top of page
Country Press SA

Best Newspaper Over 4,000


The top half dozen papers in this category were very hard to spilt - I had to go back to them a few times to make sure I could split the winners.

Overall the quality of publications in this category was pleasing. Most of the papers appear to have been able to adapt to modern readers while still appealing to their traditional reader base.

Sports overage across the papers is good to excellent and the gender balance is a lot better than it used to be in previous times.

I would like to see more shorter stories/briefs in all publications – Tik Tok and other such mediums have proven that our attention spans are getting shorter so our papers can in a lot of cases reflect this.

It’s a personal thing (it can be backed up by science), but we shouldn’t have colour behind stories. It makes text harder to read – black on white has always been the best to read.

And, I question the need for large television guides/recipe pages etc apart from adding pages to bulk up publications.


The Leader – Angaston

The Leader is a good, old-fashioned newspaper that has adapted enough to the current environment to be a shining light for the industry. While it has not given up on its principals of reporting on local news, events and sport it has changed just enough to appeal to modern readers.

The Leader has a good balance between harder and community news, and the writing is consistent. It has a very healthy sports section with results and reports from a broad range of sports, including the not so traditional. Importantly, the sport photographs, and indeed those in all sections, have names to accompany them.

It has a good percentage of advertising, including a good real estate section, and hasn’t turned away from advertising features, including some innovative ideas such as the Shop Local Passport.

There are a good number of letters in each issue, which shows the community is involved with the paper.

It was noted in the first issue to be judged that the editor had changed, but this appears, to an outsider at least, to have made no difference to the quality of the product.


The Border Watch

This paper is giving readers good value for money with healthy page numbers (more than 100 a week) including 136 in November. It has a lot of local stories with local faces and names across its pages, and very good sport coverage, and not just the traditional sports either. It serves a densely populated area with a lot of news to cover, but does it well with a broad range of news and high story count. It has a good real estate section and solid advertising content, and one of the few negatives would be that the real estate is wrapped by the TV guide – a lot of people could simply turn that section over without reading it or the real estate. However, that is one of few negatives in an otherwise solid publication.


The Murray Pioneer

While it lacked the page numbers of some of the others, this paper is jam-packed with stories and photographs that cover a wide range of news and events from across its region. There were lots of local letters, good local news and community news coverage and a very good coverage of the region’s sport. The headlines were well thought out in most cases to draw the reader in. There were some instances of photographs without names (junior sport), but otherwise the editor and staff have done a good job. Pleasingly to the owners, the classified section ranged from 4-6 pages and the level of local advertising appeared healthy.


Yorke Peninsula Country Times

This has long been one of the best in the ‘large’ newspaper category and it is again this year. It has good news, letters and community news with local people featuring throughout. Plus good coverage of the region’s sport with a lot of local names and faces. It has a good number of classified and general advertising. Ideally there would be more brief stories and acronyms shouldn’t be used in headlines, but this is a good read.

The Mt Barker Courier

The Courier has plenty of local news, community news, sport, loads of letters, a motoring section with decent editorial and good photographs throughout. The sport lift-out is chock full of reports but the coloured backgrounds make some of it harder than necessary to read. There is plenty of local advertising and good page numbers.

The rest

Fleurieu Sun

This is a good paper that caters very well to its demographic and was close to a commendation. It has good page numbers, plenty of local reporting and a lot of local letters, meaning the community is engaged. It is well written and has good advertising content.

EP Advocate

This is a good-looking paper that covers a very broad area – basically the size of Tasmania. It carries an excellent sport section in each issue and news and community stories from all areas. However, the stories are mostly long and photographs large. There is opportunity here for many briefs, particularly from local government. Its advertising content is good and it uses advertising features to bulk up its percentage.

Gawler Bunyip

The Bunyip is in a newsy area and does carry a good level of local news and photographs, accompanied by names. The sport section is solid but some of the photos don’t have names. It used colour behind text in some areas, which should be avoided. It has a good trades and services directory and a solid classified section. An added bonus was the SA Farmer in two of the issues. This is a good read for a group publication.

Port Lincoln Times & Victor Harbor Times

Only three editions of each were provided. Both papers covered local news in the first few pages, which covered events readers would be interested in, followed by community content and sport, mostly with local names on the photos, but in some instances, they went without. One can’t help but think the TV/puzzle/recipe photos may be better used for local news.


Home | Awards

bottom of page