Victorians are amongst a group of Australian rural journalists and photographers who are on top of the world after dominating awards for journalistic excellence at an international conference in Argentina earlier this month
Australian journalists took a clean sweep of all the broadcast awards at this year’s International Federation of Agricultural Journalist’s Star Prizes.
On top of that a Victorian photographer also took out the top prize in the photography category beating entries from all over the world.
Geelong Advertiser photographer Peter Ristevski won the judges accolades and the top photography prize for his striking image which was the unanimous choice from more than 70 entries from around the world.
The photo of a horse trapped in mud with its distressed young owner cradling its head had a happy ending when the exhausted animal was safely rescued. Peter’s image was judged the best in the People category before taking the major prize.
Victorians Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky from the ABC took out the broadcast on-line category for a multi-media human interest report on the impact of wild dog predation.
The awards didn’t stop there for Victorian Rural Press Club members with Melbourne-based freelance Journalist Nathan Dyer placing third in the Star Prize Award for Print Journalism for a feature on the Ord River region published in RM Williams Outback Magazine.
Finalists nominated by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ) won six of nine awards plus a second and third placing at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists 2013 World Congress.
ACAJ President Tim Powell said it was an extraordinary and outstanding result for Australia.
“It is the best result Australia has ever achieved in the prestigious Star Prize Awards,” Mr Powell said
“The Star Prizes are the most significant awards in the agricultural journalism and to have our journalists named the best in their field in the world is an amazing achievement.
“What this shows is that Australian rural journalists are matching it with the best in the world.”
The award ceremony was a highlight of the final day of the Congress in Rosario, in the Argentine agricultural heartland.
Journalists from the ABC made a clean sweep of the three broadcast award categories – television, radio and on line -- while Australians won two of the three photography categories and the overall best photo award.
Tait Schmaal from the Adelaide Advertiser submitted the winning entry in the Production category, an airborne sheep leaping to freedom.
The Ballarat Courier has claimed the coveted Rural Press Club of Victoria Media Outlet of the Year title, beating off finalists The Warrnambool Standard, The Border Morning Mail and The Hamilton Spectator.
The Courier, long the provider of news and information to the Ballarat region, had taken its coverage to new levels with its on-line and digital presence, said judging panel co-chairman Gareth Boreham.
“Through its multi-media platforms, the paper has broken significant national stories such as the NBN roll-out asbestos scare, as well as providing comprehensive reporting on health issues and the summer bushfires that wreaked so much havoc,” Mr Boreham said.
“The paper is leading the way with new technologies. Reporters and photographers file using Iphones and Ipads and are constantly learning new skills to update content as it happens.”
The Geelong Advertiser’s Danny Lannen was awarded Journalist of the Year for his folio of news and feature stories involving deeply personal accounts on issues ranging from refugee policy and forced adoptions to the impact of suicide on a prominent member of the Geelong community.
“All were handled with appropriate sensitivity and empathy, free of sensationalism, making Danny the standout,” said Mr Boreham.
The Hamilton Spectator’s Dean Koopman, having only returned to photography six months ago after a decade-long absence, was named RPCV Photographer of the Year.
“Dean’s images tell their stories powerfully – the epitome of good news photography,” said photography judge and former News Ltd picture editor, Vince Calati.
Ray Frawley Young Journalist of the Year, The Weekly Times’ Alex Sampson, edged out her competition for a tenacity that “could not be taught” said her editor and RPCV president Ed Gannon.
The other winners were Kim Quinlin, The Ballarat Courier (Best Feature Story); Tammy Mills, The Border Morning Mail (Best Regional News Story); Emma Field, The Weekly Times (Best Rural News Story); Tim Lee, Ron Ekkel, James Fisher and Corina Scott, Landline (Best Agriculture Story); Mark Bogue, The Weekly Times (Best Production), Dean Koopman, The Hamilton Spectator (Best News Photograph) and Rob Gunstone, The Warrnambool Standard (Best General Interest Photograph).
The RPCV Journalism and Photography awards recognise and celebrate excellence in agricultural and rural journalism and photography, in both the print and electronic media.
This year’s competition attracted a record 365 entries, proving excellence in journalism is alive and well in the bush despite ongoing challenges in the media environment, said Mr Gannon.
Keynote speaker, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, congratulated attendees at Friday’s night’s event in Melbourne for their dedication to their communities.
“The greatest thing we could do for people who are new to the state, new to country Victoria, is give them a 12 month-subscription to their local paper. Nothing helps someone new to a community understand better how that community works,” said Dr Napthine.
Wimmera West Press Club is on a roll.
And while impartiality is the code of any good journalist there will be plenty of bias as the club meets on February 8 at Sunnyside Bowling Club, Horsham for its first 2013 event. In what is expected to be a crackerjack night, members will hold a barefoot bowls event. Wimmera West Press Club formed last year as a forum for media and communications representatives across the Wimmera and Western Victorian region.
The bowls night is open to members, new members and partners and will begin at 6pm.
Cost is $15 for bowls and a barbecue tea. Please RSVP to Simone Dalton on 0408 349 532 or firstname.lastname@example.org 349 532 by 4 February.
Victorian journalists and photographers have taken out awards at today’s announcement of the Australian Star Prizes for Rural Writing, Broadcasting and Photography.
The prizes at both a state and a national level were announced at a sell-out Victorian Rural Press Club breakfast.
The Star Prizes are run in conjunction with the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists recognising excellence in agricultural journalism and photography and give Victorians a chance to compete on the world stage.
The Geelong Advertiser’s Peter Ristevski took out the top prize in the Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography for his picture of an owner and their horse being rescued after getting stuck in the mud.
The judges said Peter’s photo exquisitely captured a scene of desperation with the young owner cradling the head of the bogged horse in her arms.
Also announced at the breakfast was the winner of the Kubota Australian Star Prize for Rural Writing. Nathan Dyer was named as the national winner for a piece published in RM Williams Outback Magazine about the Ord River Irrigation Scheme.
The judges commented the writer demonstrated a great knowledge and understanding and had done wonderful research and was also able to tell a story in a way which captivated the reader.
For this honour, Nathan has won a trip to Argentina to represent Australia at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress.
Victorian journalists also took out the Online category of the Rabobank Australian Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting.
A joint entry from Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky on Victoria’s only female dog trapper was announced as a category winner and will now be judged on an international level.
Entries are submitted at a state level for the Star Prizes and winners are chosen to go onto represent Victoria at a national level of judging. The category winners in the national level are then judged against other entries from all over the world at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress.
Kubota Australian Star Prize for Rural Writing : Eliza Adamthwaite (Border Mail)
Rabobank Australian Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting:
Radio – Flint Duxfield (ABC)
TV – Tim Lee (ABC)
Online – Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky (ABC)
Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography:
People – Peter Ristevski (Geelong Advertiser)
Production – Steve Hynes (Warrnambool Standard)
Landscape – Ben Robson (Border Mail)
Kubota Australian Star Prize for Rural Writing: Nathan Dyer (Freelance)
Rabobank Australian Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting - Online category: Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky (ABC)
Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography – People category and overall winner - Peter Ristevski (Geelong Advertiser)
The Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ) together with national sponsor Kubota, the world’s largest manufacturers of farm and industrial machinery, launched the 2013 Kubota Australian Star Prize for Rural Writing at a breakfast hosted by the Victorian Rural Press club today in Melbourne.
The Kubota Australian Star Prize for Rural Writing recognises and rewards excellence in print or on-line journalism in the rural sector with an international professional opportunity valued at $5000.
Launching the competition at the Rural Press club in Melbourne this morning Kubota Marketing Manager Mark Taylor said Kubota was proud to support this award for the second time.
“This is an outstanding award that rewards and celebrates some of this country’s best rural journalists,” Taylor said. “ At Kubota we understand the important role that rural journalists play in regional Australia. By supporting this award we are supporting the rural and regional communities that are part of the Kubota network.”
The award is run annually by the ACAJ in association with Australia’s five State-based rural media clubs which select finalists to represent them in the competition.
The national winner will represents Australia in the prestigious international award program at the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ) conference to be held in Buenos Aires in Argentina in September. The prize includes airfares and registration fees up to the value of $5,000, provided by Kubota. The IFAJ annual conference is a gathering of rural journalists from around the world.
President of the ACAJ Tim Powell congratulated Kubota on again taking up the sponsorship of this major national rural writing award.
“It is great to see a global farm machinery company like Kubota supporting our rural journalists here in Australia,” Powell said. “Without the support of organisations like Kubota we would not be able to continue to offer this rare opportunity for professional development.”
Journalists should contact their local press club for details about how to enter.
Further information is also available from the ACAJ website – www.acaj.org.au or by contacting national award print coordinator, Genevieve McAulay, phone 0428 279 576 or email Gen.McAulay@rabobank.com