Strong voice for remote Queensland wins journalism prize

Published: 18th October 2022

A newspaper covering one of the most remote patches in Queensland has been announced as the 2022 winner of one of Queensland’s most significant reporting prizes, the Bean Lockyer Ticehurst Award for Excellence in Regional Journalism. 

Cape York Weekly editor and publisher Matt Nicholls accepted the award this evening at the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) 126th Annual Conference in Cairns. 

LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Cape York is one of the most beautiful and ecologically rich parts of our state, but can certainly be a challenging patch to cover from a media perspective but the paper and website were a critical voice for the region, its councils and communities.

“Nothing is so fundamental as housing – something Queensland councils and the LGAQ have been campaigning on for some time – and the Cape York Weekly has reinforced this in its coverage,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Telecommunications is one of the other critical issues in the Cape, which is too often overlooked when it comes to infrastructure and services needs that we can take for granted in urban areas of the state. 

“Every edition shows the Cape York Weekly fights hard and consistently, but constructively, for its readers.

“That it is so well read within communities is further proof of the good work it does, week in and week out.”

Mr Nicholls said Cape York Weekly was determined to provide the communities of Queensland's remote Far North with a voice.

“We have tackled issues such as housing shortages, poor telecommunications, COVID-19 vaccination access, road quality and much, much more,” Mr Nicholls said.

“We are largely a positive newspaper that works with our communities, rather than against them. 

“Our paper is well read in Brisbane and Canberra because we are trusted as the voice of the region.

“We don't back away from dealing with tough issues, but we also don't believe in having political agendas.”

About the Award: 
Cameraman John Bean, journalist Paul Lockyer and chopper pilot Gary Ticehurst were a pioneering storytelling team with the ABC, popular and respected throughout the regional communities where they did their best work. Their tragic deaths in 2011 generated considerable concerns among regional leaders who understood the huge contribution the trio made to ensuring regional Queensland was given a voice, locally and in the offices of decision-makers in the city.  

The LGAQ commemorates John, Paul and Gary and their incredibly important work with this annual award, and seeks to encourage journalists to adopt the doggedness and professionalism for which the three were renowned. 

Carrying one of the largest cash prizes on offer in Australian journalism, criteria for judging include newsworthiness, incisiveness, public benefit, and impact on the understanding of the issues and challenges facing regional Queensland. 

For more information, please contact:

Dan Knowles, Media Advisor

Phone: 0432 681 664 

Local Government Association of Queensland