DESPITE its small team The Daily Examiner managed to take out another two Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN) editorial awards this year.
Former sports writer Matthew McInerney took home Sports Writer of the Year, while Lesley Apps won Headline Writer of the Year for the second year in a row.
Matthew, who is now based in Bundaberg, won the judging panel over with his X-Box take on the State of Origin, series of articles on the effect of concussion in sport and story on State of Origin halves Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson.
The judges said: Matthew put together a very strong investigation into the effects of concussion that should have scared any parent, and backed it up with a charming insight into the Blues' State of Origin halves, as well as showing some genuine humour in his State of Origin preview piece. Matthew's consistency and versatility earned him the win.
Lesley's three headings "Early retirement - knock yourself out Dr Leaver" (about local anaesthetist leaving Grafton Base), "Slice of Lennon with your fish and chips?" (about the South Grafton takeaway food shop full of Beatles memorabilia) and "If you've got it flaut it" (about burlesque-style flute player Jane Rutter) took out the gong.
Judges said: Lesley's work reveals a creative thinker with a quirky sense of humour. She's always looking for a twist, something to give readers extra value.
Lesley was also in the Top 3 finalists for Feature Writer of the Year for her profile stories on Cold Chisel's' Don Walker, Grafton District Services Club CEO Arthur Lysaught and dance adjudicator Lyndi Walley.
The awards were presented in Mooloolaba on Tuesday night. The Daily Examiner was competing against 12 daily mastheads and 65 weeklies across Queensland and New South Wales area.
The APN stable includes such mastheads as The Sunshine Coast Daily, Toowoomba Chronicle, The Daily Mercury in Mackay and Northern Star in Lismore.