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Advertiser clean sweep of 2019 SA & NT Rural Media Awards (Dec 2019)

From a near record number of outstanding entries, Advertiser rural affairs editor Paula Thompson and photographer, Matt Turner took out the major prizes at the 2019 RMSA South Australian and Northern Territory Rural Media Awards.

Now in its second year of incorporating the Northern Territory in these awards, Paula Thompson emerged from the Print category to win the 2019 Rural Journalist of the Year Award. Despite having grown up in Adelaide, Paula has had an extensive career in rural and regional journalism having first commenced her career with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) whilst studying journalism at university. Paula has also held roles with the Murray Pioneer and the Stock Journal, and is now the Regional Editor for News Corp Australia at The Advertiser.

2019 SA & NT Rural Journalist of the Year, Paula Thompson, with Chair of the Rural Journalist Judging Panel, Dale Manson 

From an extremely strong field of 18 entrants, Matt Turner was named the 2019 Rural Photographer of the Year with an outstanding portfolio of story-telling and creative photographs, winning two of the main categories and being highly commended in the other. Prior to joining News Corp’s South Australian office in 2003, Matt commenced his career in photography as a freelance for the Stock Journal and then went on to hold roles with The Australian, The Sydney Telegraph and Getty Images, amongst others. 

This is Matt’s third RMSA Rural / Regional Photographer of the Year award in the last 5 years and clearly identifies him as not only an outstanding photographer, but one who has a deep understanding of rural issues and a connection with rural and regional people.

Chair of the Rural Photographer Judging Panel, Ian Turner, 2019 SA & NT Rural Photographer of the Year, Matt Turner with principal sponsor Rural Business Support CEO, Brett Smith 

For a full listing of results, click here


Entries now open for 2019 SA & NT Rural Media Awards (Sept 2019)

Entries are now open for the 2019 SA & NT Rural Media Awards for Rural Journalists and Photographers.

These prestigious annual awards carry significant peer recognition and in 2019, offer a total of $7,500 in prize money plus trophies.

Individual awards will be given to the best journalists in Print, Broadcast Radio/Audio, Broadcast Television/Video, Broadcast Digital/Online and Regional Print.  Significant prize money is being offered for each category. Winners of the specialist award categories will then compete for the overall 2019 SA & NT Rural Journalist of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 in prize money.

For the second year, the Awards will also be open to Rural Journalists and Photographers working in the Northern Territory.

Three separate awards will also be offered for photography, with individual prizes for portfolios of work relating to Agricultural Production, People, and Nature/Landscape/Rural Scenes. The winner of each category will receive $500. Winners of the three specialist awards will then compete for the major 2019 SA & NT Rural Photographer of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 in prize money.

A special award is also being offered for the Best Photojournalist.

Once again, the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA's "Show Society Foundation" is also sponsoring awards for the Best Published Story ($500) about the 2019 Royal Adelaide Show and the Best Photograph ($500) related to the 2019 Royal 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 2019 SA & NT Rural Media Awards are for work published or broadcast between 1st January 2019 and 31st October 2019.

The Awards are presented at a special awards lunch on Friday 29th November 2019 at the Adelaide Showground.


VALE - Jim McCarter (May 2019)

Rural Media SA President, Leigh Radford OAM announces with sadness the passing of a pioneer and true icon of South Australian Rural Journalism, Jim McCarter - leaving a lasting legacy of quality rural journalism that lives on in this state.

Jim died in the early hours of Sunday May 26th, leaving a lasting legacy of quality rural journalism that lives on in this state.

President of Rural Media SA, Leigh Radford OAM remembers Jim as being one of nature’s true gentlemen.  “He was also one of the best exponents of traditional Journalism, fiercely upholding the highest principles of editorial standards.”

“Jim was respected for his unfailing adherence to standards of fair, balanced and contextualised reporting of facts.  Several generations of readers in this state knew Jim McCarter as a trusted source of quality information which affected their families, businesses and local communities.”

In recognition of the standards he set for the coverage of agricultural issues in this state for decades, Jim was honoured and acknowledged by his colleagues as a ‘Rural Media Icon’ in the profession.

Jim served as Rural Media South Australia’s President and Secretary for many years, with Honorary Life Membership being bestowed upon him some years ago as a genuine gesture of its appreciation.

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.

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 spent his retirement years with wife Janet in the cooler climes of Southern Tasmania, devoting several productive decades to enjoying those things that interested him most.

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.

Rural Media SA President Leigh Radford OAM says his organisation joins with Janet and Jim’s family, friends and colleagues in celebrating a wonderful life and his lasting contribution to rural journalism in South Australia.


Deanna Lush - Winner of the 2019 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Woman’s award (March 2019)

Rural Media SA heartily congratulates our own Deanna Lush who has been crowned winner of the 2019 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Woman’s award.

Deanna is dynamic leader in the Rural sector and a highly valued member and committee member of RMSA. She was selected in this high level award over an exceptional field of candidates, who are all winners in their own way and who are all striving to make a difference in regional South Australia.

Deanna is someone with absolute commitment to rural South Australia and to raising the profile of its people and industries. Among other things, she has previously been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel to the US, Canada and UK, to learn about ways to foster a greater level of trust in the agriculture sector. Deanna also won the Australian Farm Institute’s John Ralph essay in 2018 and been part of the National Farmers Federation's Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program.

Rural Media SA is delighted to see this recognition of Deanna’s passion for the state and the impact she has in all she undertakes.

We wish her every success at the national level with this prestigious award.

Leigh Radford OAM
President Rural Media SA

Deanna Lush -
Winner of the 2019 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Woman’s award

SA people & places take out national rural photography awards (March 2019)

The Australian Council of Agricultural Journalism (ACAJ) National Star Prize for Excellence in Rural Photography has been won by The Stock Journal’s Jacqui Bateman for her pic of Tom Ellis from ‘Coola Station’ at Tantanoola in SA’s South East (pictured).

Judges said it was a classic Australian image of a man and his best friends. The photograph had high technical excellence, being well composed and exposed, with a good choice of lens and settings to make the subject matter really stand out.

Jacqui, from Robe in SA, is a previous International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) World Star Prize winner from 2017 with her photo of a naked shearer.

The Australian winning photo earns $1000 cash prize from the ACAJ.

Winner of the Nature-Landscape category was freelance photographer Paula Heelan from the Darling Downs in Queensland for her photo of a historic stone homestead on Nilpena Station in the Flinders Ranges, SA.

Her photo was published in The Land, Queensland Country Life, and Farm Online.

Winner of the Production category was multi-award winner Tait Schmaal from The Advertiser in Adelaide.

Tait’s photo was an image of farmer Adrian McCabe with the last of his summer crop awaiting harvest at Hamley Bridge in SA.

The three winning photos will now compete in the IFAJ World Star Prize Awards to be judged at the 2019 IFAJ World Congress in Minnesota, USA in July.

In the Rural Radio/Audio Broadcast Awards, ABC’s SA Country Hour rural journalist, Cassandra Hough won the Radio/Audio sub-category for a comprehensive report on a successful Australian agricultural aid project in Vietnam ( Cassandra's radio story will now also be entered in IFAJ World Star Prize Awards in Minnesota.

Tait Schmaal's photo of Hamley Bridge farmer Adrian McCabe looking down into his summer crop


Upcoming meetings

Rural Media & Communicators SA/NT 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 date in their diaries:

2021 Meetings

Friday 6th August

Induction of Liz Harfull & John Illsley to the honoured status of "Rural Media Icon" & RMC Annual General Meeting
6.00 pm Boardroom, Secretary's Office, Adelaide Showground - Wayville

Thursday 9th September

RMC Show Breakfast
Mick Keogh, Deputy Commissioner of the ACCC

7.00 am for 7.30 am, Members' Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground - Wayville

Friday 10th December

SA & NT Rural Media Awards
6.30 pm for 7.00 pm Adelaide Showground - Wayville