top of page
Country Press SA

Best Newspaper under 4,000


As a small, independent printer publisher and newspaper proprietor it is a privilege to be asked to judge the South Australian country newspaper association newspapers for 2023.

As in the past the standard of editorial content in SA newspapers submitted for this year awards is pleasing, easy to read and follow. It is good to see reporters writing their intros to their stories in the first par, also reporters stood by their work placing their names with their articles depending of course on company policy.

Aware that not all newspapers these days have photographers, and photographic work is generally done by reporters or sometimes submitted by newspaper community contributors, the photography in the newspapers this year, and last year is of a good standard. Please note make sure faces reproduced in pictures are big enough to recognise.

It takes many years of practice to capture a picture that tells a great story, crop it well and then have it faithfully reproduced in print.

Adding scores together for editorial, typography, advertising and printing, I scored Plains Producer with the highest amount of points and winner of this years, best newspaper 2023.

Of the weekly editions l read of the Plains Producer they had plenty of life in the pages with many pages with shorter stories.

I have said before we must be aware of our readers view (current and future) and what we are competing against in the news market.

Editorial in all newspapers was of similar good quality and that reflects on the editors, but the Plains Producer is well laid out editorially, engaging headlines and advertising placed to advantage and photographs are well produced. A well produced local paper.

Judged secondthis year was The Southern Argus, different in style and layout, to the other papers submitted for consideration.

The Southern Argus has consistent bold headlines on the front pages, engaging editorial copy and good photography through its pages, but reverse headlines in different colours, appeared to me may leave the readers perception of the newspaper as a little clunky, but it is certainly alive and vibrant.

The ink lay down on the newsprint for the Southern Argus was heavier than other papers submitted but it did not distract from its professional presentation. It was very good to see consistent community engagement in the Argus signalled with its strong letters to the editor page week in week out.

A great measure of how any local paper engages with its local community.

Third place was awarded to The Murray Valley Standard at Murray Bridge and particular consistent engaging front page articles by young reporter Sam Lowe moved the MVS to third place.

I would also like to note the full page of comics in the “The Islander”, a great local following no doubt that could well spill in a positive manner to all country papers.

A paper with something for everyone on the island with a great history.

Looking at the papers submitted, most appeared to be templated but that’s probably not an issue as each paper is unique to its particular community across South Australia.

As an older active member of Country Press Australia I reflect on the words and thoughts once said and written by industry icons, John Parker and David Summerlad, (both deceased) country press leaders of years gone by who used to constantly champion the role of the local community newspaper. The local newspapers job is to faithfully report the life and times of the communities who hold their trust.

To champion the thoughts, in local community and business, to be the accurate place of record for the local community.

As a printer & publisher l know the power of printed direct mail today and how some very clever marketeers use niche newspaper products to connect to markets and as a newspaper fraternity delivering news and information we must believe in our product and continue to educate people on the value and power of the quietly printed word.

It was only in the last couple of years with research activated by Country Press Australia, Deakin University & guided by Dr Kristy Hess that confirmed again the local Country community newspaper is the most trusted and reliable source of news.

Our reporters must keep in mind that all news is local first and they have a responsibility to report accurately local community affairs from, Council to sports clubs and pub goings on, to police affairs. For the healthy survival of the local newspaper, we must have a good local trading economy, and a vibrant community. It is the responsibility of our reporters to immerse themselves in all local community activity and promote all aspects of local life.


Home | Awards

bottom of page