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Country Press SA

Best Editorial Writing


While commentary and reflection are a good angle for editorials when well-written, nothing beats an editorial that demands action on behalf of its community. There was an unfortunate timidity in this year’s entries for Best Editorial.

Several new writers have appeared and deserve encouragement but might also benefit from the advice of a senior journalist about how to structure their editorials and understand their purpose, which is beyond a simple personal opinion piece.

Editors should not be afraid to name names and ask for better things for their community. Many of this year’s editorials show that the editor is in touch with their readers’ thinking but stops short of demanding change.

If your town needs a doctor, demand action from the Minister for Health! If a particular group in your community has been neglected, advocate courageously for them! If your local council has stuffed up, hold them to account!

Infrastructure, health, the economy.. there were rich pickings this year but few of the writers were up for grasping the nettle. Also, there was little evidence that the editorials from this year resulted in any action or change in behaviour from authorities or the community. Don’t be afraid to say if there was a reaction.

And please… you must understand what constitutes an editorial. An opinion piece under a byline is not an editorial. The editorial – or leader - must be under the masthead and must speak for the paper, not the individual. Oh, and three entries must be submitted. Please read the rules.

THIRD PLACE: Murray Pioneer

An intriguing debut from Hugh Schuitemaker. Hugh demonstrates a wonderful understanding of the role of an editorial and its importance to his readers. He tackles newsworthy topics and provides excellent summaries of the issues for his readers. There is a lot of research and thought behind Hugh’s work and I urge him to take that next step by advocating directly for the people he represents, by calling for action, by holding authorities to account.


Some really meaty topics for the Courier this year and some noteworthy editorials, perhaps lacking a little of the forthrightness and call to action that we have come to expect from this masthead. Mt Barker and its surrounds are in for a tough couple of years as the infrastructure issues continue to bite. The Courier will play an important role in holding authorities to account and I look forward to seeing coming years’ entries.

FIRST PLACE: Rhiannon Koch, Yorke Peninsula Country Times

Rhiannon demonstrates her maturity as an editor and a writer with these fine examples. She uses humour and her knowledge of local issues to provide entertaining and thought-provoking editorials. Don’t be afraid to take that next step Rhiannon and express your anger and frustration on behalf of the community in a way that you might demand and actually generate some action by authorities. Also, I have no doubt you have the skills and experience to write editorials about the really difficult issues, so take the leap and don’t avoid them!


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