North West Star editor named media award finalist

FINALIST: Derek Barry’s battle for fairer airfares for north west residents has put him in the running for one of Australia’s richest journalism prizes.
FINALIST: Derek Barry’s battle for fairer airfares for north west residents has put him in the running for one of Australia’s richest journalism prizes.

The North West Star’s editor Derek Barry has been chasing action for the community of Mount Isa since he arrived in 2016. 

Mr Barry’s battle for fairer airfares for north west residents has put him in the running for one of Queensland’s most prestigious journalism prizes.

He has been named a finalist for this year’s $15,000 Bean Lockyer Ticehurst Award for Excellence in Regional Journalism.

Each year the Local Government Association of Queensland commemorates the work of John Bean, Paul Lockyer and Gary Ticehurst, a deeply respected media crew who died in tragic circumstances in 2011.

The LGAQ issues an award for excellence in regional journalism and to encourage other journalists to adopt the doggedness and professionalism that Bean, Lockyer and Ticehurst showed in pursuing their craft.

“There is no doubt the issue of the high cost of airfares has been the number one issue for our readers for a number of years and there was been white-hot anger in the community,” Mr Barry said. 

“Our stories have helped keep the issue in the spotlight and direct or indirectly have helped lead to community air fare schemes and a federal inquiry.

“There's a lot more needed to be done but The North West Star will continue to shine the spotlight on the issue and how it affects our region,” he said. 

Read some of Derek’s stories:

Fairfax Regional Qld managing editor David Coren congratulated Mr Barry on the quality of his entry. 

“Derek is an experienced and skilled editor with a passion to do the best he can for Mount Isa and the region,” Mr Coren said. 

”He is a deserving finalist and we wish him all the best,” he said.

Other finalists are: 

  • Nicole Bond, from the ABC, for a body of work on the plight of landowners trying to cope with the state’s ongoing drought,  
  • Vanessa Marsh, from The Courier-Mail, and Emma Field, from the Weekly Times, for their work bringing public attention to the high number of deaths of Pacific Islanders working in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program.

The winner will be announced at the LGAQ’s annual conference in Brisbane on October 29.