The Bendigo Advertiser named Media Outlet of the Year at Rural Press Club of Victoria awards

The Bendigo Advertiser has been named Media Outlet of the Year at the Rural Press Club of Victoria’s Journalism & Photography Awards, held at South Wharf in Melbourne on Friday, August 25.

The newspaper claimed the prestigious title, ahead of three other finalists – the Sunraysia Daily, ABC Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley Express.

The Bendigo Advertiser editor Nicole Ferrie accepted the award on the night.

Rural Press Club of Victoria President, Rex Martinich, said the Media Outlet of the Year finalists have covered some of the key events in regional Victoria in the last 12 months.  Martinich said the Advertiser’s commitment to its community, combined with its willingness to tell stories in new ways and on new platforms, stood out.

The judging panel said the Bendigo Advertiser was a fierce advocate for its community, but still challenged its readers. “The depth and quality of its journalism and the creativity in design is a feature of the printed paper and online. It has clearly worked hard to create not just a presence, but a relationship, with the Bendigo community, and has been rewarded by an increase in print readership and a surge in online traffic.”

The Weekly Times’ Simone Smith was named Journalist of the Year.

The panel of judges said Smith’s body of work demonstrated a developed contact list.
“Smith has worked her industry contacts for these stories and then always value added by getting a human perspective to support the hard news. Smith’s dairy reporting in an unprecedented year has been ahead of the pack, accessible and resulted in processors being held to account,” noted the panel of judges.

Jay Town of the Geelong Advertiser was named Photographer of the Year.

Town’s work held-up as an example of photography, where the essence of a situation can be grasped immediately by the reader.

A highly competitive field in the Ray Frawley Young Journalist of the Year showed that the future is in good hands. The award was presented to Bridget Judd, ahead of Christopher Testa from the Sunraysia Daily, and Tara Fry from the Hamilton Spectator.

This is the second year in a row Judd has won the Journalist of the Year award.

“For Bridget to gain the confidence of her interviewees to divulge intimate details of the effects on their lives was great work. She has the touch and the talent to go a long way in journalism,” the judging panel wrote of Judd’s work.
The awards took place on Friday 25 August in front of 125 people, including 110 of Victoria’s leading rural and regional media.

View the Gallery

The other winners were:

• Best Feature Series (daily/state based newspaper): Natalie Kotsios, The Weekly Times

• Best Feature Series (non daily newspapers):Stephanie Charalambous, Jarrod Whittaker, Paul Grant, Bryce Eishold and Farrah Plummer, Latrobe Valley Express

• Best Feature Story (daily/state newspapers): Greg Dundas, Geelong Advertiser

• Best Feature Story (broadcast: Fiona Pepper), ABC RN

• Best Feature Story (non daily newspaper): Tara Fry, Hamilton Spectator

• Best News Story: Bridget Judd, ABC South West Victoria

• Best Campaign: Australian Community Media, Andrew Eales

• Best Multimedia: The Bendigo Advertiser

• Best Agribusiness: Simone Smith, The Weekly Times

• Best On Farm story: Carlene Dowie, The Australian Dairyfarmer

• Best Sports Story: Ryan Reynolds, Geelong Advertiser

• Best News Photography: Josh Nash, Portland Observer

• Best General Interest Photography: Billy-jay Easson, Hamilton Spectator

• Best Sports Photography: Kate Healy, The Ballarat Courier

View the Gallery