COMMUNITY Newspaper Group claimed two top gongs at Saturday night’s WA Media Awards, the peak awards for WA journalism.
Reporter Sarah Brookes was named a joint winner of the Suburban reporting category and sub-editor Martin Turner’s smart and snappy headline writing earned him the recognition for Best Three Headlines.
Award judges acknowledged Brookes for three investigative reports exposing health concerns at a Perth Hills school after whooping cough and chicken pox outbreaks.
Brookes persevered with investigations, despite her reports about the highly divisive vaccination debate making her a target within the local community.
“Sarah Brookes submitted an excellent body of work of grassroots suburban reporting. Her dogged pursuit of answers to health incidents affecting a local school displayed local community reporting at its best, and would have generated widespread public interest in her newspaper’s catchment area,” they said.
Turner’s headline success – for “New York Plate of Mind”, “Mind Your Mannas” and “Reading, Writing and a Rhythma-Trick” – was described by judges as an art, designed to grab the readers’ attention and pull them in to read the article.
“Mind your mannas took just three words to warn fishers of catching undersize crabs, New York plate of mind took the readers to baseball’s big time, while Reading, Writing and a Rhythma-trick was a particularly clever way to highlight how music was used to introduce young adults to a novel,” they said.
Community Newspaper Group Editorial Director Ken Burrowes said the achievements of Brookes and Turner highlighted the strength of suburban newspapers and the important role they continue to play in local communities.
Photographer Andrew Ritchie was named a finalist for Best Community or Regional News Photograph.