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Jim McCarter inducted as Rural Media Icon (April 2018)

Highly respected legend of South Australian rural journalism, Jim McCarter will be formally inducted to the honoured status of ‘Rural Media Icon’ at RMSA’s Luncheon on 27th April.

Jim McCarter currently enjoying retired life in Tasmania

However due to his advanced years and ongoing ill health, Jim will be unable to travel to Adelaide.  His induction will be conducted by live voice link to Jim’s current home in Tasmania.

Born at Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula in 1937, Jim McCarter’s roots in rural journalism come from a period very few people today have experienced.  Following completion of his education at Urrbrae Agricultural High School, he obtained a position as a cadet journalist with the Advertiser’s rural publication, ‘The Chronicle’ in 1954.

In the early 1960’s, Jim expanded his role as a rural journalist at ‘The Chronicle’ by broadcasting agricultural stories on the Advertiser Broadcasting Network’s statewide radio stations 5AD, 5PI, 5MU & 5SE in a program called ‘Life on the Land’.

Jim McCarter became Editor of ‘The Chronicle’ in 1969, a role he held until the Advertiser decided to close that publication in 1976.  He then took up the position of Rural Editor at the Advertiser in an effort to maintain the communication of rural and agricultural content to that publication’s statewide readers.  His weekly “On The Land” section epitomised quality rural journalism and was a much anticipated read for many regional and metropolitan people.

Jim McCarter in the 1980’s, at work as an iconic South Australian rural journalist

A highlight of Jim’s career at the Advertiser was convincing the management of that publication to become official sponsor of the Yorke Peninsula Field Days, something very close to his heart.  In recognition of his long service to the YP Field Days Committee, that body awarded Jim with Life Membership.

After 38 years reporting rural issues to South Australians, Jim McCarter retired from the Advertiser in 1992.

Jim McCarter left a number of lasting legacies to the craft of rural journalism in this state.  In addition to establishing the benchmark for quality agricultural journalism and well-mannered communication, he pioneered the formation of Rural Media South Australia in the 1970’s.  Jim served as RMSA President and Secretary for many years, with Honorary Life Membership being bestowed upon him by RMSA some years ago as a genuine gesture of its appreciation.


2017 Rural Media Award Winners Announced (Dec 2017)

From record numbers of outstanding entries, News Corp’s Rural Editor at The Advertiser, Belinda Willis and News Corp photographer Matt Turner have taken home the major prizes at the 2017 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards.

Belinda Willis is currently The Advertiser Newspaper’s Rural Editor, overseeing the coverage of issues affecting rural businesses and communities across the state. Her journalistic career spans more than 20 years and includes stints with the BBC, Discovery Networks and the North West Evening Mail in England, the former Times Tribune newspaper in California and with a former Australian Federal Environment Minister.

Matt Turner has had extensive photographic experience, initially working freelance with the Stock Journal, The Australian, The Sydney Telegraph & Getty Images before returning to Adelaide in 2003 to join News Corp Australia. Since then he has worked with The Advertiser, SA Weekend Magazine and Nationally, covering a wide and varied range of major and every day events.

For a full listing of results, click here


Entries now open for 2017 Rural Media Awards (Sept 2017)

Entries are now open for RMSA's 2017 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards for rural journalists and photographers.

These prestigious annual awards carry significant peer recognition and in 2017, offer a total of $7,500 in prize money plus trophies. Individual awards will be given to the best journalists in print, radio, television and online media and 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 2017 Telstra & RBS Rural Journalist of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 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 $500. Winners of the three specialist awards will then compete for the major 2017 Telstra & RBS Rural Photographer of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 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 2017 Adelaide Show and the Best Photograph ($500) related to the 2017 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 2017 Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards are for work published or broadcast between 1st November 2016 and 31st October 2017.

>> Click here to download Rural Journalist Entry Form

>> Click here to download Rural Photographer Entry Form



Leigh Radford - Icon of Rural Media moves on (August 2017)

After a 30 year career working for ABC Rural, Adelaide based National Head of Rural & Regional programs, Leigh Radford has taken up the opportunity to further his interests outside of the national broadcaster.

Recognised as one of ABC Rural’s most awarded broadcasters, Leigh was the inaugural Telstra South Australian Rural Journalist of the Year in 1996 and has been honoured with the Dalgety Award for Excellence in Rural Journalism as well as various Landcare Awards.

Life behind the microphone assisting rural & regional communities - Leigh Radford’s true passion

In recognition of his exceptional service and commitment to rural and regional communities, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.  As a sign of the esteem in which Leigh Radford is held locally, Rural Media South Australia inducted him to the honoured status Rural Media Icon last December.

Leigh Radford was an integral component of a four-generation long dynasty of the Radford family’s involvement in the media.  He was the most senior member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s executive management team to have ever been based in Adelaide and managed the largest rural media broadcast group in the world, including oversight of the longest continually running rural broadcast program ever seen.

His management of the ABC rural broadcast group and the Country Hour was the envy of every country with an interest in agricultural communication.  In particular, Leigh was responsible for shaping the careers of many of today’s top rural journalists, including a number who went on to become internationally renowned Foreign Correspondents.

In particular, Leigh Radford has made his mark on the international stage himself, unselfishly representing the entire Australian rural media sector, private and Government, as the Australian delegate to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists – travelling overseas to represent our national interest, convening the judging panel of the world broadcast rural media awards and influencing rural media policy internationally.

Leigh Radford has been described by many as being extremely ethical in his dealings with all people, self-effacing, modest and willing to sacrifice personal gain in favour of benefit to his organisation


Caroline Winter stars at SA Media Awards (June 2017)

Former ABC SA Country Hour Executive Producer and Presenter, Caroline Winter recently took out the ‘Best Radio Broadcaster’ and ‘Best Radio News/Current Affairs/Feature’ award at the SA Media Awards

In announcing Caroline as South Australia’s ‘Best Radio Broadcaster’, the judging panel recognised her as being a genuine storyteller.  It emphasised that with her naturally engaging style and crafty use of the medium, Caroline produced compelling stories that humanised the issues of the day.

Most importantly, the judging panel credited Caroline as a broadcaster who provided a voice to South Australians dealing with the most difficult of situations, clearly earning the trust of those who opened up to her.

When announcing her win in the Radio News/Current Affairs/Feature Award’ for the ABC PM Radio story, ‘Statewide Blackout’ the judging panel said Caroline’s story was a brilliant example of good old fashioned shoe leather reporting that took listeners into the heart of South Australia’s recent electricity blackout.

It felt that Caroline could have opted out of this story at any time, but instead took it solely upon herself to drive into the blackout and find compelling audio to illustrate the absurdity of a state without power.  Finding herself under immense deadline pressure, Caroline’s tight scripting combined with great talent produced an award winning story.

Also at the same awards ceremony, the ‘Best Rural/Regional Journalist Award’ was won jointly by the ABC South East team of Kate Hill, Selina Green, Courtney Howe and Alexia Atwood.  Their story, ‘Ambulance cover backlash’ demonstrated what could be achieved when newsroom journalists work together to cover a story.  The ABC South East team identified a political decision that would impact thousands of residents in their community and persisted in covering the topic, speaking to a wide range of stakeholders and members of the community as the issue evolved over time.

The extensive coverage played a key role in the public debate of this issue and no doubt helped influence policymakers who eventually amended a controversial decision.

One of the finalists in this ‘Best Rural/Regional Journalist Award’ category was Peri Strathearn from the Murray Valley Standard.  Peri had previously won Rural Media SA’s ‘Best Regional Rural Journalist Award’ in 2015 and 2016.

Not a great shot after a heavy night for the photographer,
but an on-the-night view of Caroline Winter’s various awards.


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:

2018 Meetings

Friday 27th April 2018

Bruce Creek
"Driving the beef industry forward"

(Luncheon 12 noon for 12.30 pm)
(Arkaba Hotel, Cnr Glen Osmond & Fullarton Roads, Adelaide)

Thursday 14th June 2018

Peter Wadewitz - Peats Soil
"Carbon sequestration: Converting recycled organics to quality fertiliser"
(Luncheon 12 noon for 12.30 pm)
(Goyder Mezzanine, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

Thursday 6 September 2018

2018 RMSA Rural Bank Royal Show Breakfast
(Breakfast 7.00 am for 7.30 am)
(Members Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

Friday 7 December 2018

2018 Telstra and Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards
RMSA Christmas Function

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