Seven Western Australian journalists, photographers and media students have beaten a record field to take out the 1999 Seniors’ Media Awards presented by Seniors‘ Minister Rhonda Parker today.
The awards recognise excellence in journalism for stories and images that positively portray older people and challenge stereotypes around ageing.
“This International Year of Older Persons has provided a unique opportunity to achieve a positive shift in thinking about seniors and ageing,” Mrs Parker said.
“The many events celebrating the year have created a heightened community awareness of seniors which has been reflected in the media’s increased coverage of issues surrounding ageing.
“The media has a key role to play in influencing community attitudes towards seniors and I am delighted that there has been such a positive response to raising awareness and debunking some of the myths about ageing.
“However, the fact the judges were unable to make awards this year in the Radio and Advertising Campaign categories shows there is still more work to be done by parts of the media regarding the portrayal of seniors.
“The Seniors’ Media Awards provide a strong focus for encouraging the community to work together for long term attitudinal and social change so that we can build a society where age is no barrier and where ageing is a positive and valued stage of life.
By the year 2026 there will be more seniors than people aged 18 years and under in Western Australia which will have a substantial impact on our social structures and institutions.
“As a Government and a society, we need to continue developing ideas, programs and services that meet the needs of our seniors, while maintaining intergenerational harmony.”
The awards were jointly organised by the Office of Seniors Interests and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.
The winners of the 1999 Seniors’ Media Awards were:
Metropolitan print category
Ms Mairi Barton, The West Australian, for her story ‘Flight of the Sunbirds’ published October 17, 1998.
Regional print category
Ms Lisa Van Oyen, Goldfields - Esperance Magazine, for her story entitled ‘A lifetime of commitment rewarded’ published on November 6, 1998.
Pictorial print category
Ms Sharon Smith, West Weekend Magazine for the photographs in the story ‘Saddling up, not settling down’ published December 12,1998.
Ms Donna Young, Channel 9, for her news item on October 8, 1998 about three female seniors defying the stereotypes and limits of society.
Ms Bettina Bowling, Curtin Independent, for her article ‘Celebrating the older person’ published September 9, 1999.
A highly commended certificate was also awarded to Mr David Cooper, Western Independent, for his article ‘Older Citizens in Crisis - Are we neglecting our elderly’ published in April 1999.
International Year of Older Persons category
This new award recognised individual journalists for their ongoing commitment and research into issues around ageing. The joint winners were:
Ms Donna Young, Channel 9, for her regular coverage of seniors issues and commitment to raising public awareness about issues around ageing.
Mr Rod Moran, The West Australian, for his series of lifestyle stories reflecting a cross-section of activities and commitments of older Western Australians, published in May 1999.
Media contact: Owen Cole on 9481 7810