Awards recognise top talent at Australian Regional Media

Sunshine Coast Daily editor Jenna Cairney receives the award for editor of the year at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Sunshine Coast Daily editor Jenna Cairney receives the award for editor of the year at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

THE most talented journalists, photographers, and editors have been recognised at the annual Australian Regional Media Awards held on the Sunshine Coast this week.

ARM publishes 12 daily newspapers, more than 60 community publications and 30 regional news websites across Australia, primarily in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

On Wednesday, staff from across its sprawling network arrived at Novotel Twin Waters for the publishing company's prestigious awards ceremony.

ARM editorial director Bryce Johns said the awards showed the power and the quality of regional news.

''If anyone wanted examples of why regional media continues to be so influential, these awards were that proof,'' Mr Johns said.

''We had stories and campaigns that literally saved lives.

"There are many news sources these days, but not in regional Queensland and northern NSW. Readers are being well served.''
 

The Editor of the Year Award was won by the Sunshine Coast Daily's Jenna Cairney, against strong competition from Steve Etwell (Toowoomba Chronicle), Craig Warhurst (Gympie Times) and Rowan Hunnam (Gladstone Observer).

Judges said "through her personality, drive and compassion, Jenna Cairney virtually turned the Daily around in the past year or more".
 

Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan with former editor Craig Warhurst accept the award for the Newspaper of the Year at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan with former editor Craig Warhurst accept the award for the Newspaper of the Year at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

The Gympie Times won Newspaper of the Year, with judges praising the paper's "great journalism from a small team, striking design and impactful front pages".

Lismore's Northern Star won Campaigning Newspaper of the Year after it raised $80,000 to help save the life of Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes, who was fighting a malignant brain tumour.

Through a massive print campaign led by editor David Kirkpatrick and digital producer Alex Easton (now at Sunshine Coast Daily) , the paper raised the funds in just four days.


 

Editor of the Toowoomba Chronicle Steve Etwell receives Website of the year award from Sales and Operations Director Simon Irwin at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Editor of the Toowoomba Chronicle Steve Etwell receives Website of the year award from Sales and Operations Director Simon Irwin at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

Sunshine Coast Daily investigative journalist Bill Hoffman is ARM's Reporter of the Year for 2015. Judges felt he "raises the reputation of our craft by consistently delivering stories of the highest journalistic standard".

The Toowoomba Chronicle was named Website of the Year for thechronicle.com.au under the guidance of Editor Steve Etwell, Deputy Editor John Farmer and Digital Producer Andrew Backhouse.

"The stories engage with the reader's people, as well as breaking news to them," judges said.

 

Damian Bathersby speaks after winning the feature writer of the year award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Damian Bathersby speaks after winning the feature writer of the year award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

Sunshine Coast Daily Deputy Editor Damian Bathersby took home Feature Writer of the Year,

Judges said: "There was something magical about his work, whether he was sharing a personal story about the social media misadventures of his step-daughter, or inspiring us with the tale of a young man confined to a wheelchair after a horse-riding accident".

Gladstone Observer's Campbell Gellie earned the gong for Young Journalist of the Year, with his entry showing "great initiative, application and diligence".

"No story, it seems, is too tough for this young man," the judges wrote.
 

Owen Jacques wins the Best Use of Multimedia award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Owen Jacques wins the Best Use of Multimedia award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

ARM Online News Editor Owen Jacques won Best Use of Multimedia for his online, investigative and feature reports over the past 12 months.

Mr Jacques oversaw rolling coverage of the Lindt Cafe siege as the tragic events unfolded in the morning, through the night, and into the following day.

Mr Jacques also produced audio, visual and photographic elements as part of his "Aboard The Death Ship" investigation. That work was also recognised last month with an Amnesty International Australia Media Award.
 

ARM Centro Page Designer Martin Tiffany won Headline Writer of the Year for three great examples including "Oh baby she's one in a melon" to spruik the Chinchilla festival, "NO FANGS! Why snake catcher's wife wishes she never got behind the wheel" and "Fat Boys' slim victory" about a water polo team called the "Fat Boys".

"Martin is someone who is always looking for a great hook in every story to provide a catchy headline," the judges wrote.

"That extra effort adds tremendous value to readers."
 

Editorial Director Bryce Johns presents Matthew McInerney with the Sports Writer of the year award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Editorial Director Bryce Johns presents Matthew McInerney with the Sports Writer of the year award at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

Sports Writer of the Year was won by Fraser Coast Chronicle's Matthew McInerney.

Mr McInerney's skill in interviewing Wallaby Kane Douglas on his feelings about significant events in his life and honest feelings left readers with more understanding of his subjects.

The Coffs Coast Advocate won Front Page of the Year for its pre-Australia Day front page which "was dynamic and intriguing".  The effect of incorporating Indigenous art into its masthead was "simple but stunning".

Grafton Daily Examiner's Adam Hourigan came out ahead of a tight category to win Photographer of the Year.

In 2014, Mr Hourigan won the Nikon-Walkley prize for best community or regional photograph.

The judges wrote: "For sheer consistency it was impossible to go past Adam Hourigan's entry. Good photographers can make something from nothing by deploying the skills of their craft to the fullest".
 

Non-Daily reporter of the year Emily Smith at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Non-Daily reporter of the year Emily Smith at the 2015 Australian Regional Media Editorial Awards.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

 

Central and North Burnett Times' Emily Smith  (now at the Mackay Daily Mercury) took home the Reporter of the Year award for non-daily publications. Judges described the "instincts of a born story-teller, and the talent and creativity to transform her ideas into compelling story packages".

Gympie Times' Greg Miller -- a photographer with three decades' experience -- won Best Video of the Year, with a "standout entry", according to judges.

They said: "Greg Miller's clever video interview with a postie who had a love-hate relationship with a diving magpie who made his life, well, difficult. The magpie performed on cue in Greg's hilarious video."
 

 

FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND FINALISTS:

Newspaper of the Year

Finalists:

Sunshine Coast Daily
Morning Bulletin
Gympie Times
Daily Examiner

Winner:
Gympie Times

 

Editor of the Year:

Finalists:
Steve Etwell (The Chronicle)
Jenna Cairney (Sunshine Coast Daily)
Craig Warhurst (Gympie Times)
Rowan Hunnam (The Observer)

Winner:
Jenna Cairney

 

Campaigning Newspaper of the Year

Finalists:

Northern Star
Gympie Times
Tweed Daily News

Winner:
Northern Star


Reporter of the Year (Daily)

Finalists:
Adam Davies (Newsdesk)
Bill Hoffman (Sunshine Coast Daily)
Rae Wilson (Newsdesk)

Winner: Bill Hoffman



Website of the Year

Finalists:

The Chronicle
Morning Bulletin
Gladstone Observer

Winner
The Chronicle


Feature Writer of the Year

Finalists:
Sherele Moody (Newsdesk)
Rae Wilson (Newsdesk)
Damian Bathersby (Sunshine Coast Daily)

Winner:
Damian Bathersby


Young Journalist of the Year

Finalists:
Anna Hartley (Queensland Times)
Campbell Gellie (The Observer)
Alex Nolan (Stanthorpe)

Winner: Campbell Gellie
 


Best Use of Multi Media

Finalists

Grant Edwards (Group Editorial)
Carly Morrissey (Big Rigs)
Owen Jacques (APN Online)

Winner
Owen Jacques

 

Headline writer of the Year

Finalists:

Sue Clohesy (Centro)
Martin Tiffany (Centro)
Matt Seaniger (Centro)

Winner:
Martin Tiffany

 

Sports Writer of the Year

Finalists:
Josh Spasaro (Sportsdesk)
Bill North (Daily Examiner)
Matthew McInerney (Fraser Coast Chronicle)

Winner:
Matthew McInerney

 

Front Page of the Year

Finalists:

Morning Bulletin
Sunshine Coast Daily
Coffs Coast Advocate:

Winner: Coffs Coast Advocate

 

Photographer of the Year

Finalists:

Adam Hourigan (Daily Examiner)
Alistair Brightman (Fraser Coast Chronicle)
Allan Reinikka (Morning Bulletin)

Winner: Adam Hourigan

 

Reporter of the Year (Non-Daily)

Finalists:

Ali Kuchel (Western Times)
Anna Hartley (Ipswich Advertiser)
Emily Smith (Central & North Burnett Times)

Winner:
Emily Smith



Best Video of the Year

Finalists:
Adam Hourigan (Daily Examiner)
Wayne Heming (Sportsdesk)
Greg Miller (Gympie Times)

Winner: Greg Miller

 

JUDGES:

Bryce Johns, Editorial Director, ARM

Denise Pickering, Editor-in-chief, APN Non-Dailies

Christina Ongley, Group Content and Special Projects Editor, ARM

Peter Owen, former Group Executive Editor, ARM

Terry Quinn, former Editor-in-chief, APN Newspapers

Chris de Kretser, Herald Sun Homepage Editor

Dr Peter English, Lecturer in Journalism, University of the Sunshine Coast

Miriyana Alexander, Editor, NZ Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday


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