Winners and Finalists 2012

Winners and Finalists 2012

Congratulations all to all the Winners ,finalists of the 45 Northern NSW Journalism Awards.

Journalist of the year

Winner:

Rosemarie Milsom, Newcastle Herald

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The Tom Barrass Award for Regional Journalism

Winner:

Rosemarie Milsom and Simone  De Peak, “Out of Africa”, Newcastle Herald

Judges Comment:

"Rosemarie’s story was an intimate and moving piece that took the reader into the life of a refugee family.

She skilfully weaved the experiences of one family with the facts and figures related to the international refugee crisis.

She brought home to her readers the reality of a global problem that was part of the fabric of their local community.

Well written, well paced and well structured it was complemented by an equally impressive photographic essay.

The winner of 2 categories Rosemarie showed her writing chops off with a trio of columns which touched on the issues of the day.

Particularly impressive was the piece on Matthew Newton which asked readers to consider that his ‘story’ was in fact about mental illness not a case of a star behaving badly.”

And about Simone, the Judges’ said:

“Simone De Peak of the Newcastle Herald, winner of the Photographic Feature for the series “Out of Africa” was also chosen to receive the Tom Barrass award jointly with the journalist based on the strength of the photographs and story. The photographer went beyond the brief as well as behind the scenes to capture real moments of a Congolese family and the transition of resettling in Australia. Bright saturated colours make bold strong photographs of the family discovering a strange, new environment such as the ocean baths and a city bus. This photographic essay is filled with soulful story-telling photographs and beautiful intimate moments which capture the essence of newly-arrived refugees to regional Australia”

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The Barrasss Family

PF Adams Young Journalist of the Year Award 2012

Winner:

Ava Benny-Morrison, The Northern Star

Finalists:             

Max Mason-Hubers, Newcastle Newspapers

Nicola Strohal, Prime 7 News

Judges Comment:

Ava Benny-Morrison wins this award based on the public interest of exposing a confusing ambulance service policy relating to call outs – and its potentially fatal consequences. Benny-Morrison’s pieces eloquently demonstrated flaws in a system that allowed serious accidents to skip the nearest “on-call” ambulance service and be handed to sometimes-distant 24-hour ambulance stations. Benny-Morrison showed a strong use of her contacts and a resulting intimate knowledge of call outs to serious incidents to explore the issue and its impact on patients. Her articles posed compelling questions about the policy that helped push the issue into a government review and the eventual dropping of the policy. In achieving this outcome in the public interest, Benny-Morrison’s pieces pipped a strong field in which both other finalists, Max Mason-Hubers and Nicola Strohal, were worthy rivals.

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Best  Print/Online News Report

Winner:

Ben Smee, “Newcastle Civic Crisis”, Newcastle Herald

Finalists:

Ava Benny-Morrison, “Investigation into Cost-Cutting Policy Costing Lives”, The Northern Star

Team Entry-Matthew Kelly, Ian Kirkwood and Michelle Harris, “Orca's Woes “, Newcastle Herald

Highly Commended:                                                                     

James Gardiner, “Price Hike”, Newcastle Herald

Judges Comment:

Ben Smee’s news reporting on the removal of 40 Laman Street fig trees is a fine example of a journalist pursuing a major local news story with vim and vigour. Smee’s entry demonstrated a talented journalist using a good variety of skills to present the story in all of its many angles. The coverage included strong news breaks such as internal council documents about the operation to remove the trees, good context about the costs of the row to ratepayers and excellent coverage of the dramatic final day when the trees were removed. Despite the high feelings and drama, the stories showed balance, a clear eye and enough detail without being fussy – in all, everything you wanted or needed to know about the issue. In providing such rounded coverage, Smee did a wonderful job of serving his community with the best possible information about a contentious, divisive issue, and becomes a worthy winner.

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Best Feature Writing

Winner:

Rosemarie Milsom, “The Long and Winding Road”, Newcastle Herald

Finalists:

Ben Smee, “Bitter Roots Run Deep”, Newcastle Herald

David Leser, “What Lies Beneath”, Fairfax/Good Weekend

Highly Commended:

Jane Hansen, “A Valley Fractured”, News Limited, Sunday Telegraph

Judges Comment:

Rosemarie Milsom’s feature piece stood out in a category boasting a number of strong entries. At its core it is an old-fashioned love story, but it is so much more than that. Rosemarie spent 80 hours with a family of African refugees reunited after years of being forced to live apart because of political unrest and violence in their native Congo. What results is a beautifully-written, poignant and informative piece of writing, with Simon De Peak’s powerful photography proving the perfect accompaniment. Rosemarie evokes an emotional response in the reader, one of the measures of good feature writing. It is an exemplary use of the medium – using storytelling to put a human face to a seldom understood and complex issue. Rosemarie clearly earned the trust of the family to produce a sensitive, fly-on-the-wall account of a momentous time in their lives.

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Best News Photography

Winner:              

Peter Lorimer, “Northern NSW Flood Disaster”, Daily Telegraph

Finalists:

Peter Clark, “Driver's Fatal Anguish”, News Local

Max Mason-Hubers, “West Wall Send Fire”, Newcastle Newspapers

Judges Comment:

Peter Lorimer’s dramatic images portray the isolation and struggle that sets in when the rivers overflow. A challenging situation not only for those trapped but for the photographer who needs to get into the areas affected to document the drama unfolding. Peter used his journalism skills and powers of persuasion to join the SES in their boats and in their helicopter to get close to the action, producing a unique set of images that where published widely across the country. Peter’s image of farmers and SES pitching in to rescue 200 sheep, transporting them to dry land by boat effectively documents how Australian’s bond together and help each other in times of need. Working for daily metro papers, Peter overcame the technical issues in the bush to transmit his images to the publications on tight schedules. His dedication to tell the famers story unfolding in testing conditions from Boggabri to Wee Waa and Rowena paid off for his publication and has impressed the judging panel.

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Best Sports Photography

Winner:

Grant Robertson, “The Ultimate Tackle”, The Northern Daily Leader 

Finalists:

Troy Snook, “Web of Despair”, News Local

Max Mason-Hubers, “Long on Ambition”, Newcastle Newspapers

Judges Comment:

Grant Robertson’s entry of two sports images under the collective title of “Tackle” caught the judges eye. His pin sharp images were executed with great technical skill and both showed the most intense peak action moments in a very professional manner ... an effort made even more creditable by the fact that Grant is a sports journalist before a photographer. The images would stand up to publication and scrutiny in any Metro daily.

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Best Feature Photography

Winner:

Simone                 De Peak, “Out of Africa”, Newcastle Herald

Finalists:

Marc Stapelberg, “Gone to the Dogs”, Northern Star

Max Mason-Hubers, “Wings”, Newcastle Newspapers

Judges Comment:

The judges unanimously voted to award Simone De Peak of the Newcastle Herald the winner of Photographic Feature for the series “Out of Africa”.  The photographer went beyond the brief as well as behind the scenes to capture real moments of a Congolese family and the transition of resettling in Australia. Bright saturated colours make bold strong photographs of the family discovering a strange, new environment such as the ocean baths and a city bus. This photographic essay is filled with soulful story-telling photographs and beautiful intimate moments which capture the essence of newly-arrived refugees to regional Australia.

Sponsor:

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Best Television News Report

Winner:

Team Entry -Nicola Strohal, Ben Sutton and Steve Moroney , “Coverage of the Death of Snr Cst David Rixon”, Prime7 News

Finalists:

Dennis  Driver, “Chemical Story”, NBN

Team Entry -Terry Allen and Andrew Watts, “Coles Shopping Trolley”, Prime7 News

Judges Comment:

Nicola Strohal and Cameramen Ben Sutton and Steve Moroney handled the tragic death of Senior Constable David Rixon with sensitivity, demonstrating a strong sense of how deeply the loss impacted their local community of Tamworth. The morning of the shooting they arrived within minutes, to a frantic and confronting scene, in which police and witnesses were visibly distressed. Nicola reported on the ensuing drama with a well written, clear, concise script, avoiding the need to sensationalise the death of a much-loved local officer. This entry also included a report on Senior Constable David Rixon's funeral. Nicola approached this memorial with a deep respect for David Rixon's wife and six children. The end result was a powerful and moving tribute for a highly respected officer.

Sponsor:

Ray Dinneen

Best Television Current Affairs Reporting, Feature or Special

Winner:

Blake Doyle, “Bosslift-Timor”, NBN

Judges Comment:

Blake Doyle's story impressed on many levels. From the skilfully shot and edited arresting opener this story impressed to the very last shot. It showed great insight into the workings of the army reserve, the reservists and their bosses. It was emotional, insightful and well-paced, and there was excellent use of natural sound and music. From the many locations in the story it was clear Blake and his cameraman covered a lot of territory in a short time on the ground in East Timor. Well served by a talented cameraman, who incidentally cut the story as well, Blake wrote well to the pictures and the piece to camera showed forethought and how well the 2 of them worked  as a team. They may have been in a rush following a timetable set by others but the story had very high production values. The use of time lapse added to outstanding look of the piece. They had great access and used it well with multiple talent who seemed clearly at ease with them and happy to talk. He resisted the temptation to put himself into the story – sometimes an irresistible urge when on an overseas assignment – instead letting the talent the locals and the landscapes tell the story. As with all good current affairs this was not a long news story.  It was a finely crafted piece that was an absolute stand out.

Sponsor:

Ray Dinneen

Best Radio  News and Current Affairs Report

Winner:

1233 ABC Newcastle-Jill Emberson, Lucia Hill and Ben Millington, “Hooked on Heroin-Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3”, ABC Newcastle

Finalists:

Giselle Wakatama, “The Baby Snatchers”, ABC Newcastle

Team Entry-Katya Quigley and Wendy Collis, “The Future of Gloucester”, ABC

Highly Commended:                                                                                                     

Catherine Clifford and Elyse Denman, “Moree Flood Crisis 2012”, Australian Broadcasting Corporation              

Judges Comment:

Among many entries from hard working regional journalists, the judges found “Hooked on Heroin” to be a particularly thought-provoking series. The content was powerful, and its exploration of the complex issues surrounding addiction provided insights that have the potential to change attitudes. The judges also wished to commend Catherine Clifford and Elyse Denman for their efforts covering the Moree floods from a resource-strapped office.

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Best Sports Journalism

Finalists:

Giselle Wakatama, “A Horse Called Nev”, ABC Newcastle

Robert  Dillion, “Tinklers Trying Times”, Newcastle Herald

No further commendations were awarded for this category.

Best Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique

Winner:

Rosemarie Milsom, “Bump in the Baby Club”, Newcastle Herald

Finalist:

Robert Dillion, “A Little Bit Rich”, Newcastle Herald

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Best Investigative Journalist

Winner:

Giselle Wakatama, “The Baby Snatchers”, ABC Newcastle

Finalists:

David Leser, “What Lies Beneath”, Fairfax/Good Weekend

Jane Hansen, “Under the Influence”, Sunday Telegraph

Highly Commended:

Elspeth Taylor, “What's wrong in the Pilliga?”, Prime Television           

Judges Comment:

A day spent flicking through Senate papers for Giselle Wakatama led her to the remarkable story of a Lake Macquarie woman and the authorities who forced her to give up her baby for adoption without her consent. What followed was an intensive 3 month investigation into the heartbreaking claims of several local women, who were brave enough to share their stories in Giselle's powerful feature series on ABC radio. Giselle report sparked national and international coverage and was the first journalistic report in Australia to prompt the Catholic Church to issue a national apology to the victims of forced adoption from as far back as the 1950's.  The judges felt Giselle's well researched series was an exceptional example of how a journalist's pursuit of the truth can lead to meaningful and positive outcomes for victims.

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Best Use of The Medium

Winner:

Catherine Marciniak , “Laid Off: Time is on my Side”, ABC

Finalists:

The Northern Daily Leader Team Entry-Kitty Hill, Hayley Sheridan, Blake Hardy, Geoff O'Neill and Robert Chappel, “The Shooting of David Rixon”, The Northern Daily Leader

Helen Gregory, “No Pain No Gain”, Newcastle Herald

Highly Commended:

Ben Smee, Amy Spear, Eve Nesmith, Dean Osland and Simone De Peak,"Online Coverage of Fig Friday", Newcastle Herald 

Judges Comment:

Catherine Marcinak’s “Laid Off: Time is on my side” was a stand-out winner in this category. The issue of retrenchment is timely and relevant to many in the current economic climate and this story examined the social fallout behind the headline news. The production values were very high: the story was beautifully crafted and there was excellent use of imagery. It was compelling viewing, and heartening to see the subjects learn a new skill that may help them recover from retrenchment.

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Best Broadcast Camerawork

Winner:

Peter McDonald, “Boss Lift”, NBN

Finalist:               

Sam Parker, “Mini Cyclone Smashes Coffs Coast”, NBN

Judges Comment:

Peter McDonalds ‘Boss Lift’ Story. Stood out to the Judges. A highly professional  standard of work , well shot, nicely edited. Capturing the mood and feeling. Of the role of Army Reservists in East Timor.

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