South Australian Country Press Awards

1st March 2017 

Matters of Interest 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:22): Last Friday evening, I was delighted to attend the Country Press SA Awards dinner at the Hahndorf Resort. The dinner was hosted by Mr Ian Osterman, the new Chairman of Country Press SA, and also, of course, the editor of the host newspaper, The Courier,at Mount Barker. The evening was conducted by the MC, Mr Andrew Manuel, the immediate past president of Country Press SA, and also the proprietor of the Plains Producer newspaper. 

I was delighted to be told that it was actually 15 years since I started presenting my award for the best community profile through Country Press SA. This year, I was very pleased that Ms Lauren Novak, political writer for The Advertiser, was pleased to accept my invitation to judge my award. I was also delighted that the winner of the award was Mr Greg Mayfield of The Recorder at Port Pirie, a stalwart of country press around this state and well known to many people in the parliament. Mr Mayfield won it for a profile entitled, ‘Heart of Fire’. If I can read briefly from Lauren Novak’s comments: 

Many entrants profiled survivors of the Pinery bushfires but Greg Mayfield’s account of Brad Dennis’ near-death experience was the most engaging. 

It was also interesting to learn on the night that the second place in my award was Louis Mayfield from the Whyalla News, who happens to be Greg’s son. Third place went to Jane Kuerschner of The Murray Pioneer. There were some interesting results on the night in the best newspaper over 5,000 circulation. The winner was the Yorke Peninsula Country Times. This is the first time that august journal has taken out that award in the top category. Second place went to The Murray Pioneer and third to The Leader

In the best newspaper 2,400 to 5,000 circulation the winner was the Plains Producer from Balaklava which, remarkably, had gone up a category from the previous year due to its 81 per cent increase in circulation—a great result for that organisation. The best newspaper under 2,400 was won by The Loxton News—congratulations to them. In the other award categories, the best advertisement image branding was won by The Border Watch and the best advertisement priced product went to The Recorder and the best advertising feature was won by The Leader at Angaston. 

The best supplement, the best headline, and the best news photograph all went to The Border Watch. The best sports photograph was taken out by The Courier and the best front page went to the Northern Argus. The editorial writing award went to The Recorder at Port Pirie and none other than Mr Greg Mayfield, who I mentioned earlier. The excellence in journalism award was taken out by The Border Watch. The best sports story was won by The Murray Pioneer. The award for digital initiative was taken out by the Plains Producer. The young journalist of the year award went to Todd Lewis of The Border Watch. The most outstanding advertising representative award went to Ms Tina Traeger from the Eyre Peninsula Tribune

Time does not permit me to read out many of the other placegetters and the people who were highly commended. However, once again, I thank Country Press SA for the very professional way they organise their award process. Certainly, when I invite someone like Lauren Novak—and other people who I have asked in the past, to judge my awards—the professionalism and the way in which it is conducted is appreciated not only by me but by those people who judge the awards.