Our newspaper's reporting on the riot and inmate escape from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in January of this year won the award for Best News Story at the annual Victorian Country Press Association Awards.
The awards were presented last Friday night at the Pullman Hotel in Melbourne.
Here's what the judges had to say ...
Winner: Midland Express
Malmsbury breakout - reforms overdue
Reporters: Angela Crawford and Amy Hume
When a national story breaks in your patch, the challenge for the local paper is to give readers something their bigger counterparts weren’t able to. The Midland Express team gave the incident excellent coverage. Their interview with the elderly victims of an attempted carjacking is excellent. The team took their reporting of this breakout above and beyond by examining the impact of the youth justice facility on their wider community. Their excellent story on the local fire brigade experiencing a four-fold increase in callout to the centre, rendering it unavailable for other emergencies, was a fine example of looking beyond the obvious. The Midland Express’s article helped the brigade secure an additional vehicle to help with increased demand. This is a series of articles the journalists can be proud of.