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Richard Fewster Inducted as Rural Media Icon (Nov 2015)

Fifty year veteran of rural media, Richard Fewster recently received the very rare honour of being inducted as a Rural Media Icon.

RMSA President, Ian Doyle; Rural Media Icon, Richard Fewster; RMSA Vice-President, Dale Manson

Within the industry of rural media, there are individuals who are held in admiration for their high level of professionalism, long term dedication and passion for communicating rural issues.  Rural Media South Australia recognises only the most outstanding of these individuals through their elevation to the status of “Rural Media Icons”.  It is a rare honour and the highest that can be bestowed by Rural Media SA. The decision to induct an individual is never taken lightly.

With his elevation to the status of Rural Media Icon, Richard Fewster joins Angela Goode, Jon Lamb, Dick James, Norman Marston, Alan Richardson and Ian Doyle as part of a very prestigious, but small cohort.

Richard originally came off a fruit block at Renmark prior to studying a Diploma in Agriculture at Roseworthy Agricultural College.  He excelled in the practicalities of life outside of the lecture theatre at Roseworthy, graduating in 1965.  As a practical horticulturalist, he won the T.G.H. Buring Prize in Horticulture during his second year at Roseworthy and the Rudi Buring Prize for Practical Horticulture in his third and final year.

After graduating from Roseworthy, Richard initially spent eight years as a working journalist with the weekly agriculture paper, The Chronicle and the daily paper, The Advertiser.  While with these papers, Richard introduced and ran the SA Farm Innovation Competition.

There is no doubting the experience of reporting for The Chronicle and The Advertiser blooded Richard for a 50-year career in the media and as one of the nation’s leading rural communications and public relations experts.

Shortly after leaving The Advertiser, Richard set up his own public relations business and was commissioned to write a series of books including the history of B. Seppelt & Sons and Grain Handling in South Australia for SACBH.  As his rural communications company grew, Richard started handling media initiatives for an increasingly broad range of rural companies and agriculturally based organisations.

He led the development of many technology transfer programs, including Horticulture for Tomorrow and initiatives for the Grains Research and Development Corporation. In all cases, the work involved understanding new technology and developing communication programs that primary producers would understand and embrace. Almost without exception these programs were taken up on a national basis, targeting people in rural, regional and remote Australia.

He worked on many international marketing campaigns.  As head of global marketing for Turnbull Fox Phillips’ (now Porter Novelli’s) international public relations network, he gained considerable knowledge of issues facing agricultural organisations wanting to market themselves or rurally derived products on a global basis.

In honouring Richard Fewster as a “Rural Media Icon”, Rural Media SA stressed the decision to elevate him to the status of “Rural Media Icon” was not based on the part of his career as a PR man and corporate communications consultant.  It also was not about being President of the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA, being the architect of the highly successful Ibis Awards, membership of the SA Citrus Industry Development Board, board member of various medical research foundations or driving a program that won the inaugural United Nations International Award for environmental public relations.

The honour bestowed upon Richard Fewster was focused on his exceptional life as a working rural journalist, the fostering of careers for other rural journalists, the enormous opportunities he has pioneered & opened up for others, his unwavering commitment to rural (as opposed to the easier and very tempting pathway of going general) and his numerous back-room roles in ensuring the highest quality in media reporting, production & management.

Only a week and a half prior to the RMSA induction ceremony, Richard was also awarded the University of Adelaide Roseworthy Alumni group’s highest honour, the ROCA Award of Merit in recognition of his broader roles in life.

Rural Media Icons: Ian Doyle; Angela Goode; Richard Fewster; Norman Marston; Alan Richardson

Jacinta Rose awarded RMSA Fellowship to IFAJ Pre-Congress Tour (Oct 2015)

Young Stock Journal rural journalist, Jacinta Rose has been awarded Rural Media SA’s Fellowship to attend the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ (IFAJ) Pre-Congress Tour in Cairns.

Themed “Hot Tropics 2015 - Farming Australia's Far North” and jointly organised by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ) and the Queensland Rural Press Club, the IFAJ Pre-Congress Tour spanned from 8th-12th October 2015 in Cairns and Sydney.

Although the RMSA Fellowship provided Jacinta with the $1,300 registration fee, she was expected to fund her own travel to Cairns and back from Sydney.  This mix of funding was quite intentional, as RMSA believed Fellowship recipients develop a greater level of personal commitment when they have a personal financial stake in an initiative.

Jacinta was born on a sheep and cropping farm at Narrabri in NSW where she developed a genuine love of farming from an early age.  Her family then moved to a mixed farming property at Wynarka, near Karoonda.  It was here that the experience of living in the SA Murray Mallee further ignited Jacinta’s passion for agriculture.

While completing a double degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Australia, Jacinta worked as a casual reporter for the Mount Barker Courier and the Stock Journal.  After graduating, she commenced full time work with Fairfax Agricultural Media, primarily focusing on the Stock Journal.

Her attendance at the IFAJ Pre-Congress Tour offered a chance to experience one of the world’s most advanced tropical agriculture regions set in a renowned tourist playground.  Jacinta was able to see first-hand how a major commercial agriculture sector not only coexists, but thrives in a pristine natural environment, from tropical rainforest jungle to the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

The Pre-Conference Tour spent the initial three days in far north Queensland, then moved to Sydney for two nights.  From there, many of the registrants took an onward flight to Auckland in New Zealand to join the IFAJ World Congress.

RMSA Show Breakfast guests watching RMSA President & Rural Media Icon, Ian Doyle interview the recipient of RMSA's Fellowship to the ACAJ/IFAJ Pre-Conference Tour in Cairns, the Stock Journal's Jacinta Rose

2015 Young Rural & Regional Journalist Professional Development Award Recipient Announced (Oct 2015)

Ceduna based editor of the West Coast Sentinel, Vanessa Binks has been announced as the recipient of the 2015 Young Rural & Regional Journalist Professional Development Award.”

The award provided Vanessa with the unique opportunity of experiencing a two-day tailored education program involving metropolitan media experiences of her choice related to the Royal Adelaide Show.

An initiative of the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Education Foundation of SA and Rural Media South Australia (RMSA), the award was supported by media mentor partners Stock Journal, ABC Rural, Channel Seven and Advertiser.  Initiated three years ago, the award’s focus was to foster high professional standards and provide professional development opportunities for young regionally-based journalists

Vanessa chose to spend her time at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show gaining valuable media experience with ABC Rural Radio.  In addition to the opportunity to experience high intensity rural media activity, the award also provided Vanessa with $1,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs, while her employer received $500 to fund someone to fill Vanessa’s role during her absence from the workplace.

RMSA President & Rural Media Icon, Ian Doyle;  recipient of the RA&HS/RMSA Fellowship, West Coast Sentinel editor, Vanessa Binks;  RA&HS President, Richard Fewster

2015 Rural Media Awards – entries close November 1 (Sept 2015)

Significant peer recognition and a total of $6,000 in prize money plus trophies is on the table in this year’s prestigious 2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards.  The Awards were launched by Chris Marks (Telstra) and Brett Smith (RBS) at the recent Rural Media SA Royal Show Breakfast.

Individual awards will be given to the best journalists in print, radio, television and online media and new regional print and photojournalism awards with significant prize money is being offered for each category. Winners of the four specialist awards will then compete for the overall 2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Journalist of the Year Award, carrying an additional $750 in prize money.

Three separate awards will also be offered for photography, with individual prizes for portfolios of work relating to agricultural production, people, and nature and landscape. The winner of each category will receive $375. Winners of the three specialist awards will then compete for the major 2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Photographer of the Year Award, carrying $750 in prize money.

Once again, the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA Inc is also sponsoring awards for the Best Published Story ($500) about the 2015 Adelaide Show and the Best Photograph ($500) related to the 2015 Adelaide Show.

Winners from the competitions will represent South Australia in a series of national awards run by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ), which selects finalists for the highly regarded international Star Prize.

The 2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards are for work published or broadcast between November 1 2014 and October 31 2015.

Enquiries about the journalism award should be directed to Dale Manson 0418 811 233.  Enquiries about the photography awards should be directed to Deanna Lush 0419 783 436.


2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards entries now open (Sept 2015)

Entries for the 2015 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards are now open.  Celebrating their 20th year, the Awards recognise excellence in both rural journalism and rural photography in the media. Entries close on Sunday 1st November 2015, with presentations occurring at a special RMSA function to be held at the Adelaide Showground on Friday 11th December 2015.

Sponsors Telstra, Rural Business Support, PIRSA, Royal Adelaide Show, Fuller, Superior Selections, AgCommunicators and Horticulture Coalition SA, provide cash awards and trophies valued at more than $6,000. This is greater than the Walkley Awards or any other media awards program in SA.

>> Download the Rural Journalist Award entry form

>> Download the Rural Photographer entry form


Upcoming meetings

Rural Media South Australia aims to provide a genuine focus for rural issues, combined with a forum for networking between the highest levels of agribusiness, government, media and rural producers.

Members and guests are encouraged to note the following dates in their diaries:

2015 Meetings

Friday 11 December 2015

2015 SA Rural Media Awards
20th Anniversary Celebration
& RMSA Christmas Luncheon

(Luncheon 12.00 noon for 12.30 pm)
(Members’ Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

2016 Meetings

Thursday 8 September 2016

2016 RMSA Royal Show Breakfast
(Breakfast 7.00 am for 7.30 am)
(Members’ Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

Friday 9 December 2016

2016 SA Rural Media Awards
(Luncheon 12.00 noon for 12.30 pm)
(Members’ Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)