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Country Press SA

Best Headline


I couldn’t help noticing the upbeat feel of the headline entries this year and went back to compare them with the sometimes sombre feel of many headlines back in the Covid years, dealing as they were with serious subjects in uncertain times - while trying to keep readers’ spirits up.

This time around there was ample allusion to popular culture, as well as creative use of the “pic+pun” formula that gives the readers a quick sugar hit and reminds them that their local paper is fun as well as informative.

As always, my choices are highly subjective and I thank all the editors, subs and reporters for submitting excellent headlines, as well as continuing to attract their readers’ attention with something witty, amusing and appropriate.

I have singled out three that not only reference popular culture but do so in a way that demands a second look for it to sink in – compelling the reader to read on.


“Arrest a step towards shore-shack redemption” – Fleurieu Sun

The Sun led this year’s entries with a cracker, heading up a great story about the destruction of long-standing beach shacks on public land by an “entitled” and wealthy neighbour. The arrest of a tradie demolishing the shacks opened the way to their reinstatement. The clever allusion to one of the most popular movies of all time was a perfect fit with the circumstances, not to mention a “feel good” ending. It’s the kind of headline readers keep talking about.


“Hazzards of Dukes’’ Murray Valley Standard

A salute to a popular TV comedy series fronts a serious piece about the appalling state of the Dukes Highway, the busy freight route connecting Melbourne and Adelaide and long considered the state’s deadliest road.


“Bunnings snagged?” – The Bunyip

Habitual placegetter, The Bunyip, again showed class with a brief-and-brilliant headline over a story about possible planning hold-ups for a Bunnings store around Gawler, referencing both the snagging of a fishing line and the famous weekend sausage sizzle at Bunnings.

Special mentions

Continuing the popular culture theme, I liked the Murray Pioneer’s Hip Hop Hoorayhead for a pic of two young hop dancers; the Plains Producer’s Beetles Reunion about a restored vintage VW; the YP Country Times’ El Ni-ño?head on a lovely cool-weather pic questioning the Bureau’s El Niño alert; and The Border Times’ It’s independents’ day, heading a story about independent scrutiny of council’s use of a ratepayer’s bequest.

In the brief-and-brilliant group, I would add The Courier’s Health Cheque about disappearing bulk-billing; The Leader’s Bypassed about the axing of the Truro freight route; the Port Lincoln Times’ Bark Park Progress about the city’s new dog park and The Southern Argus’s Raise a Cask about a prize-winning local whisky distiller.

While it may feel a little like everyone wins a prize, the quality of entries is testament to the passion and vigor with which you serve your communities. The SA Country Press looks alive and well to me!


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