Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SA Rural Journalist takes out nation’s top rural writing award (May 2014)

South Australian freelance rural journalist, Tom Dawkins has been awarded the nation’s top print award for rural journalism.

Tom has won the prestigious 2014 Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists’ ‘Star Prize for Rural Writing’, which includes a trip to Scotland later this year to attend the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Congress.

His winning article titled, ‘Breeding Ground’ is a well crafted piece on the history and current progress of investment capital at Telopea Downs by the Qatar’s Hassad Food Company.

While plenty has been written about the Hassads purchase and plans for aggregation, Tom’s article published in R.M Williams Outback Magazine was described by the judging panel as ‘an authorative piece that left the reader in no doubt about the scale and ambition of the project.

Tom Dawkins’ story will now represent Australia in a prestigious international competition run by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

President of ACAJ, Tim Powell described the national entries this year as outstanding. He said the judging panel was extremely impressed with the level of in-depth rural stories and in the end they saw Tom’s piece as a standout due the almost forensic detail obtained by the author in capturing not the just the magnitude of the project, but the technical detail that could only be produced by an accomplished writer.

Each year, RMSA submits the winning journalist and photographer entries from our state based Telstra & Rural Business Support Awards to be assessed in the national Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists’ “Star Awards”. The winner is chosen from finalists nominated by State rural media organisations affiliated with the ACAJ and in some categories, the national winner receives professional development in the form of a trip overseas to attend the annual the IFAJ Congress.

Tom Dawkins