Observer takes top gong for campaigning
YOUR Observer has received a major accolade.
We have been named APN's 2014 Campaigning Newspaper of the Year at the annual readership awards.
The awards were announced at a special function on Tuesday night.
The Observer's entry included three major campaigns, all of which have made a difference in our community:
1. Gladstone We Need to Talk - a series on suicide following the death of young Olympic boxer Billy Ward.
The series covered many aspects of depression and other mental illnesses.
2. The Boulder Steel rescue campaign, which called for funds from 'mum and dad' investors to pull the Boulder Steel company out of administration and back towards becoming a potential viable business.
The campaign's success was such that enough funds were raised, and planning is now well under way towards the project becoming a reality.
The steel works, planned for a site in Targinie, is expected to employ up to 1800 people in production, plus thousands during construction.
3. The support for young Abi Wilkinson and her family following a horrific head-on crash.
Abi has been in hospital for many months and the crash has left her a quadriplegic, changing her family's life forever.
A fundraising campaign has raised many thousands of dollars so far and continues to do so.
Deputy editor Allen Winter is thrilled to see the award come Gladstone's way.
"Our team of reporters has done some wonderful things in all three of these campaigns and we know that they have made a difference," he said.
"This is exactly what regional newspapers should be doing - picking up on an issue and campaigning to make change happen."
The judges for the annual APN award commended The Observer for running "three real campaigns, and two of them were pretty ambitious".