Judged by Lauren Novak, Political Reporter, News Corp Australia

First: Les Pearson, Plains Producer

"Muir's newer demure demeanour"
Pearson's piece on rough footballer Robbie "Mad Dog" Muir was a surprise and a delight. It was good news sense on the part of Pearson to recognise the potential profile in Muir when he visited the newsroom to introduce himself. The article is well written and balanced and the subject topical, given the current focus on family violence and substance abuse, particularly ice in country areas.

Second: Paul Mitchell, Murray Pioneer

"Tom vs the council"
An excellent subject choice, given the local notoriety of letter writer Tom Loffler and community interest in contentious council issues. I expect, for this reason, the piece would have been widely read. Mitchell cleverly uses the overarching question "What is Loffler's agenda" to structure the piece. It's an engaging and newsy feature.

Third: Ian Osterman, The Courier

"From cosy Gum Road to the hell of Fromelles"
An interesting take on profiling a community member, given the long­ ago death of the subject. In a way, this piece would reflect the story of many members of the community. It is exceptionally well-researched, well-structured and beautifully written;

Special mention Dierdre Graham, Border Times

"Dr Sara's life as a rural GP"
Graham's first-person style draws the reader immediately into the atmosphere of her hospital surroundings, setting the scene for her profile on the local jack­-of-all-trades GP. It's a newsy profile on a pillar of any country community. Well-structured and nicely written, the feature also showcases Graham's local knowledge.


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Trevor McAuliffe
Mobile: 0408 845 104
Email: countrypsa@bigpond.com

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