Country Press SA Awards

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 15:21 ): I rise today to speak about the Country Press SA Awards dinner, which was held in the historic Mortlock library in Adelaide last Friday 19 February. The event was hosted by the president of Country Press SA, Mr Andrew Manuel of The Plains Producer newspaper at Balaklava, and also by the vice president, Mr Ian Osterman of The Courier at Mount Barker.

I was delighted that my annual award for Best Community Profile was won by Alice Dempster of The Times at Victor Harbor. The judge of the award, Mr Brad Perry, who is well known to many in this building, indicated: 

Alice's article on a South Coast resident was a stand-out winner, ticking all of the boxes of a wonderful community profile. 

Second place in my award went to Mr Peri Strathearn of The Murray Valley Standard and third place went to Ms Lisa Pahl of The Courier of Mount Barker. 

In the Best Newspaper over 5,000 circulation, the winner was The Murray Pioneer, with second place going to The Courier and third place to the Yorke Peninsula Country Times. The Best Newspaper 2,400 to 5,000 circulation section was won by The Recorder at Port Pirie, with The Murray Valley Standard coming second and the Port Lincoln Times in third place. The Best Newspaper under 2,400 circulation was won by The South Eastern Times at Millicent, with the Plains Producer coming second and The Loxton News in third place. 

In the other categories, the Yorke Peninsula Country Times actually won each of the following categories: Best Advertisement (Priced Product), Best Supplement and Best News Photograph. Other awards were as follows: Best Advertisement (Image/Branding), The Border Watch; Best Advertising Feature, The Courier; Best Sports Photograph was taken out by the Northern Argus; and the Best Front Page award went to The Bunyip in Gawler. 

The award for editorial writing was won by Paul Mitchell of The Murray Pioneer. The award for Excellence in Journalism was won by Sandra Morello of The Border Watch and the Best Sports Story was won by Peri Strathearn from The Murray Valley Standard, who I mentioned earlier. The award for Digital Initiative, which is one of the newer awards, was won by The Border Watch and the award for Young Journalist of the Year was won by Melissa Keogh of The Courier. Finally, of those individual awards, the Outstanding Advertising Representative Award was won by Ms Perri Leenders of The Murray Pioneer. 

Once again, it is a great pleasure to be involved with the Country Press SA organisation. It is a very professional group representing, around 30 newspapers across South Australia, including, of course, Broken Hill and Katherine. It is an organisation that makes some very good representations on behalf of its industry, and it has certainly been doing that in the last 12 months in relation to the limitations on some government advertising, from both federal and state jurisdictions, in local country newspapers. 

Of course, we know that as well as printing press releases incessantly, newspapers also need financial support, and that comes in the way of advertising. I give great credit to the organisation, led by Mr Manuel and Mr Osterman, and the way in which it represents and, we will say, award, or rightly reward, the industry.