from The Weekly Times, and Melissa Cunningham from the Ballarat Courier.
The panel of judges said Mandy’s body of work had sheer impact resulting from doggedness, courage and her clear sense of purpose as a journalist.
Glenn Daniels of the Bendigo Advertiser was named Photographer of the Year, edging out Mike Moores of the Meander Valley Gazette, and Dale Webster, of The Weekly Times.
A highly competitive field in the Ray Frawley Young Journalist of the Year showed that the future is in good hands.
The award was presented to Bridget Judd, ahead of Christopher Testa from the Sunraysia Daily, and Bethany Tyler from the Geelong Advertiser.
Chair of the judging panel, Anne Burgi, said this year’s entries proved rural and regional journalism is alive and well.
“This year’s awards showed thoughtful, expressive writing on a myriad of topics, that probe diverse issues directly affecting rural and regional audiences.
“The photography entries demonstrate clearly that good photography in newspapers is not an optional extra but adds immeasurably to the life of the product.
“This year’s entries across the board were of a particularly high caliber, making each decision for the judges difficult.”
The awards took place on Friday 26 August in front of 125 people, including 110 of Victoria’s leading rural and regional media.
Click here to see the full list of winners
Below are links to media coverage of the event from Nine News Melbourne and Crikey.
From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Ricky Muir: I’m not going anywhere. Accidental Senator Ricky Muir gave perhaps one of his last addresses as an elected official yesterday, telling the Victorian Rural Press Club that he wants to stay in politics in some way or another after this Saturday’s election. He delivered a rambling speech that showed that three years in Canberra hadn’t scrubbed the Gippsland boy out of him. Muir said he hadn’t written a speech, because it was too obvious when his fellow politicians hadn’t written their own speeches and didn’t know which words were coming next.
Video of Mr Muir's interview with Nine News Melbourne for the 6pm TV bulletin
Author and writer Rosalie Ham challenged the audience at the Rural Press Club of Victoria’s May lunch, to tell diverse stories about rural people and rural communities.
Ham’s novel The Dressmaker, first published in 2000, was adapted to film last year to huge success. The award winning film adaptation, produced and directed by Sue Maslin and Jocelyn Moorhouse, has taken Ham’s characters of Tilly, Teddy and Molly, in the small country town of Dungatar, to the world. Many of the characters played on some of the stereotypes about small town living. It’s these stereotypes that Ham will work to debunk in her fourth novel, that she’s currently working on. Set in a rural environment, with a focus on irrigation water, Ham’s fourth novel will feature well accomplished, sophisticated, intelligent people that are also hard working, that just happen to live in the country.
A landmark discussion paper authored by the Australian Farm Institute says plant biosecurity RD&E that underpins Australian agriculture and its access to international markets must be prioritised and is best served by the establishment of a new research corporation. Watch or listen to the author of the Paper, AFI Director Mick Keogh, join with Tanya Pittard from Grain Producers Australia, and Tania Chapman from Voice of Horticulture to discuss the options of a plant biosecurity model that grows markets together. Recorded in Melbourne on April 20, 2016.
ABC Rural - Growing pressure on Australia's biosecurity system leads to calls for reform
Weekly Times - Australian Farm Institute director Mick Keogh to address Rural Press Club of Victoria
This year Emergency Management Victoria is once again the State Convenor for the Resilient Australia Awards, which was launched in March.
The national awards are now in their 17th year and recognise and promote initiatives that help make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage natural disasters.
They are open to all Victorians, including individuals, not for profit organisations, small and large businesses, local and state government, schools, education institutions, research bodies and emergency service agencies.
The Resilient Australia Photography Award is open to individual photographers and copyright holders are eligible.
Last year, Victorian Rebecca Hosking’s photograph 'Helmet of Leadership Values' was the People’s Choice Winner (main photo). The photo depicts Anglesea CFA Captain Andy Rankin passing on the helmet of leadership to his son Elliot.
We encourage you to consider entering the Awards and have your project recognised.
The 2016 Resilient Australia Awards are now open for entries, until 9 June 2016. To apply, go online: https://resilient.awardsplatform.com
Congratulations to RPCV member Mandy Squires from the Geelong Advertiser for her award for Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium.
Other finalists: Stephanie Corsetti (ABC Radio, PM); Chris McLennon (The Weekly Times); Brigid Donovan, Heather Ewart, Ron Ekkel & Tony Kuric (Backroads, ABC TV).
Congratulations to all the entrants who entered the ACAJ'S Star Prize Awards, which is the umbrella organisation for state rural press clubs. Our entries
were up on last years entires, and were of an incredibly high standard. The Victorian finalists will now go onto represent Victoria at a national level.
The Rural Press Club of Victoria committee wish all our state winners the very best of luck for this next round.
An opportunity for Victorian journalists and photographers to showcase their talents to the world, Star Prize winners in all national categories will have the opportunity to represent their country in the international awards.
Victoria has had great success in the past – with our photographers and writers taking out several international prizes over the past few years. The work of our finalists showcases the high quality of agricultural media in our state both in writing, broadcasting and photography.
Rabobank Australian Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting was taken out by ABC Landline, Fiona Breen with the piece 'Sunken Treasure'. The judges felt Fiona's exclusive story on the harvest of speciality trees from their underwater grave in remote
Tasmania marries a reporter’s determination and skill with brilliant footage and editing.
Congratulations to Nathan Dyer from Outback Magazine whose piece 'Native Pasture Pioneer’ won the writing category. The judges were impressed with how Nathan captured the history and currency
of the changing landscape. Conveying a strong sense of person and place in his writing.
Dale Webster from the Weekly Times took out the people photography category, with 'Cruel Cut'. The photograph combined technical achievement and good composition with a candid backdrop of once-prized crops being cut for hay in an attempt to stem losses from drought.
In the landscape category of the Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography, the Victorian finalist was Glenn Daniels from Bendigo Advertiser, with
'Eye on the Dry'. The result of time and effort on the photographer’s behalf, this aerial image creates a thought-provoking juxtaposition between
the vast, dry paddocks and the human effort to counteract the forces of nature, the truck greatly diminished by comparison.
In the production category of the Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography, the Victorian finalist was Tammy Brown, from Colac Herald, with 'Hard Work'. The images composition, was well suited for the newspaper’s rural section front page, helping draw the reader towards
a series of shearing images inside the section.
Finally, in the new category Food Security, Melissa Marino from Coretext was the Victorian finalist with 'How Paddock Science Solved a Soil Puzzle'. Melissa’s story on water-repellent soils is a detailed reflection on the way no-till broadacre cropping systems are changing the way Australians farm. The heart of the story addresses the complexities of translating laboratory findings, to what’s happening in paddocks.