Tamworth’s Northern Daily Leader has taken home three trophies from the NSW Country Press Awards, including the inaugural Community Leadership and Involvement award.
The Leader’s “Doing It For Dan” campaign stood out to judges, earning the paper the Local Reporting Award as well as the Community Leadership prize. It saw the paper support a push by the family of a local man, Dan Haslam, suffering terminal cancer, for the decriminalisation of medical marijuana.
Within 48 hours of the publication of the story and editorial, 15,000 signatures had been added to a petition. Health Minister Jillian Skinner visited Tamworth and met with Mr Haslam, urged by a front page reading “Yes, Minister!”, that prompted a wave of support for a private member’s bill.
Editor Daniel Johns, who joined the Leader in 2013, said it was an unexpected success in a community that was traditionally very conservative.
“We dipped our toe in the water at first and the feedback from the community – bear in mind it is more of a conservative community – some of those elements backed it much more than we thought,” he said. The Leader continues to cover Dan’s fight.
The Leader took its total to three trophies with a photographic award.
The Wingham Chronicle was awarded the Norske Skog prize for marketing and promotion for its bushfire awareness campaign, a series of three monthly features in the lead-up to the 2014 fire season which saw $10 from every advertisement donated to the Rural Fire Service.
The DIC award for advertising ideas went to The Courier, Narrabri, for its “Live and Learn Locally” campaign which sold the message that shopping locally supported employment for the district’s youth. It drew significant community support and $8000 in youth training grants from local sponsors, boosting local businesses in the process. It also generated $70,000 in ad revenue.
A full list of winners is below.
Newspaper Marketing and Promotion – Wingham Chronicle
Advertising Ideas – The Courier
Commercial Supplement – South Coast Register
Locally Produced Advertising (under 5,000) – The Armidale Express
Locally Produced Advertising (over 5,000) – The Advertiser, Cessnock
Technical Excellence in Newspaper Production – Guardian News
Photography – The Northern Daily Leader
Feature Supplements – The Courier, Narrabri
Special Publications – Southern Highland News
Newspaper Presentation (daily and tri-weekly) – The Daily Advertiser
Newspaper Presentation – The Irrigator, Leeton
EC Sommerlad Memorial Award for Journalism – The Armidale Express
EC Sommerlad Memorial Award for Editorail Writing – Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Local News Reporting – The Northern Daily Leader
Feature Writing – Great Lakes Advocate
Sports Journalism – Goulburn Post
Online Editorial Coverage – Manning River Times
Community Leadership and Involvement – The Northern Daily Leader
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