Mike Foley recognised for 'outstanding contribution'

Mike Foley recognised for 'outstanding contribution'

Mike Foley accepts his award from Laureta Wallace, National Farmers Federation.

Mike Foley accepts his award from Laureta Wallace, National Farmers Federation.


The National Rural Press Club's Excellent in Rural Journalism Awards were held in Canberra this week.


Mike Foley has been recognised for his "outstanding contribution" at the National Rural Press Club's Excellence in Rural Journalism Awards in Canberra this week.

Mr Foley was honoured for his work as the national rural affairs writer for Australian's Community Media's agricultural mastheads.

Mr Foley left the position this month to take a role with the Sydney Morning Herald.

A statement from the National Rural Press Club said:

"Michael has made an outstanding contribution almost every week on the biggest issues of the year; water, drought and the Murray Darling Basin plan.

"He consistently explains difficult and complex issues clearly and concisely, including breaking stories along the way. Neither farming or city audiences would be as well informed without his efforts."

Mr Foley's now award winning portfolio included:

Something fishy hidden in the bush

Thirsty Darling gets a drink, but Toorale levees remain an issue

Basin Plan risks borne by people trapped in reform firing line

Commonwealth water ownership rule rewrite sparking backlash

Fish kills spur water licnece buyout

Wet drought at Toorale despite Labor's $24m deal

Family farms sold down the river

How to save Darling's fish without more water

Canberra-based ABC reporter Lucy Barbour was also recognised for her report on the huge impact of drought within and beyond rural communities.

Ms Barbour received $5000 towards her attendance at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress being held in in Denmark in June 2020.

This year's competition attracted a total of 47 stories covering print, television, online and radio, with a heavy focus on drought and water management.

Prizes were awarded for Best News Coverage and Best Feature Sections ($1000 for winners and $250 for runners up), along with an award for Outstanding Contribution ($500).

NRPC President Pip Courtney thanked the all the entrants and the judges, Anna Vidot, Les White and Sue Neales.

"Attending the IFAJ Congress is an extraordinary opportunity for rural journalists and we are thrilled Lucy will be representing Australia in the international media awards recognising the best rural journalism in the world," Ms Courtney said.

  • Best news coverage: Winner: Lucy Barbour, ABC. High Commended: Kath Sullivan, ABC
  • Best feature:Winner: Brett Worthington, ABC Highly Commended: Kath Sullivan, ABC
  • Outstanding contributionMike Foley, Australian Community Media
  • Overall winnerLucy Barbour, ABC

The Excellence in Rural Journalism Awards have been made possible through the generous support of sponsors Westpac, Animal Medicines Australia, Case IH and CropLife Australia.

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