The Hamilton Spectator has taken out the Rural Press Club of Victoria Media Outlet of the Year and Journalist of the Year at the annual Victorian rural and regional journalism and photography awards dinner.

More than 100 guests attended the awards, which recognise excellence in the state’s rural and regional print and electronic media.

In awarding the prize for the prestigious Media Outlet of the Year the judges said the Hamilton Spectator, which has only seven journalists, ‘delivers news ….that is on par with neighbouring papers belonging to larger news networks with greater resources’.

Rural Press Club of Victoria President Ed Gannon said one comment that was telling was that even though the paper is now being available online, readers still seek out the hard copy.

“One store requested customers not block their driveway while waiting for The Spectator to be delivered of an afternoon!” Mr Gannon said.

The Hamilton Spectator’s Danielle Grindlay was named the Rural Press Club of Victoria Journalist of the year for her ability to write across a diversity of subjects – from a hard-edged business story, to a council report, to a feature on a local hero or heroine.

The 2012 Photographer of the Year was awarded to Ben Robson from the Border Mail for his collection of photos showing a day in the life of rural youngsters on the rodeo circuit.

The judges were impressed by Ben’s dedication to the story following through the whole day and capturing the different aspects of the rodeo including excellent detailed shots as well as moody, expressive photography.

The Ray Frawley Memorial Award for the Young Journalist of the Year was presented to Ted O’Connor from the Wimmera Mail Times for what the judges described as a fine body of work covering issues from the flood aftermath in Joel Joel, to tackling  the contentious subject of gay marriage and ‘coming out’ in the countryside.

Other winners include:

Best Regional News Story

Sponsored by Telstra

Commended

Brave Girl, Elizabeth O’Brien, Sunraysia Daily

Highly commended

Footy in a tangle, Cimara Pearce and Roslyn Lanigan, The Weekly Times

Winner

The Penshurst crash, Mary Alexander and the editorial team,     Warrnambool Standard

Best Rural News Story

Sponsored by Victorian Farmers Federation

Commended

Is processing dead? Louise Preece, Stock & Land

Highly commended

Wind wind-back a worry for green energy advocates, Anthony Stewart, ABC News

Winner

ATV photo stoush, Fiona Myers, The Weekly Times

Best Feature – all media Sponsored by Redstick Strategic Communications

Commended

Five decades of regional television, Alex Sinnot, Warrnambool Standard

Highly Commended

London Calling, Matilda Abey, The Weekly Times

Winner

Let’s talk about it, Kathy Bedford, Rob Harris and the Statewide Drive team, ABC Victoria

Best Agriculture Story

Sponsored by Dairy Australia

Commended

The farmer’s foe: Fantastic Mr Fox, Danielle Grindlay, Hamilton Spectator

Highly commended

It’s still our land after 150 years, Chris McLennan, The Weekly Times

Winner

Marius champions wool, Danielle Grindlay, Hamilton Spectator

Best Production

Sponsored by Cargill

Highly Commended

Reg the Veg, Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky, ABC Rural

Winner

100 greatest country Australians, Natalee Ward and Cristina Panozzo, The Weekly Times

Best News Photograph

Sponsored by CBH Group

Commended

Player vs Spectator, Ray Sizer, Shepparton News

Highly commended

Convicted, Jim Aldersey, Bendigo Advertiser

Winner

Horse stuck in the mud, Peter Ristevski, Geelong Advertiser

Best General Interest Photograph

Sponsored by TAC

Highly commended

Naidoc Week celebrations, Vicky Hughson, Warrnambool Standard

Winner

Moving the sheep, Steve Hynes, Warrnambool Standard

Best Video Vision

Sponsored by Murray Goulburn

Highly Commended

Boxing Day murder, Julian Fisher, Channel Nine News Melbourne

Winner

Murphy Street arrests, Julian Fisher, The Bendigo Advertiser

The Ray Frawley Award – Young Journalist of the Year

Commended

Chris Gillett, Geelong Advertiser

Highly Commended

Lisa Cameron, Hamilton Spectator

Winner

Ted O’Connor, Wimmera Mail Times

2012 RPCV Photographer of the Year

Sponsored by RACV Royal Auto

Winner

Ben Robson, The Border Mail

2012 RPCV Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by RACV

Winner

Danielle Grindlay, The Hamilton Spectator

2012 RPCV Media Outlet of the Year

Sponsored by NAB

Winner

The Hamilton Spectator

Thank you to our award sponsors:

  • Telstra
  • TAC
  • Dairy Australia
  • CBH
  • RACV
  • RoyalAuto
  • NAB Agribusiness
  • Redstick
  • VFF
  • Murray Goulburn
  • Cargill

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