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Judge: Joe Italiano

Readers of the newspapers entered in the Best Newspaper, Circulation over 4000, are getting good value for money.

Among those up for judging was The Leader, which celebrated its centenary in 2018. This paper proves the old saying that ‘’content is king’’. Although it could be tidied up with tighter editing and layout, the paper has an abundance and varied offering of stories from across the community.

All papers judged, although somewhat diverse in terms of location, frequency and publishing strategies, have one thing in common – they are very good servants of their respective communities, recording history and reporting news in a professional and timely manner.

All papers are making use of the tools at their disposal, including the linking of online offerings with mastheads.

However, there are some areas which could be improved, including consistency in the use of captions below photographs and story count which in some papers was relatively low. Two, three and four paragraph stories help improve story count and enable papers to cover a much broader range of activities.

Overwhelmingly, however, positives far outweighed negatives in the each of the entrants’ submissions.

The winning paper, The Border Watch demands attention with its bright and inviting front pages, giving it great newsstand appeal. This is no doubt an asset in gaining and retaining readers for its four-days-a-week publishing cycle.

The paper uses colour well, providing well-designed front-page pointers, along with at least one or two news stories to complement good front page photos in the 16 editions submitted for judging.

It shaded its major rivals in most of the judging categories, particularly in editorial and photographic content and typography.

In second place was the York Peninsula Country Times.

This is a very bright, well presented newspaper with crisp printing and vibrant photographs.

It makes good use of pic boxes and tints to separate stories, making it easier for readers to navigate their way around its page.

The paper is obviously well supported by its readership with editions judged running two pages of letters – pages 2 and 6. The rationale behind splitting the opinion pages is unknown and they may be better presented on facing pages back in the book, enticing readers to dig deeper into the paper.

Third place went to The Courier, which was just a “whiff” behind the top two.

A feature of the paper is its sports lift-out which runs to an impressive 16 pages and in two editions (summer) carried reports and scores for three cricket leagues, plus comprehensive coverage of other sports.  Sport is important component in any newspaper’s offerings, and the Courier does it very well.

Photographs are generally well taken and their presentation was first class, often using more than one picture with a story to better illustrate the subject matter.




Country newspapers will get your message to more people because local people love to read their local paper. In South Australia, 30 newspapers stretching from Ceduna in the west to Mount Gambier in the south, boast a weekly readership of about 400,000. Country Press SA helps advise potential advertisers on specifics relating to a particular member newspaper.


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Trevor McAuliffe
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