SA Media Awards


The winners of the 2018 SA Media Awards have been announced.


The ABC’s Angelique Donnellan won five trophies at the 2018 SA Media Awards, including the coveted Journalist of the Year Award.

The ABC’s Angelique Donnellan was named Journalist of the Year at the presentation of the 2018 South Australian Media Awards at the Adelaide Festival Centre on Saturday, June 2. The awards were announced at the South Australian Media Ball.

Donnellan also won the award for Best TV Broadcaster and shared the awards for Best TV/Video News Report and the All Media – Public Service Journalism award for with colleague Nicola Gage for their work on the Oakden scandal and abuse in state care.

Donnellan won again, this time the award for TV /Video Current Affairs or Feature with colleague Sophie Wainwright for “Who is Sally Zou?”.

The legendary footballer and highly respected journalist Merv Agars, who was the Advertiser’s sports editor for more than 20 years, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to journalism. Merv died on August 8, 2017 aged 92.

The complete list of 2018 SA Media Award winners appears below. MEAA congratulates all the winners and finalists on their achievement.

2018 SA MEDIA AWARDS – WINNERS, FINALISTS AND JUDGES’ COMMENTS

 

BRONZE: All Media – Graphic, Artwork or Cartoon

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Owen Lindsay: Walking City: City Mag
  • Peter MacMullin: MacMullin three toons: News Corp

Winner:

  • Ray Hirst: Body of work: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Ray Hirst’s body of work has the unique power of the printed word combined with creative imagery and design to capture the eyes and imagination of the reader.

 

BRONZE: All Media – Public Service Journalism

Sponsored by: SACOSS

Finalists:

  • Hannah Foord :Bullied to death – the Libby Bell story: Network Ten
  • Lauren Novak: Right to safety: News Corp

Winner:

  • Nicola Gage and Angelique Donnellan: Abuse in State Care: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

Nicola Gage and Angelique Donnellan’s stories exposed the abuse and mal-administration at an Oaken nursing home for mentally ill older Australians, sparking a government investigation and ultimately leading to the facility being closed and its residents rehoused. Their series of stories over five months highlighted the pain and suffering of patients and their families, and revealed a government which neglected to act when first confronted with concerns about the state-run nursing home two years earlier. The trust they built with talent and their persistent inquiries resulted in impactful coverage that became a catalyst for change – a hallmark of quality public service journalism.

 

BRONZE: All Media – Coverage of Sport

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Michael McGuire: Sport times three: The Advertiser
  • Tom Richardson: Touch of the Fumbles: InDaily

Winner:

  • Nick Butler: Nick Butler China: Network Ten

Judges’ Comments:

Nick Butler anchored the sports break for Ten Eyewitness news from Shanghai over three nights to mark the sporting significance of Port’s inaugural clash with the Gold Coast in China. He also filed two comprehensive and innovative sports stories a day despite facing challenges from limited resources. His presentation and delivery style was colourful and informative, engaging the viewer and communicating the excitement of the trip for players and fans.

 

BRONZE: All Media –Freelance Contribution

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Annie Hastwell: Exploring SA : Various
  • Jane Howard: Body of work: Various

Winner:

  • Royce Kurmelovs: Body of work: Various

Judges’ Comments:

The winning entry shows a selection of stories from the far edge of what is considered mainstream social conduct. The articles use personal stories to shine a light on broader issues affecting many Australians and the results are both insightful and rare. The body of work shows a commitment to seeking out and telling untold stories. Patience, persistence and care are clearly present. All finalists demonstrated a high degree of creativity and considerable effort, though in vastly difficult subject areas, making this a difficult category to judge.

 

BRONZE: All Media -Rural/Regional Journalist

Sponsored by: Stories Well Told

Finalists:

  • Brittany Evins: Riverland: Community Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • John Hunt: The Sale of the Whyalla Steelworks: Southern Cross GTS/BKN
  • Peri Strathearn: Body of work: The Murray Valley Standard (Fairfax Media

Winner:

  • Les Pearson Body of work: Plains Producer

Judges’ Comments:

Amid a particularly strong range of entries this year, this body of work stood out by a nose. The pieces cover a range of difficult issues, each handled with humanity and executed with flair.  They demonstrate the work of a reporter trusted by and passionate about his community, which is particularly important in the regional and rural category. It’s fitting to note the hard work of the other finalists, who must work with increasingly limited resources and often under pressure. The high quality of the work despite this is to be commended.

 

BRONZE: All Media – Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique

Sponsored by: Law Society of SA

Finalists:

  • Jane Howard: Body of work: The Guardian
  • Lauren Novak: Arguments on behalf of women: News Corp

Winner:

  • Daniel Wills: The State: News Limited

Judges’ Comments:

An increased field and great diversity of entries made judging this category particularly difficult this year, as did a generally high standard of entry. Comparing pieces on issues as diverse as gender, politics and the Arts is fraught with difficulty. After much debate, the judging panel settled on Daniel Wills as the winner, for his ability to summarise complex political situations and to strike a balance between presenting facts while still drawing conclusions and between writing with fairness and with flair. At a time when the quantity, volume and sometimes shrill and shallow nature of opinion in the media can be overwhelming, it is vital for journalists and commentators to present well-argued and considered commentary, analysis and critique. The judging panel was also impressed with the quality of work by finalists Lauren Novak and Jane Howard

 

BRONZE: All Media – Investigative Journalism

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Hendrik Gout: Grant Controversy: Seven Network
  • Tom Richardson: RSL Hell: InDaily

Winner:

  • Brad Crouch: RAH stroke deaths scandal: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

In the best tradition of investigative journalism, Brad Crouch’s expose started with a seemingly mundane inquiry into staffing issues at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He discovered that its promised 24/7 coverage for stroke patients was not possible. Through tenacious research he discovered that two stroke patients died at the RAH on a day when the hospital’s only two specialists qualified to provide life-saving treatment were both rostered on leave. Subsequent staff changes ordered by the government and Health Department could well save lives.

 

BRONZE: All Media –Community Journalist

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Nicola Gage: Aboriginal community searches for answers over Waterloo Bay massacre: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Dan Jervis-Bardy: Body of Work: News Corp

Winner:

  • Rhiannon Elston: Body of work: SBS

Judges’ Comments:

Rhiannon’s work stood out in this hotly contested category. She comprehensively covers these stories for a national audience that would not have been told otherwise. Through her own research and contacts Rhiannon has discovered these stories of the South Australian community that deserve to be told and which show the rich diversity in our society. The Dinka Bor initiation ceremony shows with great empathy how this community is overcoming its difficulties by strengthening cultural ties to their new island home. The Begona Brides story is an important slice of South Australia’s cultural heritage that could have so easily been forgotten, while the Koonibba football club yarn is a brilliant piece of grass roots reporting from a community that could do with more attention on its positives rather than its struggles.

 

BRONZE: Best Three Headlines 

Sponsored by: Media Super

Winner:

  • Greg Barila: “Mr Xenopom”,”Now you sashimi, now you don’t!” and “All quiet on the question front”: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Greg Barila’s, “MR XENOPOM” heading is extremely clever and summarises the story brilliantly — if a headline is meant to be an index of the story’s content, then this headline is an exemplar par excellence. The second headline is amusing and appropriate for the light-hearted story, and the third is a clever play on the name of a publication that’s prominent in popular culture.

 

BRONZE: Public Relations Campaign (Government or Private)

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalist:

  • Brian Littley, Victoria Moore and Sarah Coligan : HomeStart leads the nation as a launch-pad into Great Australian dream : The Press Gallery

Winner:

  • Victoria Moore: Zipper Kids Score Open Heart Goals: The Press Gallery

Judges’ Comments:

As the traditional media industry experiences change and faces challenges so too does the Public Relations sector of the media.  But there’s still a place for communication campaigns designed to reach the public using a combination of traditional and newer media channels, and where PR professionals assist media with creative campaign themes and story leads. In this category it was difficult for the judges to separate the final nominees, as both delivered useful public information about very different issues.  But with a campaign that meets essential criteria for newsworthiness, creativity and public interest, the winner is  Zipper Kids Open Heart Goals by Victoria Moore.

 

BRONZE: Print/Text News or Lifestyle Feature

Sponsored by: University of South Australia

Finalists:

  • Brad Crouch: Stark Insight Into RAH EDs, Old and New: News Corp
  • Farrin Foster: The Act of Knowing: CityMag

Winner:

  • Penelope Debelle: Michael Abbott: Devil’s Advocate: The Advertiser

Judges’ Comments:

In a strong field of entrants, Penelope Debelle’s feature was a stand-out. The reporter delved into the private passion of a prominent Adelaide figure who rarely gives interviews. The result is a well-rounded portrait of a formidable QC who is also an expert collector of Asia art and a philanthropist.
“He is a fascinating individual, a lone wolf with a circle of friends and interests that goes way past the law. He has no time for Adelaide’s legal mutual admiration society whose members drink wine and talk about the latest High Court appointment. He is a man apart with a grand passion for Asian art that began in the 1960s when the former St Peter’s College student was fresh from a law degree at Adelaide University.’’ The judges were impressed with the originality and the reporter’s writing flair.

 

BRONZE: Print/ Text  News Report

Sponsored by: Telstra

Finalist:

  • Daniel Wills: Catch me if you can: News Corp

Winner:

  • Brad Crouch: RAH stroke deaths scandal: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Brad Crouch’s series of exclusive news stories for The Advertiser revealing the scandalous circumstances surrounding the deaths of two stroke victims at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are a testament to all-round reporting skills – from building contacts, expertise in his round, and doggedness in pursuit of the facts. First Crouch discovered the RAH’s claim to have 24/7 coverage for strokes could not be true, since it only had two rostered specialists available. Then he found, partly by cross checking obituary columns, that two patients had died of stroke when the experts were not available. Crouch’s revelations about the lack of timely care – and the internecine medical politics behind it – shocked not only the unwitting families of those who died but the coroner who had not been informed of the cases. First class work which continues to resonate today and, by exposing flaws in the system, may well help save lives.

 

BRONZE: TV/Video Current Affairs or Feature

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Hendrik Gout: Grant Controversy: Seven Network
  • Mark Mooney: Manna Hill Tragedy: Seven Network

Winner:

  • Angelique Donnellan and Sophie Wainwright: Who is Sally Zou?: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

The journalist who has won best TV Current Affair or Feature, conducted thorough research and produced a news story that was timely and newsworthy at a time when foreign political donations were at the top of political agenda.  As a result, the journalist produced an insightful and strong narrative of high public interest.

 

BRONZE: TV/Video  News or Current Affairs Camera

Sponsored by: Mosaic AV

Finalists:

  • ABC TV Team Entry: Sellicks Beach Historic Races: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Travis Levi: Travis Levi-Today Tonight: Seven Network

Winner:

  • Tony Salvatore: Body of work: Seven Network

Judges’ Comments:

Powerful sweeping shots of the landscape and emotive close-up’s are just a few of the reasons why this journalist is the winner of this category. Their placement of talent and creative shots meant that the audience had no choice but to be continually immersed in the narrative.

 

BRONZE: TV /Video News Report

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Isabel Dayman: Xenophon candidate sacked: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Hannah Foord: Libby Bell: Network Ten

Winner:

  • Angelique Donnellan and Nicola Gage: Oakden Scandal: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

The winner in the category of Best TV News Report deserves credit for persistently covering the issue over a long period of time and continuing to break new news angles on an issue that every news outlet in town was chasing. Their work shows both sensitive interviewing of victims and whistle-blowers and holding authorities to account. Their work was clearly newsworthy and in the public interest, and had the most far-reaching and long-lasting impact.

 

BRONZE: Radio/Audio  News &  Current Affairs or Feature

Sponsored by: Media Super

Finalist:

  • Greg Barila : Heaps Good History podcast: News Corp

Winner:

  • Caroline Winter: Summer Special: Australia’s Space Race: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

Caroline Winter’s documentary on Australia’s Space Race is an outstanding contribution to the radio documentary genre, using soundscapes, music, ambience, interviews and narration to weave a fascinating story about Australia’s ‘place in space’. This is a great example of the use of audio to bring a story alive – not simply reading a script. The use of atmos and interviews was cleverly scripted and made the topic even more engaging, making the listener feel like a fly on the wall of history. The program showcases a wide range of voices from international experts to amateur stargazers and students aspiring to be astronauts. This documentary was very newsworthy and brings alive the current reinvigorated excitement about Australia’s role, past, present and future, in the space exploration sector.

 

BRONZE: Sport Photograph or Photographic Series

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • William Bailey: Thrilling Finish: Murray Valley Standard (Fairfax)
  • Tom Huntley: Tom Huntley – Sport: Advertiser

Winner:

  • Sarah Reed: Tex Soars: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Sarah Reed’s ‘Text Soars’ photograph is teasingly at the peak of the action and is a showcase of what Australian Rules Football is famous for, the spectacular high mark.

 

BRONZE: Feature Photograph or Photographic Series

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalists:

  • Dave Laslett, Tyrone Ormsby and Josh Geelen : The Act of Knowing: CityMag / City Standard
  • Sarah Reed: Oar Inspiring: News Corp

Winner:

  • Tom Huntley: Body of Work The Advertiser

Judges’ Comments:

Tom Huntley’s ‘cube’ is startlingly brilliant, creative and an irresistible image, in a difficult and unique setting, that extraordinarily displays a brilliant concept that many could not imagine, let alone photograph with such impact.

 

BRONZE: News Photograph or Photographic Series

Sponsored by: MEAA

Winner:

  • Sarah Reed: Despair: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Sarah Reed’s photograph poignantly captures a deeply emotional moment that had been comprehensively written about in the sports media.  It was handled with compassion and recorded a specific moment in time that tells the story.

 

SILVER: Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism

Sponsored by: University of South Australia

Finalists:

  • Ryan Colsey: Body of work : University of South Australia
  • Ashleigh Piles: Body of work : University of South Australia
  • Sam Richards: Body of work : University of South Australia

Winner:

  • Jesse Neill: Body of work : University of South Australia

Judges’ Comments:

This award recognises the University of South Australia’s best journalism student, both in an academic sense and  in acknowledgement of the winner’s great potential as a reporter from portfolio of works submitted. This year there were more finalists than usual which is a testament in itself to the high calibre of students’ work. And the winner is Jesse Neill. Not only is he a scholar with an amazing GPA, he’s also a great writer who’ll no doubt go far as a journalist.

 

SILVER: Max Fatchen Award For Best Young Journalist

Sponsored by: Department of Human Services

Finalists:

  • Isabel Dayman: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Bension Siebert: InDaily

Winner:

  • Max Burford: Network Ten

Judges’ Comments:

Life can be difficult for sports journalists competing with hard-news reporters in this category, however Max’s quality outshone a stellar field. His reports demonstrated different qualities – working under intense pressure for Adelaide’s Grand Final story and dogged digging for the Rory Sloane story. Yet it was his use of Port Adelaide’s famous creed, to highlight the link between players and fans, that illustrated his ability to lift a story from the realm of the mundane to the intensely interesting. Burford consistently displays an ability to find different and engaging ways to tell stories and as a result, his work is always memorable.

 

SILVER: Best Photographer

Sponsored by: Serafino Wines

Winner:

  • Sarah Reed: The Advertiser/Sunday Mail

Judges’ Comments:

Sarah has demonstrated in this year’s body of work just how she masters seizing split-second opportunity. The judges remarked that her wild weather photo is unlike any of its kind they’ve seen before. The composition in the image of Tex’s mark is perfect. And the overwhelming picture of Sam Jacobs with his parents does everything an excellent news photograph should do – telling the entire story in a single snap.

 

SILVER: Best Radio/Audio Broadcaster

Sponsored by: MEAA

Finalist:

  • Greg Barila: News Corp

Winner:

  • Caroline Winter: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

Caroline Winter’s reports took the listener to Australia’s Outback, looking at the need for more Aboriginal Rangers at Uluru… and then she took us all the way to Outer Space, with an in-depth and entertaining piece about Australia’s role in a new space race. But it was Caroline’s ‘Fly on the Wall’ report on a new Ice addiction treatment program that was captivating. Speaking to the addicts and experts, the piece perfectly harnessed the power of radio reporting.

 

SILVER: Best TV Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter, Camera)

Sponsored by: Media Super

Finalist:

  • Travis Levi: Seven Network

Winner:

  • Angelique Donnellan: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

The judge’s said Angelique’s entries were a stand-out, with compelling story content and holding immense public interest. The judges recognised that some news stories are difficult for television journalists to cover, due to the lack of interesting available vision, but that Donnellan persisted and found ways to present an absorbing yarn. The judges believed that Donnellan’s doggedness to uncover the scandal, stick with it, and present it to the public, made her a very worthy winner. The story led to an ICAC inquiry and was also the subject of a Senate inquiry.

 

SILVER: Best Print/Text Journalist

Sponsored by: University of South Australia

Finalists:

  • Brad Crouch: News Corp
  • Michael McGuire: News Corp

Winner:

  • Daniel Wills: News Corp

Judges’ Comments:

Daniel beat top-quality opposition from a large field, with his consistently excellent work demonstrating the ability to ferret out the hidden facts behind important public issues, and to write about them in engaging and coherent ways.  His story about the arrest of a senior State Government bureaucrat demonstrated his ability to reveal issues readers need to know, while his high-quality writing moves easily from hard-hitting news reporting to analytical and compelling feature writing. His opinion writing courageously takes the state’s power-brokers to task and demands a better future for South Australians. This is Fourth Estate journalism at its best, working conscientiously on behalf of South Australia’s citizens.

 

GOLD: Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

Sponsored by: MEAA

Winner:

  • Merv Agars

Judges’ Comments:

It is an honor to announce the 2018 South Australian Media Hall of Fame, Gold Award. An award reserved for those whose contribution to the media is outstanding.

Since the inaugural Awards in 2004, its inductees include exceptional contributors to the Media in South Australia – Marg Ralston, Don Riddell, Shirley Stott- Despoja, John Scales, Samela Harris, Keith Conlon, Patricia Dunstan, Rob Kelvin, Ray Titus, and sadly some who are no longer with us – Max Fatchen, Stewart Cockburn, Kevin Crease, Michael Atchison, Murray Niccoll, John Doherty, and Des Colqhoun.

And while the 2018 inductee to the South Australian Media Hall of Fame is no longer with us, his legacy to sports journalism and sport in this State lives on, and so tonight we honour him.

Born at Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula, he started his league football career in 1946 with West Adelaide with whom he played 107 games. In his second year he played in the club’s premiership side, and went on to represent South Australia on eight occasions. Forty years after playing in the 1947 premiership team, he wrote the ultimate account of the club’s story, West Adelaide Football Club – Bloods, Sweat and Tears.

His sporting prowess didn’t end with football, but extended to playing district cricket with East Torrens, where he scored a century on his A-grade debut in 1947.

Already working at The Advertiser newspaper as his league football career was ending, he was moved from the commercial department, to the editorial floor in 1954, to work as a sports journalist.

With his impeccable knowledge — and exemplary commitment to excellence, he held the position of sports journalist for 13 years before going on to become The Advertiser’s longest-serving sports editor — serving from July 1967 to April 1986.

He covered the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968; Munich, 1972 and Montreal, in 1976; and in the words of a former colleague who was with him covering the Munich Olympics, that were brought to tragedy by terrorism, “he proved that he could handle a major world news event, as well as he could report a sporting contest”. And again, at Montreal, as a trusted journalist, he got the inside running — for the world — when the Africans decided to walk out because of the ban on New Zealand.

Following his retirement in 1985, he continued to write sports columns, in particular lawn bowls.

His former colleagues say he was a team man, a complete and thorough gentleman, a guiding light who always upheld the ethics of journalism.

He is also remembered for his family life – 67 years with his “life partner” wife Margaret, and sons Graeme, Tony and Scott.

Nominated by his peers for this most prestigious media award, he has been inducted in the Adelaide Oval Media Hall of Fame and South Australian Football Hall of Fame. Aged 92 when he left us just 9 months ago, he is remembered as a man of principle and dignity, both in his sporting pursuits and journalism.

Ladies and gentleman, as I call his son Graeme and longtime colleague and friend Michelangelo Rucci to the stage, would you stand to acknowledge the outstanding contribution to the South Australian Media of the late Merv Agars, as tonight we honour his induction to the South Australian Media Hall of Fame.

GOLD: 2018 SA Media Awards Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by: University of South Australia

Winner:

  • Angelique Donnellan: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Judges’ Comments:

Our State is privileged by the incredibly talented journalists that ARE our local industry.

Despite the increasingly challenging times we face, – journalists in South Australia arrive in newsrooms demanding of themselves and each other new, unique and significant content for their audience.

Journalists who daily disprove the notion, the future of our world can prosper via citizen journalism and ubiquitous aggregated information alone.

One such journalist does this in such an emphatic manner and with such determination, that they have been chosen as this year’s Journalist of The Year.

An Advisory panel judge concluded that this year’s winner would be: “A worthy winner of the premier journalistic honour in this state or any other.’’

Their ability to confront and expose, contrasted with their deft touch and eloquent resolve… has already been recognised in three Bronze Awards tonight. Only to be further showcased by their body of work in Silver, none more incisive or significant than the ongoing exposure of elder abuse at Oakden nursing home, resulting in Federal Health Department sanctions and winning her Best TV Journalist tonight.

The 2018 Journalist of the year is Angelique Donnellan.

Photos from the 2018 SA Media Awards

If you are having trouble seeing this gallery on your phone or browser, view it on flickr.

Powered by flickr embed.

  • SA Media Awards 2017 winners and finalists with judges’ comments

     

    ALL MEDIA

    Best Coverage of Social Equity Affairs

    Sponsored by:  SACOSS

    Winner: Alex Mann: “Body of Work”, ABC 7.30 – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    The judges praised Alex Mann’s sensitive and insightful handling of three stories that were highly contentious and very difficult to report.  Stories of this calibre are the result of achieving the trust and respect of those at the heart of the issue, diligent research, and carefully considered reporting, where what is omitted is as critical as what is included.

    Alex’s exclusive report detailing prominent euthanasia advocate Max Bromson’s suicide required extraordinary deftness to capture the reality of Max’s final moments without compromising Max’s family. Commensurate care was needed to avoid any suggestion of advocacy –  for, or equally, against – the suicide.  His coverage presented the human face of a contentious legal and political issue and arguably promoted understanding of it complexities.

    His story “Never Married” elicited an apology from Premier Weatherill for South Australia’s lack of recognition of overseas same-sex marriages. When a freak accident claimed the life of Englishman David Bulmer-Rizzi, honeymooning in Adelaide with his husband Marco, the trust Alex built within 24 hours enabled powerful reportage that is both a respectful tribute to David and testament to Alex’s prowess.

    Similarly, trust built with Adnyamathna people enabled Alex to present precious cultural insights to viewers, to inform their considerations of the nuclear waste dump debate through the lens of one of Australia’s first peoples.

    All three pieces reflect a journalist of great skill for whom reporting with fairness and equity is paramount.

    Finalists

    • Jessica Adamson: “Hindley Street, Kimba’s Battle and Junior Footy”, Seven News
    • Alina Eacott: “Body of Work”, ABC News

    Graphic,  Artwork or Cartoon

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Matt Pike: “100 Unforgettable Olympic Moments”, Adelaide Now – Links (One Two)

    Judges Comments:

    Matt Pike’s work was well executed and very original. It displays a high level of technical skill as well as many hours of painstaking research. The result is an engaging piece that allows readers to peruse decades of history in a light-hearted and whimsical way. Moments of triumph, scandal, heartbreak and humanity are skilfully captured and presented for readers to consume.

    Finalists

    • Raymond Hirst :”Body of Work”, The Advertiser,
    • Peter MacMullin: “MacMullin All Sorts”, Sunday Mail

     

    Coverage of Sport

    Sponsored by:  Lion

    Winner: Alex Mann: “Body of Work”, ABC 7.30 – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    This was an incredibly impressive portfolio of work from a reporter who obviously loves sport and is powerful at communicating that. Alex’s beautiful portrait of the terminally ill Leicester City fan gave the viewer goose bumps. The emotion was beautifully portrayed, never maudlin, and conveyed the unifying aspect of sport that speaks the same language around the world. The basketballer story showed skilful scripting to take this story well beyond the stock standard “player done good” yarn. And he showed his craft again with a great story on Chalmers, touching on what was missing in many other stories about this surprise swimming package – his incredible relationship with his father. Alex Mann knows how to build a compelling sport story.

    Finalists

    • Richard Earle: “Footy firsts – contracts, drugs and racism”, The Advertiser
    • Michael McGuire: “Sport in three acts”, The Advertiser

     

    Rural/Regional Journalist

    Sponsored by:  Stories Well Told

    Winner: Kate Hill, Selina Green, Courtney Howe and Alexia Atwood: “Ambulance cover backlash”, ABC South East – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    This group effort demonstrates what can be achieved when newsroom journalists work together to cover a story.

    The ABC South East team identified a political decision that would impact thousands of residents in their community and persisted in covering the topic, speaking to a wide range of stakeholders and members of the community as the issue evolved over time.

    The extensive coverage played a key role in the public debate of this issue and no doubt helped influence policymakers who eventually amended a controversial decision.

    Finalists

    • Nicola Gage: “Body of Work”, ABC 7PM News South Australia
    • Peri Strathearn: “Body of Work”, The Murray Valley Standard

     

    Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique

    Sponsored by:  Law Society South Australia

    Winner: Michael McGuire: “Three columns”, The Advertiser – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    This competitive category features – as it always does –  a large number of entries from a range of media and journalists, including freelancers. The breadth of topics and diversity of views submitted was equally wide ranging.

    The finalists represent the high standard of work across the category by all entrants.

    Michael Maguire’s winning entry stood out for its presentation of clear and incisive arguments in short, sharp, and occasionally – witty – prose. His unequivocal stance on issues in the public interest clearly invites and generates further discussion and debate.

    Finalists

    • Jane Howard: “Body of Work”, Kill Your Darlings
    • Hendrik Gout: “Body of Work”, Today Tonight Adelaide
    • Daniel Wills: “The State”, The Advertiser

     

    Investigative Journalism

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Hendrik Gout: “Chris Fox Camp Gallipoli”, Today Tonight Adelaide – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    Hendrik Gout’s forensically researched stories display the best qualities of investigative journalism – thoroughness, meticulous attention to detail, compelling narratives that bring clarity to complicated issues, and dogged determination to reveal the truth. This trilogy of stories divulging the fraudulent activities of purported charity Camp Gallipoli and the false claims of its founder Chris Fox required courage and exceptional care to report, given society’s reverence for the ANZAC legacy. The exposure of Fox’s egregious misrepresentation of the organisation and his relatives’ war service in order to profit at the expense of genuine heroes was rendered all the more potent by Hendrik’s masterful storytelling and distinctive presentation, fittingly resulting in the revocation of the organisation’s charitable status.

    Finalists

    • Brad Crouch: “Health System Dramas”, The Advertiser
    • Angelique Donnellan: “Asbestos Scandal”, ABC TV News
    • Bension Siebert: “Adelaide Streetlights Tender”, InDaily

     

    Best Community Journalist

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Kate Hill: “Shipwreck Hunters, Emergency Gawkers and Biker Church”, ABC South East SA – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments:

    Kate Hill’s stories are interesting and consistently well researched, written and presented.

    More importantly, Hill’s work in this entry exemplifies the core skill of a good journalist: the ability to observe the world, identify stories worth investigating, and to then pursue them thoroughly, with fairness and an open mind.

    Her biker church story was the result of observing motorcycle riders around town and deciding to follow her journalistic nose. The story was clearly based on some hefty leg work, gentle arm twisting and a determination to provide her audience with a rare glimpse inside the life of a Christian motorcycle group.

    Similar, her piece on “gawkers” was the result of her observations and subsequent investigations. The piece raised important and timely issues about how social media is complicating the job of first responders in managing emergency situations.

    Finalists

    • Eugene Boisvert: “Local News”, Coast City Weekly Messenger

     

    Print/Digital News or Lifestyle Feature

    Sponsored by:  University of South Australia

    Winner: Lauren Novak: “Yvette Rigney Wilson – Inside Story”, The Advertiser – Links (one two)

    Judges Comments:

    In Yvette Rigney Wilson: Inside Story, Lauren Novack pieced together a compelling portrait of woman allegedly killed by her partner.

    The reporter has seamlessly combined interviews with people who knew the victim and data on child protection in this newsworthy feature, which also highlights the impact of family violence on the indigenous community.

    The writing shows flair and sensitivity, with commendable use of anecdotes and quotes.

    The judges also note the reporter produced the feature under significant time and workload pressures, while dealing with the emotional toll of reporting on this harrowing case.

    We believe Lauren Novack is a worthy winner.

    Finalists

    • Deborah Bogle: “Grave injustice”, SAWeekend
    • Michael McGuire: “Fast Eddie”, SAWeekend

     

    Print/ Digital News Report

    Sponsored by:  Telstra

    Winner: Brad Crouch: “Transforming Health Dramas”, The Advertiser – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    South Australians worried about the Weatherill Government’s shake-up of the health system, and what it means for their access to hospital and health care, should be grateful for the in-depth, expert reporting of Brad Crouch. Brad’s detailed grasp of the complex issues and well-placed sources were on display with a series of exclusives. His story revealing the possible closure of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital was just one of a series of scoops in an excellent portfolio of work that included fears for the future of the QEH and the resignation of the emergency department chief at Modbury Hospital.

    Daniel Wills is highly commended for his impressive revelations about the lawsuits, problems, and counter-claims, behind the mysterious delays and costly stand-off between the government and the builder of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

    Finalists

    • Lauren Novak: “Forcing transparency in child protection” , The Advertiser
    • Daniel Wills: “Losing their cool”, The Advertiser

     

    TV Current Affairs or Feature

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Alex Mann: “Max Bromson’s Battle”, ABC 7.30 – Links (one )

    Judges Comments

    The winner of this category took a particularly challenging story and treated it with great sensitivity and respect while at the same time exploring a hugely important issue that can affect each and every one of us. This story was a thought provoking piece that without directly demanding it, encouraged the viewer to re-think their stance on euthanasia and one that had an immediate political reaction.

    Finalists

    • Mark Mooney: “Preparing for War”, 7 News
    • Sophie Taeuber: “Shamsiya’s Story”, Network Seven, Today Tonight

     

    TV News or Current Affairs Camera

    Sponsored by:  Mosaic Audio Visual

    Winner: Andrew Foote: “Flooding Coverage”, Seven News 6pm- Links (one)

    Judges Comments

    Andrew Foote’s flood coverage was outstanding, taking the viewer right to the centre of the action. He came up with innovative angles under enormous pressure. Andrew demonstrated consistency in his work and a no-nonsense approach to representing natural disaster.

    Finalists

    • Reg Bradshaw: “Body of Work”, 6PM News, Nine News Adelaide

     

    TV News Report

    Sponsored by:  Uniting Communities

    Winner: Phoebe Bowden: “Privacy Breach”, Ten Eyewitness News – Links (one two)

    Judges Comments

    The entries in the Best TV News Story category were particularly strong this year, making it a very competitive category and a challenge for the judges to choose a winner. The journalist who has won best TV News story, conducted a thorough investigation, uncovering a story which highlighted how the public’s trust is not always honoured. The journalist’s persistence to kept on digging until they uncovered the extent of the problem, led to an internal enquiry in SA Health and as a result, a change in public policy.

    Finalists

    • Alina Eacott: “Statewide Blackout”, ABC News
    • Edward Godfrey: “ Body of Work”, 9 News
    • Mike Smithson: “NRAH exposed”, 7 News – 6pm

     

    Radio News &  Current Affairs or Feature

    Sponsored by:  Media Super

    Winner: Caroline Winter: “Statewide Blackout”, ABC PM program – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Caroline Winter’s portfolio is a brilliant example of good old fashioned shoe leather reporting that takes listeners into the heart of the blackout. Caroline could have opted out of this story at any time but instead took it solely upon herself to drive into the blackout and find compelling audio to illustrate the absurdity of a state without power. Tight scripting combined with great talent which she found herself under immense deadline pressure.

    Finalists

    • Carl Smith: “Bionic Bodies”, ABC Radio National’s “The Science Show”
    • Mike Smithson, Tom Rhen and Andy Ruzzgar: “Bastille Day Attack”, FIVEaa Breakfast program

     

    Sport Photograph or Photographic Series

    Sponsored by: MEAA

    Winner: Dean Martin: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Timing is everything in this action shot, but knowing your craft is anticipating the sports action, which is the essence of this memorable sports photo by Martin.

    Finalists

    • Tom Huntley: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser
    • Sarah Reed: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser

     

    Feature Photograph or Photographic Series

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Simon Cross: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser – Links (one two)

    Judges Comments

    This is a beautiful eye-catching and arresting image of ‘our best friend’. Cross’ photograph demonstrates that persistence, attention to the details and patience pays off.

    Finalists

    • Morne De Klerk : “Cool Head celebrates New Years Eve”, The Guardian Online
    • Tom Huntley: “Body of Work”, The  Advertiser

     

    News Photograph or Photographic Series

    Sponsored by:  MEAA

    Winner: Tom Huntley: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser – Links (one two)

    Judges Comments

    This image captures the devastating moment a family and police officer realises the death, by drowning, of the family’s child at a suburban beach with significant impact and respect.

    Finalists

    • Simon Cross: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser
    • Tricia Watkinson: “Margo’s Dream Kiss”, The Advertiser

     

    Silver Categories

    Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism

    Sponsored by: University of South Australia

    Winner: Kelly Hughes: “Body of Work”, University of South Australia – Links (one two )

    Judges Comments

    The Julie Duncan Student Journalist of the Year for 2017 is Kelly Hughes. Kelly is studying a double degree in Journalism and Creative Writing with a sub-major in International Relations. Apart from registering a commendably high grade point average, Kelly has worked hard at gaining experience in the industry. She’s done work experience at Fairfax Media and had articles published in The Age, the SMH, and the Financial Review, and admits she’s fallen in love with financial journalism. As a result, she’s the Editor of The Personal Super Investor, where she both writes her own content and reposts that of others. Kelly says she’s an avid believer in women’s rights and equality between the sexes, and is also interested in politics and world news. She says: “I wholeheartedly believe as a journalist one of our most important roles is to give a voice to the voiceless and empower people with knowledge and information.

    Finalists

    • Emily Pemberton
    • Chloe Szentpeteri

     

    Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist

    Sponsored by: Office for Youth – Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

    Winner: Bension Siebert: “Body of Work”, Solistice Media/In Daily – Links  (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Bension Siebert’s reports reveal an admirable capacity for digging beneath the surface of local government events and issues to discover relationships and situations that have the potential to go seriously wrong. After one such story, a group of Adelaide councils withdrew a tender for $50 million worth of street lights. Local government might be where citizens are most likely to come in contact with their representatives, but Bension’s reporting is where they are most likely to encounter clear explanations of what their councillors are doing. His ability to inspect complicated documents and complex situations and explain them in a language all his readers can understand is praiseworthy indeed.

    Finalists

    • Madeleine Dunne
    • Gertie Spurling

     

    Best Print/Digital Journalist

    Sponsored by: University of South Australia

    Winner: Lauren Novak: “Body of work – sexism, child protection, domestic violence” The Advertiser – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Over a number of years Lauren Novak has thrust the issue of domestic violence in SA from the back pages and left hand pages of the daily newspaper, to a regular and rightful position on pages 1, 3 and 5. She has also been at the forefront of reporting as the state continues to grapple with its failures to address child abuse. On domestic violence she has exposed, in a series of exclusive stories, the nature of these dark and often invisible crimes hiding in plain sight, but causing a mounting toll of death and misery in our community. In three works submitted for these awards over the last year she has prised the annual death toll caused by domestic violence from a recalcitrant and ultimately embarrassed South Australian Police force. She has helped expose the appalling treatment of women in that police force, and finally she helped force the State Government to publish regular internal data that quantify the extent of child protection failings in a system under extreme pressure.

    Finalists

    • Brad Crouch
    • Daniel Wills

     

    Best Radio Broadcaster

    Sponsored by: MEAA

    Winner: Caroline Winter: “Body of work”, ABC- Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Caroline Winter is a genuine storyteller.

    With her naturally engaging style and crafty use of the medium, she produces compelling stories that humanise the issues of the day.

    She provides a voice to South Australians dealing with the most difficult of situations and clearly earns the trust of those who open up to her.

    Caroline’s winning entry is just a sample of a strong body of work that makes her a deserved winner of this award.

    Finalist

    • Mike Smithson

     

    Best Photographer

    Sponsored by: Serafino Wines

    Winner: Tom Huntley: “Body of Work”, The Advertiser – Links (one two three four five)

    Judges Comments

    The calibre of photographs across the board in this category, meant to come out as the winner, took something truly special. The judges were impressed by the breadth of Tom’s work, and by his ability to capture small ordinary moments, and make them extraordinary. That skill, best demonstrated by his image Leon and the Mummy. The drummer boy spoke to Tom’s ability to create a piece of art with his lens, while his technical skill was on full display in the image of women in science. And his photograph on Glenelg beach of a police officer with a hand on his heart, as he spoke to a mother who’d lost her son to drowning, was a fine example of the photographer as news gatherer: that image alone, told the entire story in a single frame.

    Finalists

    • Dean Martin
    • Sarah Reed

     

    Best Television Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter or Camera Person)

    Sponsored by: Media Super

    Winner: Alex Mann: “Body of Work”, ABC 7:30 – Links (one two three)

    Judges Comments

    Alex has shown an exemplary ability to handle complex and sensitive narratives within the broadcast medium. His piece on the Leicester City fan staying alive for his team, is extraordinarily moving – Alex found the joy and celebration, rather than the sadness. In a media landscape full of stories about Cy Walsh, Alex’s is beautifully crafted and utterly compelling. His piece on the euthanasia death of Max Bromson is insightful, balanced, and deftly navigates a legal and ethical minefield. That story alone, is worthy of the highest praise.

    Finalists

    • Jessica Adamson
    • Stacey Lee
    • Mark Mooney

     

    Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

    Sponsored by: MEAA

    Winner: Samela Harris

    Judges’ comments:

    Samela Harris, the 2017 SA Media Hall of Fame inductee is described by colleagues as possessing “restless energy”, delivering “innovative and witty reporting”, and having “very wide perspectives on the world”.
    While Adelaide had a long tradition of social and society notes in newspapers written by women, it had few women who worked at the hard end of news reporting until Sa came along.
    She was the first non-social pages female writer at Rupert Murdoch’s, The News, and broke ground on stories such as the banning of women from front bars, the moratorium marches, and opposition to the death penalty. She was also the first female football columnist, not just at The News, but so far as is known, anywhere in Australia.
    An early adopter of new technology, Samela was out in cyberspace when no one knew what it was. Out in virtual communities when no one had heard of them and became the inaugural online editor of The Advertiser. She created a ground-breaking Internet column that continued weekly for seven years called Net Adventures, created a website for it and even introduced Twitter to her peers (and taught them how to use it).

    Samela Harris is one of the pioneering examples of female professional journalists in Australia.

     

    2017 Journalist of the Year

    Sponsored by: University of South Australia

    Winner: Alex Mann, ABC 7:30

    Judges Comments

    If ever a journalist held a judging panel hostage to their emotions, it was this entrant in the 2017 Awards.

    Exceptional versatility and insight, patience with research and well-honed presentation characterise this extremely worthy Journalist of the Year.

    A highly controversial and very difficult subject to cover, in an exclusive report, this journalist delivered a sense of intimacy and immediacy which drew hearts and minds of judges and public alike, into the depths of an agonising human dilemma.

    A superbly researched and edited feature – it was just one of their stories recognised this year.

    The degree of excellence was so outstanding, they were awarded first place in four different categories this evening.

    The same compassionate insight and delicacy of touch that told the euthanasia story of Max Bromson, came to bear in a fastidiously-researched analysis of the Cy Walsh Verdict and yet again, on the coverage of a dying Foxes Fan willing himself to stay alive, for just one more victory by his team.

    The 2017 Journalist of the Year… is Alex Mann.Tab 1 content goes here.

  • 2016 SA Media Awards winners and finalists with judges’ comments

    The Nine Network’s Ben Avery was named Journalist of the Year at the 2016 South Australian Media Awards. In 2016, there were a record 184 entries over 22 categories.

    Avery’s award was for a body of work which included his coverage of the investigation of the murder of young Mannum mother Jody Meyers in August 2015, for which he also won Best TV News Report. It was a big night for Avery, who took home a third award for Best Television Broadcaster, the second consecutive year he has won this award.

    The judges said Avery was “one of the best story breakers in the business”. They noted that he has “a naturally engaging style as a TV broadcaster – not only in his delivery but also in how he gathers news, demonstrated by his ability to break stories by forming strong contacts”.

    Margaret Ralston AM was inducted into the SA Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. A genuine trailblazer, Ralston began her career as a journalist with the now-defunct Adelaide afternoon daily paper The News in 1972 and was later appointed as Sports Editor, a position she held until 1992. She was the first woman to hold this position at a major metropolitan Australian newspaper.

    Ralston’s citation says: “Marg was a great encourager to young journalists, including providing advice to women reporting on SANFL games which required them to speak to coaches and players after the games in the change rooms.

    In a new category, Hendrik Gout of Network Seven won the award Best Investigative Journalism for his coverage of the collapse of the Interfert network of fertiliser companies. The judges commented: “His skilful unravelling and articulate account of a complex financial scandal with significant ramifications in three states ensured it was accessible and easily understood by a broad audience . . . While foot-in-the-door journalism has its detractors, this series of reports showed it at its effective best and displayed a balance and impartiality that stands out within the genre.

    The ABC’s Natalie Whiting was named Best Radio Broadcaster, with the judges commenting: “Natalie Whiting does a top notch job of telling compelling original stories for people who don’t have a voice -on topics that affect the lives of vulnerable South Australians . . . It’s not easy to shed light and make a difference on topics that aren’t the headline grabbing news of the day, but Natalie Whiting does this with accuracy, sensitivity, strong writing and solid broadcast skills.

    Other big winners included The Advertiser’s Lauren Novak, who was named Best Print/Digital Journalist for a body of work including her agenda-setting and forensic coverage of South Australia’s dysfunctional child protection system and domestic violence epidemic over a number of years. Best Photographer in a high-calibre field was Dean Martin, also of The Advertiser.

    The Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist went to Bension Siebert of Solstice Media/InDaily, while Ashleigh Pisani from the University of South Australia won the Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism.


      SA Media Awards Winners and Finalists with Judges’ comments

      ALL MEDIA

      Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique

      Sponsored by: Law Society SA

      Winner: David Washington, InDaily: Body of Work

      Finalists

      • Lauren Novak, The Advertiser: Body of Work
      • Daniel Wills, The Advertiser: The State

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      Increasingly, in this category, journalists are required to make sense of an avalanche of information, while “speaking truth to power”, articulating public concerns and producing entertaining, thought-provoking content. At the same time, there’s increasing competition for attention with many more avenues for comment, analysis, critique and opinion. Not only does everyone have an opinion but they have the means to express it. Commentary Journalism has probably never been more challenging, so standing out in this category is a major achievement!

      With a large number of entrants, the judges were confronted with the difficulty of selecting only one winner. In a high calibre field the three finalists were exceptional in demonstrating the critical qualities of newsworthiness, thorough research, incisiveness, originality and public benefit.

      The winning entry expressed all of these qualities in a diverse and eloquent body of work that was engaging, entertaining and informative.

       

      Best Community Journalist

      Sponsored by: Stories Well Told

      Winner: Kate Hill, ABC: Body of Work

      Finalists

      • Eugene Boisvert, Messenger Community News: Body of Work
      • Dan Jervis-Bardy, Messenger Community News: South Rd

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      Kate Hill’s entry canvassed some fascinating human interest stories specific to her regional patch. All were covered with sensitivity and compassion and written in a highly skilled and engaging manner.

       

      Best Rural/Regional Journalist

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Elise Fantin, ABC: Palliative care saved

      Finalists

      • Elizabeth Anderson, Fairfax Media: Body of work
      • Peri Strathearn, The Murray Valley Standard (Fairfax Media): Drugs, dollar signs and a derelict drummer

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      With rural and regional newsrooms particularly under threat by a shrinking media landscape, it is heartening to see the high quality of entries in this important category.

      Elise Fantin’s series on palliative care showed dedication to a difficult topic and undoubtedly contributed to the public pressure that saw services restored. Her focus on rural health and services for critically ill patients gave voice to a community who may not always be able to speak for themselves.

      However, all three entrants displayed skilled and creative reporting, and the outcome was certainly close. The judges particularly appreciated both Peri and Elizabeth’s clear desire to seek out unique stories and tell them in an engaging way, as evidenced by the tie for second place.

       

      Best Coverage of Social Equity Affairs

      Sponsored by: SACOSS

      Winner: Natalie Whiting, ABC News 24: Body of Work

      Finalists:

      • Loukas Founten, ABC News: Body of Work
      • Kate Hill, ABC: Inside the Sex Offenders treatment program
      • Kim Robertson, Nine News Adelaide: Deportation Fight

      Links to view submissions (one, two)

      Judges Comments:

      The production values in Natalie Whiting’s body of work are impressive – her balanced treatment of such difficult and disparate topics showcased a high level of skill. Natalie enabled her talent to articulate their stories in challenging surroundings, and overcome their social circumstances in doing so. She allowed those at the heart of the story to tell it their way, and clearly gained their trust over a number of days and weeks. Natalie carefully reported on the many complexities to these difficult stories, treating the subjects with a great deal of dignity. Beautifully executed.

       

      Best Coverage of Sport

      Sponsored by: Lion

      Winner: Richard Earle, The Advertiser: Trailblazers

      Finalists

      • Neil Cross, ABC: Body of Work
      • Michael McGuire, The Advertiser: Body of Work
      • Tom Richardson, InDaily: Body of Work

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      The sports category was hotly contested one and the judges found it very difficult to separate the entries. Richard Earle was selected as the winner for three stories across three different sporting codes that dug deeply into his subjects and their lives. His stories were captivating and well-written.

       

      Best Investigative Journalism

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Hendrik Gout, Seven Network : Interfert

      Finalists:

      • Verity Edwards, The Australian: National Geographic
      • Lauren Novak, The Advertiser: Child Abuse Report Line problems
      • Max Opray, Schwartz Media: Solarium Ban

      Links to view submissions (one, two )

      Judges’ Comments:

      In the highly contested category of investigative journalism, the judges’ minds were exercised by an extremely high calibre of entries, confirming the merit of this new category. Hendrik Gout’s winning entry faced stiff competition in a field that provoked extended debate. He prevailed on some compelling counts, foremost amongst them the extended, dogged and thorough research conducted into the collapse of a network of fertilizer companies. His skilful unravelling and articulate account of a complex financial scandal with significant ramifications in three states ensured it was accessible and easily understood by a broad audience. A huge work with tentacles reaching internationally, Hendrik displayed fearlessness and flair to expose the myriad failings that brought a series of rural agricultural suppliers to the brink of failure – while the instigators, the bank and the government regulator seemingly did little to remedy the situation. While foot-in-the-door journalism has its detractors, this series of reports showed it at its effective best and displayed a balance and impartiality that stands out within the genre.

       

      Best Freelance Contribution

      Sponsored by: Media Super

      Winner: Max Opray, Schwartz Media, Guardian News and Media: Body of Work

      Finalist

      • Marie Barbieri, Australian Yoga Journal (Contact Media Pty Ltd): Connecting to place

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      Max Opray’s entry saw a wide range of diverse issues tackled impressively and intelligently, with energetic and captivating writing. A highlight for the judges was his eye-opening expose on an underground network of illegal sun bed.

       

      TV and RADIO

      Best Radio News or Current Affairs or Feature Report

      Sponsored by: Anglicare SA

      Winner: Carl Smith, ABC: Energy Futures

      Finalists

      • Tom Fedorowytsch, ABC: SA Bushfires body of work
      • Mike Smithson, FIVEaa Radio: Jay’s film crew

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      The judges were unanimous in agreeing that Carl’s series on Energy Futures was the strongest radio feature, in terms of depth of coverage and high-level production values. This series is especially pertinent to a South Australian context at the moment, given the closure of the Northern Power Station in Port Augusta and new recommendations that the state host a nuclear waste disposal facility. Carl featured a wide range of talent to provide an in-depth analysis of energy choices available in Australia, placing the listener on the scene in many occasions through strong use of radio production techniques.

       

      Best TV News Report

      Sponsored by: Media Super

      Winner: Ben Avery, Nine News Adelaide: Jody Meyers Murder

      Finalists

      • Angelique Johnson, ABC: Pinery Fire
      • Stacey Lee, Seven News Adelaide: Police Brutality

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      This category drew a high standard of entries making the judging process very hard. The judges would like to commend all the journalist in this category for their strong entries.

      The winner researched for over two weeks in order to break this story. The journalist showed their commitment to being where the news was, and this is how they managed such a breakthrough. Their persistence was rewarded with exclusive interviews and details. It was a story that every media outlet in Adelaide was following and he lead the pack. This journalist produced a narrative that was clear, insightful and had great impact.

       

      Best TV Current Affairs or Feature

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Alex Mann, ABC, 7.30 Report: On The Run

      Finalists:

      • Prue Adams, ABC: Q Fever
      • Hendrik Gout, Channel 7: Farah 4 Kidz

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      Another category which drew a very high standard of entries.

      The work of this journalist was followed up by other media, and fed into a national discussion about exploitation of workers. The journalist’s bravery was highlighted when he went up against a very influential business in SA, in the face of legal threats. The journalist uncovered an important issue, got good talent to talk to him despite concerns about repercussions, and explained a complicated issue well.

       

      Best TV News or Current Affairs- Camera

      Sponsored by: Mosaic Audio Visual

      Winner: Scott Perry, Nine Network Australia: Sampson Flat Bushfire Coverage

      Finalists

      • Nine News Group Entry, Nine News Adelaide: Pinery Fires
      • Tony Salvatore, Channel Seven: Body of Work

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      In a field of entries dominated by natural disasters, Scott Perry’s work stood out. Working alongside a reporter, they were the only crew on frontline of the fire ground as the blaze changed direction and double backed. In a difficult and dangerous workplace environment, Perry filmed up close the elements for the report to paint a comprehensive picture of the battle on the ground to save Kerbrook. He captured the urgency and confusion of the remaining residents, closely following them as they tried to douse the flames with hoses and buckets of water. He did this in isolation from other media crew, in an environment with rapidly changing risks and among people who were clearly highly stressed. His work demonstrates courage and a high level of commitment to his craft.

       

      PRINT/DIGITAL

      Best Print /Digital News Report

      Sponsored by: Telstra

      Winner: Penelope Debelle, Advertiser Newspapers: Chemotherapy bungle exposed

      Finalists:

      • Bradford Crouch, Advertiser Newspapers: Hospitals’ ED overhaul
      • Lauren Novak, The Advertiser: Child Abuse Report Line problems

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      A top-notch expose from a reporter with a strong contact list, a keen eye for news, and an ability to think on her feet as the story developed. The page one pieces led to a state inquiry and once again underscored pressures on the health system. The scoop revealed how the health of cancer patients had been potentially compromised by inadequate doses of chemotherapy due to a typographical error. Worse still was the follow-up revelations that the doses continued for some patients even when the problem was supposed to have been fixed. A great exclusive which benefited the victims of the bungle, the broader public interest, and kept the health system under scrutiny.

       

      Best Print /Digital News or Lifestyle Feature

      Sponsored by: University of South Australia

      Winner: Verity Edwards, The Australian: Chloe Valentine

      Finalists:

      • Andrew Dowdell, The Advertiser: 20 years after murder acquittal, servo gunman speaks
      • Michael McGuire, The Advertiser: Hopeless

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      Verity Edwards’s piece on the death of four-year-old Chloe Valentine brings the detachment of the professional journalist to an intensely emotive issue. Chloe’s mother Ashlee Polkinghorne and her partner Ben McPartland were both jailed on charges of manslaughter by neglect, and Edwards’s account of that neglect makes for harrowing reading. She documents the numerous occasions where Families SA failed to act, the missed opportunities where intervention by Families SA would have saved Chloe’s life and – through it all – the heartbreak of Chloe’s grandmother Belinda Valentine, who sought in vain to adopt Chloe and so keep her safe. Edwards doesn’t spare her readers the anguish, but this nevertheless is an empathetic article, told with great sensitivity. Most importantly, it reminds us of our collective responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

       

      PHOTOGRAPHY

      Best News Photograph or Photographic Series

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Kelly Barnes, The Australian: John Lush – Pinery Fires, at son’s burnt-out home

      Finalists:

      • Tom Huntley, Advertiser Newspapers: She’s got talent – car overturned next to park ’n’ ride sign
      • Dean Martin, Advertiser Newspapers: Kung Fu chaos – fire in the CBD

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      This is a powerful human interest photograph which depicts the personal loss and devastation from the Pinery fires. Kelly has conveyed the power of Australian bush-fires through the quiet emotion of a father standing in the ruins of his son’s home.

       

      Best Sport Photograph or Photographic Series

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Ryan Schembri, SMP Images/Australian Baseball League: Twilight pitching – Baseball

      Finalists:

      • William Bailey, Murray Valley Standard: No Hurdle to Great
      • Morne De Klerk, Getty Images: Knockout – Soccer net

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      Ryan has brought us three images that illustrate the course of a baseball series – Adelaide Bite v Melbourne Aces. This important encounter was the decider for minor premiership. The photographs show off Ryan’s technical skills as well as an understanding of the game and the ability to adapt in various situations to make best use of available light and action. The before, during and after-game photos from this four-game encounter tell us a story and bring us closer to the players, the event and ultimate victory for Adelaide.

      The judges were pleased to see in this category the wide range of sports being covered and many entries displayed the photographer’s passion for the contest.

       

      Best Feature Photograph or Photographic Series

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Simon Cross, The Advertiser: Sky-high wind power

      Finalists:

      • Tom Huntley, The Advertiser: Beekeeping kids
      • Dean Martin, The Advertiser: Tomato ally, Port Augusta tomatoes

      Links to view submissions (one, two)

      Judges’ Comments:

      Again this winning photograph is a unanimous decision by the judges. Embodying the strong concepts of photojournalism, Simon showed a fearlessness in climbing the wind turbine. The unusual angle shows careful planning, creative thinking and an eye to capture new technology from a different perspective.

       

      SILVER AWARD CATEGORIES

      Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism

      Sponsored by: University of South Australia

      Winner: Ashleigh Pisani, University of South Australia

      Finalists

      • Bonnie McBride, University of South Australia
      • Daniel Whyntie, University of South Australia

      Link to view submission

      Judges’ Comments:

      Ashleigh Pisani is a journalism and international relations student at the University of South Australia, who dreams of becoming a political journalist one day.

      Ashleigh, who’s edited UniSA’s student publication On The Record, says she “wants to be in the thick of it in our nation’s capital, reporting on all the important goings on, as well as the often colourful invective and drama that dominates the Australian political landscape”.

      As well as reporting for On The Record and publishing her own blog, Breakfast at Parliament, Ashleigh has an eye-wateringly high grade point average. She is a recognised leader in the university’s journalism program and her lecturers predict a bright future for her in the news industry.

       

      Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist

      Sponsored by: Office for Youth — Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

      Winner: Bension Siebert: Solstice Media/InDaily

      Finalists:

      • Phoebe Bowden: Network Ten
      • Fraser Goldsworthy: Seven Network

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      The Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist is open to young journalists working in any media. The judges were encouraged by the breadth and strength of the entries submitted in this category this year

      The winner is Bension Siebert from InDaily for a series of articles on the new South Road Superway

      Bension reported serious allegations about construction practices on the Superway, the most expensive road project in the state’s history.

      His dogged persistence investigating claims by workers and structural engineers led eventually to a state parliamentary committee inquiry.

      The judges considered that Bension’s carefully crafted and balanced articles reflected an impressive depth of investigation and succeeded in raising serious concerns without either sensationalising or trivialising the subject matter.

      The judges highly commended the entry of the ABC’s Elise Fantin for her reports that Country Health SA was going to reduce palliative care services in the state’s south-east.

      Elise’s impressive and balanced reports followed the issue through from the initial announcement of the cuts through a funding dispute between the federal and state governments to the state government’s eventual decision to reinstate the positions.

       

      Best Radio Broadcaster

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Natalie Whiting: ABC

      Finalist

      • Mike Smithson:FIVEaa Radio

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      Natalie Whiting does a top notch job of telling compelling original stories for people who don’t have a voice -on topics that affect the lives of vulnerable South Australians. In this winning entry it’s the Stolen Generations, Kidney Disease and Disability. The fact her stories have contributed to change speaks for itself. It’s not easy to shed light and make a difference on topics that aren’t the headline grabbing news of the day, but Natalie Whiting does this with accuracy, sensitivity, strong writing and solid broadcast skills.

       

      Best Print/Digital Journalist

      Sponsored by: University of South Australia

      Winner: Lauren Novak: The Advertiser

      Finalists:

      • Penny Debelle: The Advertiser
      • Tom Richardson: InDaily

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      For a number of years Advertiser reporter Lauren Novak has led the Adelaide media in her forensic coverage of South Australia’s dysfunctional child protection system and domestic violence epidemic, while also as a young journalist furthering her studies in Europe and participating in a media exchange to Cambodia.

      In the current judging period she again displayed news-breaking excellence by revealing in her piece ‘Urgent pleas put on hold’ that pressured Families SA call centre workers were being directed as an efficiency measure to deliberately leave calls for help on hold, potentially putting children at risk.

      Further, her Freedom of Information investigation titled ‘Abusing the system’, quantified the extent to which offenders are breaching court protection orders to get at their victims.

      In her final exclusive titled ‘SA police officer’s racism disgrace’, Lauren revealed Police Commissioner Gary Burns had allowed an officer to avoid serious punishment despite the officer telling an Aboriginal man he would like to tie a hose around his neck and then quote; “set you on fire and drag you around the streets attached to our car”.

      The judges paid tribute to Lauren’s courageous efforts to expose these issues to the South Australian public.

       

      Best Photographer

      Sponsored by: Serafino Wines

      Winner: Dean Martin: Advertiser Newspapers

      Finalists:

      • Sarah Reed: News Corp/The Advertiser
      • Tricia Watkinson: News Limited

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three, four, five)

      Judges’ Comments:

      It was a matter of the agony of the ecstasy for judges assessing the entries in this category of the 2016 Media Awards.

      To say they were of high calibre is an understatement. All the 2016 entrants impressed. Some dazzled.

      Hours were spent. Judges had images up for days, looking at the glories of light and composition, the quick reflexes of those photographers who captured historic moments and emotions in lightning-fast action candids, those who snatched action from a sporting fray and froze it in sharp death-defying precision, those who touched the heart with pathos and melancholy in the aftermath of tragedy…

      Those, also, who took a tired old theme and breathed new life into it. Let us not forget the media has to cover so many classic stories and predicaments over and over again.

      This year’s winner is an old hand at all of this.

      Decades in the job have not wearied his artist’s eye or jaded his view of the world. They have just further honed him as a great exponent of his art.

      He is DEAN MARTIN, veteran ‘Tiser ‘Tog.

      He wins for his body of work, from sport to on-the-spot hard news, from eye-catching sparkle to sweet, timeless humanity.

      His photograph of the new tomato economy of Port Augusta is a feast for the eye. HIs shot of the firefighters aloft in a pall of smoke as the city Kung Fu Academy burned down is unforgettable. He saw St George fighting the dragon in that scene. His imagination is always working. And when he came to illustrate what could be a pretty ordinary Anzac Day story about buglers, he brought in a 3-year-old boy and lifetime’s expertise with light and produced a work of art, one of the great shots of the year and any other year.

      Dean Martin. Master of his art.

       

      Best Television Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter or Camera Person)

      Sponsored by: Media Super

      Winner: Ben Avery: Nine News Adelaide

      Finalists:

      • Prue Adams: ABC
      • Graham Archer: Seven Network

      Links to view submissions (one, two ,three)

      Judges’ Comments:

      The judges were impressed with Ben’s naturally engaging style as a TV broadcaster – not only in his delivery but also in how he gathers news, demonstrated by his ability to break stories by forming strong contacts.

      His live crosses are flawless yet conversational – a difficult balance to master.

      Ben’s entries showed deftness in covering major news events with calm authority and an ability to hit the right tone in a variety of situations, from the urgency of an unfolding bushfire, to the shock death of Phil Walsh, including breaking the news to South Australians on morning radio before updating through a series of live crosses and a comprehensive evening news package.

      His script writing blends simplicity with a fine turn of phrase – all while detailing the facts and letting the stories speak for themselves.

      But some stories are only able to speak for themselves because of strong investigative reporting, and in Ben’s standout work covering the Jody Meyers murder case he broke many exclusive elements, including a breakthrough arrest.

       

      Hall of Fame – For Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

      Sponsored by: MEAA

      Winner: Margaret Ralston AM

      Judges’ Comments:

      The 2016 inductee to the South Australia Media Hall of Fame, Margaret (Marg) Ralston AM began her career as a journalist with Adelaide’s afternoon daily paper The News in 1972 and was later appointed as Sports Editor, a position she held until 1992. She was a trailblazer, being the first woman to hold this position at a major metropolitan Australian newspaper.

      Margaret was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia’s Day Honours List in 2001 for service to amateur and professional sport, particularly in South Australia, as a journalist and administrator.

      Marg was a great encourager to young journalists, including providing advice to women reporting on SANFL games which required them to speak to coaches and players after the games in the change rooms.

       

      Journalist of the Year

      Sponsored by: University of South Australia

      Winner: Ben Avery

      Judges Comments:

      The Journalist of the Year for 2016 is one of the best story breakers in the business, and they certainly proved that over the past twelve months.

      They have the natural flair to earn the trust of people from all walks of life, and the determination to keep asking questions to find out the truth.

      They have proven they can hold to account those people, who are clearly trying to conceal the truth.

      Their story telling is done with a natural ease and warmth, and has given people dealing with the most dreadful of situations a voice.

      Not only do they have the ability to doggedly pursue a story over days or weeks, but this year’s journalist of the year, has shown repeatedly the skill to react to breaking news, whether that’s human tragedy or natural disaster, and bring live rolling coverage to the people of Adelaide, while also discovering what others didn’t.

      This was exemplified in their coverage of the biggest story of the year, the death of Phil Walsh, when they were the first to deliver the news of the stabbing of the Crows coach, that left so so many in disbelief.

      This year’s winner is a compassionate, and determined and versatile reporter, and also a great bloke.

      The journalist of the year for 2016… Is Ben Avery.

    SPONSORS

    Please support the companies who support us. Click on the sponsor’s logo to visit their web site.

    The SA Media Ball, incorporating the SA Media Awards is a non-profit entity with all the monies gained from sponsorship invested into the Gala Event and Awards program.  Four types of sponsorship are available: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Media Partnership.

             


                  


          



             


    The SA Media Ball, incorporating the SA Media Awards is a non-profit entity with all the monies gained from sponsorship invested into the Gala Event and Awards program.  Four types of sponsorship are available: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Media Partnership.

    For all inquiries, contact: MEAAstateawards@walkleys.com

    Anna Magnus, National Manager, State Media Awards

    POSTAL ADDRESS:

    MEAA State Media Awards
    c/o The Walkley Foundation
    245 Chalmers Street
    Redfern NSW
    2016

    PHONE: 02 9333 0921

    EMAIL: MEAAstateawards@walkleys.com or submit your query using the form below.