CNAV Conference 2011

Report on Community Newspaper Association of Victoria Conference

8th October 2011.

Held at the Geelong Conference Centre

Above – Editor, Jan Th omson accepting Award at CNAV Conference

Boolarra Link Secretary Lois Thornton and Editor Jan Thomson attended the conference and both believe we learned a great deal from the workshops, suggestions and feed-back contributed by many community newspaper members from all over Victoria. The Boolarra Link picked up the Runner-up Award for Best Layout for the March 2011 edition, which covered the 2011 Folk Festival. Considering it was only the second edition produced by the new committee we were very pleased to receive recognition that we are on the right track with our newspaper.

We would like to thank Boolarra Community Development Group for their sponsorship that allowed us to attend this very informative conference and assure you that new skills learned will assist us to more effectively produce future editions.

The conference began at 9:00am with registrations, meet and greet. Tables and boards were provided for members and other attendees to show off our various publications and to display any other items of interest to community newspaper producers.

At 9.45 we were welcomed by the President, Dr. Mary Jo Fortuna, followed by the official opening by the Mayor of the Greater City of Geelong, Cr John Mitchell.

This was followed at 10.15am by the Keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Dodd, journalist, broadcaster, academic, historian, and 2009 Redmond Barry Fellow. Andrew delivered a very interesting talk with his main point being that while the large newspapers such as the Sun, Age etc. provide accounts of the big picture stories that make news across the world, it is the smaller local community newspapers that deal with local issues and stories from communities that are the heart beat of smaller towns throughout Victoria.

At 11:00am there was a structured session where three CNAV members revealed their secrets to success. The theme being ‘The Power of the Community Press.  What have their papers achieved for their town?’ Why are their papers powerful and in which ways?  What issues have their papers reported on that lead to significant outcomes? All three speakers were very passionate about what they do and achieve for their community.

This was followed by a roaming microphone session:  stories from the floor where members are asked to tell us about the strengths of their paper, its presence and power in the community.

After lunch there was a New Members’ forum, where new members and those attending for the first time were able to introduce themselves and give a short account of their publication.  This was followed by the President giving her annual update on the Association.

A Regional Chapter proposal was put forward for the various areas to consider for the future.  Next were workshops and round table discussion groups. As Secretary, I attended the Writing workshop and then moved to the Community Newspaper Governance Models workshop, while Jan attended the Layout and Design hands-on demonstration followed by the Editorial Issues discussion.  A Q&A Panel was then conducted.

The Annual General Meeting was next on the Agenda.  The Awards dinner took place at 7:00pm.

Awards 2011 Winners

Best News Reporting

  • Winner                       Carisbrook Mercury
  • Runners up              Bass Valley News & Lorne Independent

Best Community Content

  • Winner                       Blackwood News
  • Runners up              Carisbrook Mercury & Waranga News

Best Editorial Comment

  • Winner                       Springdale Messenger
  • Runners up              Lorne Independent & Chewton Chat

Best Sports Article

  • Winner dead heat    Welcome Record/Traf News
  • Runners up              Birregurra Mail & Noojee News

Best Young Person’s Writing

  • Winner                       Lockington Community News
  • Runners up              Tallangatta Herald & East Loddon Community News

Best Layout

  • Winner Dead Heat   Bayswater Buzz & Northerly Aspects
  • Runners up              Boolarra Link & Bridge Connection


Best History story

Winner                       Welcome Record

Runners up              Drouin West Chronicle & Noojee News

Best Feature story

  • Winner                       Bayswater Buzz
  • Runners up              The Pinnacle French Island &

Ferntree Gully News

Best Newsletter 12 A4 Pages or Under

  • Winner                       Taradale Talk
  • Runners up              Newstead Echo & Kyneton Connect

Lois Thornton,
The Boolarra Link.