2017 South Australian Media Awards

Dates to note

  • Entries Open Monday 20 February 
  • Entries Close Monday 3 April

Eligible entries must have been broadcast/published between  January 1- December 31  2016

  •  2017 SA Media Ball Saturday 3 June 2017 in  the Ian McLachlan Room at the Adelaide Oval

The 2016 SA Media Awards Winners Announced

The Nine Network’s Ben Avery was tonight named Journalist of the Year at the 2016 South Australian Media Awards. The awards were announced tonight 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.

The judges said Avery was “one of the best story breakers in the business. They noted that he has “a naturally engaging style as a TV broadcaster – not only in his delivery but also in how he gathers news, demonstrated by his ability to break stories by forming strong contacts.

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.

Ralston’s citation says: “Marg was a great encourager to young journalists, including providing advice to women reporting on SANFL games which required them to speak to coaches and players after the games in the change rooms.

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 judges commented: “His skilful unravelling and articulate account of a complex financial scandal with significant ramifications in three states ensured it was accessible and easily understood by a broad audience . . . While foot-in-the-door journalism has its detractors, this series of reports showed it at its effective best and displayed a balance and impartiality that stands out within the genre.

The ABC’s Natalie Whiting was named Best Radio Broadcaster, with the judges commenting: “Natalie Whiting does a top notch job of telling compelling original stories for people who don’t have a voice -on topics that affect the lives of vulnerable South Australians . . . It’s not easy to shed light and make a difference on topics that aren’t the headline grabbing news of the day, but Natalie Whiting does this with accuracy, sensitivity, strong writing and solid broadcast skills.

Other big winners tonight 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.

MEAA congratulates all the award winners for their outstanding contribution to journalism in South Australia.


Full list of winners - SA Media Awards 2016

Categories Winners
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


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



Categories Winners

Julie Duncan Memorial Award

for Student Journalism

Ashleigh Pisani, University of South Australia

Max Fatchen Award for Best Young


Bension Siebert: Solstice Media / InDaily
Best Radio Broadcaster Natalie Whiting: ABC
Best Print/Digital Journalist Lauren Novak: The Advertiser
Best Photographer 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


FURTHER COMMENT: Angelique Ivanica at MEAA on 0411 757 665