St George Leader in dual community newspaper win

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader was recognised as the best community newspaper with a circulation over 50,000 and the best digital community publication at the Community Newspapers of Australia (CNA) Northern Division awards.

The twice-weekly print publication, which according to its website has the highest circulation among community newspapers in Australia, has now received the primary online award five of the past six years.

In the best newspaper over 50,000 category, judges gave the award to the Leader by one point over the Bankstown-Canterbury Torch and described the paper as “extremely well designed with a great balance between copy and photos and appropriately sized headlines”. The Leader’s site was described by judges of the digital publication category as “informative, visually appealing and engaging…a diverse mix of traditional news and social media”.

In the other major categories, the Wynnum Herald was awarded the best newspaper with a circulation of 30,000-50,000 and the Camden Narellan Advertiser was judged the best newspaper with a circulation under 30,000.

Anna Yeo’s story in the Hawkesbury Gazette on the backlash by community members against Hawkesbury City Council rates rises last July won the award for best news story, and best feature story was given to Angela Ranke of the Southern Star, for a piece looking into illegal prostitution in Brisbane’s south side.

Camden Narellan Advertiser photographer Jonathan Ng won the award for best news photo with a shot of Barry O’Farrell outside of the Carrington Reception and Leisure Club, a photo used on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald when the Premier resigned in April this year. Mr Ng also provided the emotional moment of the night, when he talked about an eye problem from which he had been suffering and how it helped him to fully appreciate the importance of photography and his good fortune in being able to do it for a living.

Attendees at the CNA awards dinner, which was held at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour last Friday, were treated to a speech by special guest Lisa Forrest, about competing in the 1980 Moscow Olympics during the Cold War and her career as a journalist and broadcaster.

The CNA awards are divided into the Northern division (which comprises newspapers in New South Wales, Northern Territory, ACT and Queensland) and the Southern division (newspapers in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia). Awards for finalists in the Southern division will be announced at a dinner on Friday June 27, 2014.

The brochure handed out at the end of the night with a full list of winners and judges’ comments can be viewed here.

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