WINNING TEAM: Whitsunday Times journalists Inge Hansen, Dane Lillingstone, editor Sharon Smallwood and journalist Jacob Wilson work in their makeshift office during Cyclone Debbie, while journalist Peter Carruthers braved the weather to photograph the region.
WINNING TEAM: Whitsunday Times journalists Inge Hansen, Dane Lillingstone, editor Sharon Smallwood and journalist Jacob Wilson work in their makeshift office during Cyclone Debbie, while journalist Peter Carruthers braved the weather to photograph the region. Peter Carruthers

Times journos awarded

THE Whitsunday Times placed second in the overall journalistic excellence category at the Queensland Country Press Association awards for 2017.

The judges said there was an outstanding field of entries featuring some great improvements on previous years.

They said the Times took its biggest news story of the year in Cyclone Debbie and provided comprehensive, compassionate coverage for its community, adding it was "a great effort under trying circumstances”.

The Whitsunday Times' sister publication, the Bowen Independent, placed third in the same category.

Regional editor James Graham said the prize was testament to the tremendous dedication of former Whitsunday Times editor Sharon Smallwood and her journalists Peter Carruthers, Jacob Wilson, Inge Hansen and Dane Lillingstone during the most testing of times.

"Under the most trying of circumstances imaginable, this team not only kept putting papers out, but their coverage during that time was an example of the best community reporting you'll ever see,” Mr Graham said.

Editorial director of News Regional Media Bryce Johns said the company was proud of the number of awards received - 15 gongs and more than 40 products and people recognised.

Mr Johns said it was evident from judges' comments that regional newspapers still played an important role in their communities.


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