Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Country Press NSW Inc 2023 Conference and Awards

Country Press NSW Inc 2023 Conference and Awards

October 12, 2023 | Our events

 Newspapers from the North West and Hunter regions of the state took out the major prizes at the 2023 Country Press NSW Awards of Excellence, held on Friday, 13 October, in Sydney at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.  

From Narrabri, it was The Courier masthead receiving the honour of being judged Best Paid Newspaper, while the Hunter River Times from Singleton was judged to be the Best Free Newspaper. 

The Barrier Truth newspaper from Broken Hill was a surprise multiple winner, receiving awards for Best Front Page, Best News Story, Best Sports Story, and Best House Advertisement. 

In the individual honours, Emily Middleton of The Gilgandra Weekly was the 2023 Young Journalist of the Year (Shirley Patricia Riggs Memorial Award), while Journalist of the Year went to Ali Smith of The Courier. The awards night was the 123rd edition of the oldest recognized press awards in Australia. 

The 2023 awards were adjudicated by a panel of industry experts drawn from interstate, and chaired by Country Press NSW Life Member Barry Wilson. 

Special guests at the gala event, sponsored by Google, included the Minister for Regional NSW, Agriculture, and Western NSW, The Hon Tara Moriarty MLC. 

Also attending were NSW Nationals Leader Dugald Saunders MP, Shadow Ministers Sam Farraway MLC, and Gurmesh Singh MP, joined by key rural stakeholders, NSW Farmers Association and Country Women’s Association. 

Country Press NSW President Lucie Peart, who was unanimously returned by members at the conference’s Annual General Meeting, said the 2023 awards were strongly supported by country independent mastheads, which reflected a growing confidence in the industry and a determination to continue coming back to financial health after the economic decimation caused by COVID-19. 

She said the organisation has achieved a 25 per cent increase in membership during this year, as more mastheads join Country Press NSW in order to continue presenting a unified regional newspaper industry to State and Federal Governments, and local councils. 

Ms Peart urged the NSW Government not to forget the vital role that public interest advertising, in print, plays in the long-term future of country newspapers.


Best Sports Photograph – The Courier (Narrabri) 

Best Human-Interest Photograph – Gunnedah Times 

Best News Photograph – Wellington & District Leader 

Best Front Page – Barrier Truth(Broken Hill)

Best News Story – Barrier Truth (Broken Hill)

Best Sports Story – Barrier Truth (Broken Hill)

Best Overall News Coverage – Forbes Advocate 

Best Online/Digital Presence – Coonamble Times 

Best Special Publication – Coonabarabran Times

 Best House Advertisement – Barrier Truth (Broken Hill)

Best Print Advertisement – Coonabarabran Times 

Best Advertising Feature – The Courier (Narrabri) 

Young Journalist of the Year – Emily Middleton, The Gilgandra Weekly 

Journalist of the Year – Ali Smith, The Courier (Narrabri) 

Best Free Newspaper – Hunter River Times (Singleton)

Best Paid Newspaper – The Courier (Narrabri)