Judge: Paul Starick

The Border Watch, Katie Jackson, Dying Wish Granted As Global Campaign Heard By Studio: Tightly written piece laden with detail. Conveys emotion without purple prose. Article flows well, making it easy to read. Surprisingly, did not seem to be followed up widely in other media. A great story, albeit a sad and emotional one.

The South Eastern Times, J.L. “Fred” Smith, Millicent man helps disarm knife attacker: Excellent combination of an international news event and a local news item. Blends detail of the incident while establishing his credentials as a Milicent local. A potentially tricky task that was carried off well.

The Courier, Elisa Rose, The Accidental Politician: Well-crafted piece with plenty of interesting detail, particularly the lines about volunteering in World War II. Given he mentioned family so much, would have been useful to include that his son, Iain, had also gone into politics and been a Liberal state leader.

The Leader, Alicia Ludi-Schutz, Megan’s message of hope: Great piece that brings out the subject’s humour and tenacity. No wonder she was 2019 Australian Local Hero.

Plains Producer, Sally Crowther, Saving Elise: High Hopes for Rhynie youngster: Another excellent piece laden with detail. Turns what could have been a short pic story to promote DonateLife Week into an interesting story. So much great detail.

Yorke Peninsula Country Times, Amie Price, Smiths on a mission in Mozambique: As above - a great example of a well-told story that could have been treated as a simple request for money from the Smith family. Their story is interesting.

The Bunyip, Sam Bradbrook, From happy, to homeless: Emotional and well written case study. Did lack important detail - where does she live now? Did she move to Christies or is she still in car? Also could have used some perspective, perhaps from lobby groups, about how many people estimated to be in similar plights.

The River News, Erin Williams, David’s highest honour: Good detail about the breadth of his volunteering and his credentials are well established. Could have done with some more anecdotes/ details of challenges/ etc from his ambulance role.

Murray Pioneer, Jane Kuerschner, My Battle: An outstanding piece with an extremely courageous subject. Gripping story about an important social issue that is well told. Breakout box useful too 

The Border Times, Deirdre Graham, The meaning of friendship: Excellent story. What friendship. Not sure if Jezzi participated or not - so perhaps a bit harsh - but would have been nice to hear from her and to see a picture of her too. Article also rushes a bit in the last few paragraphs. Would have been good to hear a bit more about Imogen and Ember.


First: The Border Watch, Katie Jackson, Dying Wish Granted As Global Campaign Heard By Studio: I couldn’t get this story out of my mind, thanks to Katie’s well-crafted article. Neat, tight writing and plenty of detail. Explains the social media aspect yet doesn’t obsess about it. Captivating story - surprised appears not to have been widely followed up in other media. Great mix of relevant detail and quotes. The former sets up the subject’s words with just enough information to keep the story flowing. Thanks also for including the footnote that Mr Hinshelwood managed to hold on and view Avengers: Endgame for a second time before, sadly, losing his battle with Fanconi anemia just weeks later.

Second: Murray Pioneer, Jane Kuerschner, My Battle: Powerful story about an incredibly important issue. Nicole has plumbed the depths and appears to have come out the other side, to be helping others. Excellent use of detail but lets the subject speak, drawing together her words neatly.

Third: The Barossa Mag, Megan’s Message of Hope, Alicia Ludi-Schutz. Wonderfully written piece, brings together the subject’s humour and tenacity. Easy to read and engrossing.

Honourable mention: Saving Elize, Plains Producer, Sally Crowther: Wonderful detail, perhaps crowded out the emotion of the story at times. Really impressive work to take what could have been a run-of-the-mill picture story and turn it into such a well-researched piece. Could well have won - such a strong field of entries this year.



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Trevor McAuliffe
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