Friday, September 14, 2012

A belief in the importance of Australian rural press

I was recently awarded third place for excellence in Journalism in the 2011 Country Press Awards.

While I feel honored by the recognition (despite it only being third) I question the quality of journalism my work was held up against as rural press increasingly becomes only a training ground for cadets and a platform for press releases.

And it all comes down to that dependency on money of course. I was one of the lucky ones to work under a editor that still had the resources (well he made due) but more importantly the dedication to the honest principles of the trade.

As rural communities isolation become starker within South Australia due to the urban focused policies being implemented by the state government, the more they need to have a voice to draw attention to the ailing vital services. Rural press is that voice.

A few comments from the judges are below...enough to make a budding journo. blush -

There can only be three winners, and the following entries could have easily been published in the best national newspapers in the land - they were simply outstanding!

The Third Prize for Excellence on Journalism goes to Jacob Moss from The Border Watch for his determined and dedicated coverage of the State Government's announcement of the sale of its forestry assets in the South-East.
Judge's comments: Sustained campaign which galvanised community opinion leading to a Parliamentary rally. Strong research and writing, excellent investigative work (the campaign started with an exclusive) and a powerful contribution to a serious public issue. Very impressive.
Both Jacob and Paul could easily have been state winners in another year at another time - their work is as good as I have seen. But not this year. The winner for the Country Press SA Excellence in Journalism Award for 2011 is Lisa Pahl from The Courier, for her coverage of the State Government's re-zoning of housing land around Mt Barker.

It has been a privilege to judge the 2011 Excellence on Journalism Awards - some of the most inspired and dedicated research and writing I have seen in 20 years. An extraordinary 27 entries were received and every one of them reflected a passionate commitment by journalists and editors to their local communities and were enthusiastic illustrations of the philosophy of our craft – to report without fear or favour. They were all exceptionally balanced (a lesson to metro media), stuck to concise, detailed reporting rather than editorialising (another lesson to metros) and in most cases resisted the temptation to sensationalise.
Peter Fuller
Excellence in Journalism Judge
10th February 2011

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome Jake !! You should be blushing - very well deserved :0)