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Damien O’Reilly and Cassandra Hough Tie in IFAJ Star Prize for Audio

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota (July 27, 2019)—RTE broadcaster Damien O’Reilly of Ireland and Cassandra Hough of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were each recognized by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) with the Star Prize for Audio, the organization’s honor for the best radio reporting in its worldwide competition. The awards—said by contest organizers to be the first tie in the Audio contest’s history—was announced at IFAJ’s World Congress in Bloomington, Minnesota.


With his broadcast titled “Fodder Crises,” said one judge, “Damien O’Reilly’s questions lifted the piece to a very high standard.” The judges lauded Hough’s broadcast, “Counter-Season Vegetables Help Improve Women’s Lives In North-Western Vietnam,” for its flow and its good use of sound.”


Contest coordinator Leigh Radford of Australia noted that the judges debated long and hard over the two broadcasts before agreeing to honor both journalists with first-place honors.


“The initial numerical result was a tie, and in subsequent discussions, the judges could not separate them,” said Radford, of Australia’s Events on Air and former head of ABC Rural. “I think this is a great result and celebrates two very talented broadcasters and their high-quality work.”


Both O’Reilly and Hough were honored with a trophy and a €500 prize.


The IFAJ Star Prize contest program is sponsored by John Deere and Rabobank. Judges of the digital and broadcast entries included Ian Petrie, retired broadcaster from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Ken Rundle, a former broadcaster for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); and Neil Inall, formerly of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.