The Nine Network’s Ben Avery (left) was named Journalist of the Year at the 2016 South Australian Media Awards. The awards were announced at the gala SA Media Ball at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide.
The awards are sponsored by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists. This year there were a record 184 entries over 22 categories.
Avery’s award was for a body of work which included his coverage of the investigation of the murder of young Mannum mother Jody Meyers in August last year, for which he also won Best TV News Report. It was a big night for Avery, who took home a third award for Best Television Broadcaster, the second consecutive year he has won this award.
Margaret Ralston AM was inducted into the SA Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. A genuine trailblazer, Ralston began her career as a journalist with the now-defunct Adelaide afternoon daily paper The News in 1972 and was later appointed as Sports Editor, a position she held until 1992. She was the first woman to hold this position at a major metropolitan Australian newspaper.
In a new category, Hendrik Gout of Network Seven won the award Best Investigative Journalism for his coverage of the collapse of the Interfert network of fertiliser companies.
The ABC’s Natalie Whiting was named Best Radio Broadcaster.
Other big winners included The Advertiser’s Lauren Novak, who was named Best Print/Digital Journalist for a body of work including her agenda-setting and forensic coverage of South Australia’s dysfunctional child protection system and domestic violence epidemic over a number of years.
Best Photographer in a high-calibre field was Dean Martin, also of The Advertiser.
The Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist went to Bension Siebert of Solstice Media/InDaily, while Ashleigh Pisani from the University of South Australia won the Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism.
Full list of winners – South Australia Media Awards 2016
Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique – All Media
David Washington, InDaily: Body of Work
Best Community Journalist – All Media
Kate Hill, ABC: Body of Work
Best Rural/Regional Journalist – All Media
Elise Fantin, ABC: Palliative care saved
Best Coverage of Social Equity Affairs – All Media
Natalie Whiting, ABC News 24: Body of Work
Best Coverage of Sport- All Media
Richard Earle, The Advertiser: Trailblazers
Best Investigative Journalism – All Media
Hendrik Gout, Network Seven: Interfert
Best Freelance Contribution – All Media
Max Opray, Schwartz Media, Guardian News and Media: Body of Work
Best Radio News or Current Affairs or Feature Report
Carl Smith, ABC: Energy Futures
Best TV News Report
Ben Avery, Nine News Adelaide: Jody Meyers Murder
Best TV Current Affairs or Feature
Alex Mann, ABC, 7. 30 Report : On The Run
Best TV News or Current Affairs – Camera
Scott Perry, Nine Network Australia: Sampson Flat Bushfire Coverage
Best Print /Digital News Report
Penelope Debelle, Advertiser Newspapers: Chemotherapy bungle exposed
Best Print /Digital News or Lifestyle Feature
Verity Edwards, The Australian: Chloe Valentine
Best News Photograph or Photographic Series
Kelly Barnes, The Australian: John Lush – Pinery Fires, at son’s burnt-out home
Best Sport Photograph or Photographic Series
Ryan Schembri, SMP Images / Australian Baseball League: Twilight pitching – Baseball
Best Feature Photograph or Photographic Series
Simon Cross, The Advertiser: Sky-high wind power
SILVER AWARD CATEGORIES
Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism
Ashleigh Pisani, University of South Australia
Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist
Bension Siebert: Solstice Media / InDaily
Best Radio Broadcaster
Natalie Whiting: ABC
Best Print/Digital Journalist
Lauren Novak: The Advertiser
Dean Martin: Advertiser Newspapers
Best Television Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter or Camera Person)
Ben Avery: Nine News Adelaide
Hall of Fame – For Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
Margaret Ralston AM
2016 Journalist of the Year
Ben Avery: Nine News Adelaide