Winners have been named in the IFAJ Star Prize for broadcast excellence.
This year, celebrating 25 years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Pip Courtney took the top prize in the television category and was named overall winner with her feature story ”Pipe Dreams”. An in-depth look at the controversial issue in her country of coal seam gas fields being developed on prime farmland, it was broadcast on ABC Landline.
Erik Poulsen from Denmark’s LandTV earned a commendation from the judges in the television category for his entry, ”Dad started out with four cows”.
Australia had a strong showing in the broadcast competition. In the radio category, Julia Holman of ABC Rural won with a story about a major locust plague, broadcast on The Country Hour. Another ABC Rural journalist, Flint Duxfield, was the on-line radio winner with ”Farmers don’t really use twitter…do they?”.
Nancy Nicolson of Farmers Weekly in Great Britain won first place in the online television category with a feature on crofting.
Award coordinator Liz Harfull says working independently, both members of the judging panel (Arthur Anderson of Scotland and Andrew Campbell of Canada) had come to identical conclusions about the results in every category. They were particularly impressed with the overall winner, which they described as a splendid piece of television journalism, impossible to fault.
“They agreed the piece was balanced and objective, precise and sharply edited, and featured great characters in a package that informed any audience, general or specialist,” says Harfull.
The judges also praised Poulsen’s highly commended entry as a first-class piece of agricultural journalism for television, a rich human story of success and growth in the face of changing times. It was clearly scripted and well structured.
The winning radio entry was an informative piece of work, making effective use of natural sounds and presenting the story from a great angle; and the top online radio story was thoughtful, featuring strong interviews that captured the interviewees enthusiasm for twitter.
The judges also agreed Nicolson’s winning online video entry was a very strong report. Informative, sharp, coherently structured, well-written and presented, it held the viewer’s attention from start to finish.
In congratulating the winners, Harfull says there had been a significant improvement in the number and quality of online entries submitted this year, showing that agricultural journalists were starting to make more use of internet-based broadcast options.
Interestingly, journalists who had once worked in a single discipline, were broadening their skills to work on-line, and presenting stories in packages that combined audio, video, text and photos as well as links to other web-based material.
She encouraged IFAJ members to keep supporting the broadcasting award, which is only in its second year.
The winning entries are available to view via the IFAJ website at www.www.ifaj.org. For further information about the IFAJ Star Prize for broadcast excellence visit the website or contact IFAJ secretary general Owen Roberts at owen(at)uoguelph.ca.