26 September 2016

Winners of the hotly contested ‘Best Newsroom’ Award at Fairfax Media’s annual media agency Editorial Challenge have been announced, with Mediacom in Melbourne and Match Media in Sydney topping a field of competitive and creative teams to win in their respective cities.
Seven media agencies in Victoria and six in NSW competed in teams to create multi-­platform news and feature stories for mock versions of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald with accompanying headlines, captioned pictures and video to support their story, with each team member assigned a newsroom role, such as Editor-­in-­Chief, reporter/interviewer, writer, photographer/videographer and sub­-editor.
The challenge was judged by some of Fairfax’s most senior editorial talent including The Age’s Editor at Large, Mark Hawthorne; and Online Deputy Editor, Mex Cooper in Melbourne; The Sydney Morning Herald’s Digital Editor, Stephen Hutcheon and National Social Media Editor, Georgia Waters in Sydney. The judges provided expert guidance on how to write a compelling story, attention­-grabbing headlines, interviewing, photography/videography and sub-­editing.
The 2016 Fairfax Media Editorial Challenge winners are:

Best Newsroom (Overall)
Prize: $500 travel voucher, courtesy of Traveller

  • Melbourne: Mediacom
  • Sydney: Match Media

Best Individual Story (News or Feature)
Prize: $1500 team restaurant voucher, courtesy of Good Food

  • Melbourne: Dentsu Mitchell
  • Sydney: PHD Sydney

Best Multimedia (Photo & Video)
Prize: 12 month Stan subscription

  • Melbourne: OMD
  • Sydney: Initiative

Best Headline (Any Platform)
Prize: 1 x bottle of Veuve Clicquot each

  • Melbourne: ZenithOptimedia
  • Sydney: Society

Commenting on the Melbourne winners, The Age’s Mark Hawthorne said: “Congratulations to Mediacom, as the winners of the overall newsroom award they had a unique, engaging feature story that we believed would be widely read, an outstanding video with high production values, and a very clever digital headline ‘Swipe right but just for the night’.”

On awarding the Sydney winners, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Stephen Hutcheon said: “Match filed two consistently strong stories accompanied by strong visuals and engaging, catchy social posts meeting all objectives. Their news piece about a dubious cleaning service was well structured, including good use of quotes, and the accompanying news video was exceptionally well put together, considering the conditions of the Editorial Challenge -­ limited equipment and time.”

Fairfax Media’s Victorian Agency Sales Director, Andrew Mudgway, said: “The second Fairfax Media Editorial Challenge gave our agency partners a real chance to be journalists for an afternoon in friendly competition against their rival agency peers. Our annual Editorial Challenge aims to give the teams a taste for how compelling and timely news content is created, and why it requires a force of highly skilled journalists.”

The Editorial Challenge awards were held in Melbourne on Thursday 15 September 2016 and in Sydney on Thursday 22 September.


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