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Entries now open for 2018 SA & NT Rural Media Awards (Sept 2018)

Entries are now open for the 2018 SA & NT Rural Media Awards for rural journalists and photographers.

These prestigious annual awards carry significant peer recognition and in 2018, offer a total of $7,500 in prize money plus trophies.

Individual awards will be given to the best journalists in print, radio, television, online media and regional print.  Significant prize money is being offered for each category. Winners of the specialist award categories will then compete for the overall 2018 Rural Journalist of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 in prize money.

In 2018, the Awards will also be open to journalists and photographers working in the Northern Territory.

Three separate awards will also be offered for photography, with individual prizes for portfolios of work relating to agricultural production, people, and nature and landscape. The winner of each category will receive $500. Winners of the three specialist awards will then compete for the major 2018 Rural Photographer of the Year Award, carrying an additional $1,000 in prize money.

A special award is also being offered for the best photojournalist.

Once again, the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA Inc is also sponsoring awards for the Best Published Story ($500) about the 2018 Adelaide Show and the Best Photograph ($500) related to the 2018 Adelaide Show.

Winners from the competitions will represent South Australia in a series of national awards run by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ), which selects finalists for the highly regarded international Star Prize. The 2018 SA & NT Rural Media Awards are for work published or broadcast between 1st November 2017 and 31st October 2018.

>> Click here to download the Rural Journalist entry form

>> Click here to download the Rural Photographer entry form


A change in leadership at the head of RMSA (August 2018)

Icon of rural media and prominent broadcaster, Leigh Radford will be leading Rural Media South Australia (RMSA) into an exciting new era, as it gears up to host part of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress in Australia during 2021.

Leigh Radford was recently elected to the position of RMSA President, replacing 31-year veteran of the Presidential role, Ian Doyle.

Previously National Head of ABC Rural, Leigh led one of the largest networks of specialist rural reporters globally, delivering a suite of radio and TV programs that included Landline, Back Roads, The Country Hour and Australia All Over.

Although he formally retired from a 30 year career with ABC Rural during 2017, Leigh continues to maintain strong media links with the rural sector as a director of the family communications company, Events On Air.

The rights to host the 2021 IFAJ Congress in Australia primarily came about as a result of international lobbying by Leigh Radford in his role as the Australian delegate to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists – travelling overseas to represent our national interest, convening the judging panel of the world broadcast rural media awards and influencing rural media policy internationally.

RMSA President, Leigh Radford addressing the recent AGM

One of the greatest needs Leigh Radford has identified in the ongoing operation of RMSA is the conduct of meetings and functions to better match the availability of time-poor working rural journalists.   He intends to incorporate an increased number of breakfast and after-work events to compliment the traditional format of luncheon functions.


Ian Doyle honoured for 31 years at the helm (August 2018)

After 31 continuous years at the helm of Rural Media South Australia, Ian Doyle retired from the RMSA Committee at the recent AGM.

First elected as RMSA President in 1987, Ian Doyle served the Association for over three decades with unrivalled energy and passion.

However Ian made a decision that the time was opportune for a personal seachange and an injection of new blood at the head of RMSA.

An icon of the State's rural media sector, Ian's colourful personality, dynamic energy and professional skills will not disappear completely. After a well earned break touring a number of Mediterranean countries, Ian will return to South Australia to fulfil a range of lower profile roles.


Recently retired RMSA President, Ian Doyle



Rural Media Icons Gather (May 2018)

In a rare gathering of the most iconic contributors to South Australia’s rural media sector, five ‘Rural Media Icons’ attended to witness the recent induction of Jim McCarter to the prestigious honour.

Rural Media Icons: Leigh Radford, Norm Marston, Jon Lamb, Jim McCarter (on screen), Richard Fewster, Ian Doyle

Jim McCarter inducted as Rural Media Icon (April 2018)

Highly respected legend of South Australian rural journalism, Jim McCarter was formally inducted to the honoured status of ‘Rural Media Icon’ at RMSA’s Luncheon on 27th April.

Jim McCarter currently enjoying retired life in Tasmania

However due to his advanced years and ongoing ill health, Jim was unable to travel to Adelaide, his induction being conducted by live voice link to Jim’s current home in Tasmania.

Born at Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula in 1937, Jim McCarter’s roots in rural journalism come from a period very few people today have experienced.  Following completion of his education at Urrbrae Agricultural High School, he obtained a position as a cadet journalist with the Advertiser’s rural publication, ‘The Chronicle’ in 1954.

In the early 1960’s, Jim expanded his role as a rural journalist at ‘The Chronicle’ by broadcasting agricultural stories on the Advertiser Broadcasting Network’s statewide radio stations 5AD, 5PI, 5MU & 5SE in a program called ‘Life on the Land’.

Jim McCarter became Editor of ‘The Chronicle’ in 1969, a role he held until the Advertiser decided to close that publication in 1976.  He then took up the position of Rural Editor at the Advertiser in an effort to maintain the communication of rural and agricultural content to that publication’s statewide readers.  His weekly “On The Land” section epitomised quality rural journalism and was a much anticipated read for many regional and metropolitan people.

Jim McCarter in the 1980’s, at work as an iconic South Australian rural journalist

A highlight of Jim’s career at the Advertiser was convincing the management of that publication to become official sponsor of the Yorke Peninsula Field Days, something very close to his heart.  In recognition of his long service to the YP Field Days Committee, that body awarded Jim with Life Membership.

After 38 years reporting rural issues to South Australians, Jim McCarter retired from the Advertiser in 1992.

Jim McCarter left a number of lasting legacies to the craft of rural journalism in this state.  In addition to establishing the benchmark for quality agricultural journalism and well-mannered communication, he pioneered the formation of Rural Media South Australia in the 1970’s.  Jim served as RMSA President and Secretary for many years, with Honorary Life Membership being bestowed upon him by RMSA some years ago as a genuine gesture of its appreciation.


Upcoming meetings

Rural Media South Australia aims to provide a genuine focus for rural issues, combined with a forum for networking between the highest levels of agribusiness, government, media and rural producers.

Members and guests are encouraged to note the following dates in their diaries:

2020 Meetings

May 2020 (date to be advised)
Fiona Simson, President of National Farmers Federation
(Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

Thursday 10th September 2020
2020 RMSA Royal Show Breakfast
(Breakfast, 7.00 am for 7.30 am)
(Members Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)

Friday 4th December 2020
2020 SA & NT Rural Media Awards
(Luncheon, 12 noon for 12.30 pm)
(Members Banquet Room, Adelaide Showground, Wayville)