Community Newspaper Group in the mix for journalism, photography and marketing awards at home and across Australia

Andrew Ritchie's winning photograph of Andy Murray at the 2017 Hopman Cup. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Andrew Ritchie's winning photograph of Andy Murray at the 2017 Hopman Cup. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

COMMUNITY Newspaper Group has won a string of awards – and is in line to take home a couple more – for its journalism, photography, feature-writing and marketing.

Photographer Andrew Ritchie won Best Sports Photo at the Community Newspapers of Australia (CNA) Awards on Friday night in Melbourne, with an impressive image of Andy Murray at the 2017 Hopman Cup.

Judges described the photo, which was taken from the catwalk on the roof of Perth Arena, as “world class”, saying it would have looked at home in any major newspaper across the globe.

The judges praised Ritchie’s work in achieving a different angle of the tennis superstar.

In accepting the award, Ritchie spoke about the difficulty in achieving the photo.

The photographer said it was about 40C that day and sweaty work in the roof of Perth Arena.

Ritchie was tethered to the structure in the roof but his camera was not so he had to be very careful not not to drop it over the edge from a great height.

He was given only 15 minutes to shoot from that location and achieved the striking image in that time.

The Community Newspaper Group photographer of 24 years has been a finalist in the CNA Awards 11 times.

Ritchie has photographed about 20 Hopman Cup events from when it was played at the Burswood Dome to now at the Perth Arena.

“I’ve been able to shoot Roger Federer, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Boris Becker,” he said.

His award win follows that of Central deputy editor Belinda Cipriano the previous weekend, who claimed the Clubs WA media award with  her story on WA women’s football trailblazer Jan Cooper.

Central region deputy editor Belinda Cipriano with her Clubs WA award.

Cipriano, who beat fellow finalists and Community Newspaper Colleagues Justin Bianchini and Jessica Nico, was at the event and was invited to give an acceptance speech, where she heaped more praise on the success of Jan.

“Jan was the first person to give me a chance at the WA Football Commission many years ago when nobody even knew what women’s footy was,” Cipriano said.

“To now accept the award for best media story – and share her story – is pretty awesome.

“I love what she has done for women in the sport and I’m so proud to see her hard work pay off with the introduction of the AFL Women’s competition.”

Finally, the organisation has nabbed three nominations at the prestigious PANPA 2017 Advertising and Marketing Awards.

It has received two nominations in the Best Feature/Supplement/Native Advertising Environment category.

Western Suburbs Weekly‘s Luxury Lifestyle liftout from November 2016 was one of the nominations.

The bi-annual coffee table book-inspired magazine had a distribution of 60,000 copies, proving a huge success with advertisers and readers.

The second nomination, the South Fremantle/Perth Demons Football Club season launch liftouts, contained fixtures, a team photograph and a range of team news and information on the club’s community engagement programs.

The liftouts communicated the information to readers in a clear and concise format.

Finally, the group was also nominated in the Sponsorship of the Year award for the City of Joondalup’s summer events sponsorship.

The sponsorship included partnering across all Joondalup summer events, with a campaign involving print, social and digital – as well as interactive event activations and promotions.

The PANPA 2017 Awards will be announced in Sydney on September 7.

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