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Cinema story stars

Monday, 23rd February, 2015

John Wren (left) and Michael Murphy were all smiles after learning about a win in the SA Country Press Awards. John Wren (left) and Michael Murphy were all smiles after learning about a win in the SA Country Press Awards.

A story about John Wren has earned the Barrier Daily Truth a gong at the South Australian Country Press Awards.

BDT editor Michael Murphy wrote the three-part series in December depicting the trials and tribulations of the popular Silver City Cinema owner.

BDT won the Best Community Profile Award, which was sponsored and presented by the Honourable John Dawkins, a long-serving member of South Australia’s Upper House, at the Barossa Novotel Resort on Friday night.

The award breaks a 19-year award drought for the BDT, the last one coming from the lens of photographer Gavin Schmidt in 1996.

The BDT pipped 25 other newspapers from across South Australia and one in the Northern Territory to win the trophy judged by former Barossa Valley editor and journalist Brad Perry.

“The community profile plays a very important role in country newspapers and has always been one of my favourite styles of article,” Mr Perry said.

“The standard of entries was of a high level and it is clear that a number of journalists have mastered the craft of engaging with their interviewee and putting that into words.”

Mr Perry said most community profiles had an interesting subject to work with, but what made them outstanding was the journalist’s ability to extract the best from his interviewee.

“Michael’s story on a well-known Broken Hill identity is full of colour and flows as a great community profile should,” he said.

“The story takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride that is both punchy and impressive.”

The last SA Country Press award to the BDT came from the lens of Gavin Schmidt who won the best sports photography prize in 1996.

John Wren was over moon when BDT broke the news to him yesterday.

He said that when the story appeared in the paper in December he was overwhelmed with the amount of support he received from the community.

“I could not believe it, honestly,” John said.

“I realise now why my heart is in Broken Hill because of the nature of the Broken Hill people, the love and generosity and their support.

“I am just pleased that our Broken Hill people support the cinema and, honestly, since the story, we have had more support for the cinema over the Christmas and New Year period than any other time that I can remember.

“Thank you for the write up in the Barrier Daily Truth and thank you to the Broken Hill people for the support they have given us.”

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