Rural health series wins award for InQueensland regional writer

A series of articles on the state of rural health in Queensland, by InQueensland regional specialist Brad Cooper, has garnered a recognised media award.

Dec 18, 2020, updated Dec 18, 2020
InQueensland regional specialist Brad Cooper with his Queensland Rural Media Award.

InQueensland regional specialist Brad Cooper with his Queensland Rural Media Award.

The Queensland Rural Press Club conferred its top media awards to journalists from throughout the State in Brisbane on Tuesday night, with InQueensland’s Brad Cooper among the winners.

Cooper’s series on rural heath earned him a runner up in the print category, second to Sally Gall at Queensland Country Life.

The four InQueensland articles submitted for consideration, won high praise from judges who said:

“Brad’s series brought an insight into the state of rural health in Queensland in an informative, imaginative and engaging way.”

Cooper, who started with InQueensland when it launched in February this year, said he focused on rural health because it was an under-reported Queensland success story worth telling.

“It’s an especially salient message in a year of a once-in-a-century health crisis,” he said.

“Yes, there are still challenges, but by and large Queensland is viewed as leading the way in clinical care in rural, regional and remote communities.

“It’s been no overnight success and it’s been achieved through bi-partisan support at a government level. It’s a reminder of what can be achieved when we work together for the common good.”

A previous three-time winner of the Rural Press Club Media Award – in 2005, 2006 and 2007 – Cooper moved into editor and media management roles for the next 13 years, before returning to frontline journalism as InQueensland’s regional specialist.

“After a near two-decade career in agricultural journalism I saw an opportunity to offer readers journalism focused on regional, rural and remote Queensland that’s intelligent, insightful, respectful, ethical, and non-partisan politically and ideologically,” he said.

“I’m not sure I get there every time but they are the goals I aspire to, because I believe my audience deserves nothing less and I thank InQueensland for providing a platform and a professional culture that gives every chance of those aspirations succeeding.”

ABC rural reporter Megan Hughes was recognised for her outstanding work in broadcast journalism when she was named Overall Rural Journalism winner.

RPC Queensland president Stacey Wordsworth said there were a record number of nominations this year and the calibre of entries was exceptional.

“In what has been a challenging year for the media landscape, it’s heartening to see examples of robust reporting which truly reflects the challenges and triumphs facing regional and rural communities,” she said.

You can read Cooper’s award-winning series by clicking on these links:

  1. Special report: The Queensland script to cure rural pain
  2. Special report: Part 2 – Building a new class of rural doctor
  3. Meet the ‘mouthy country girl’ out to shake up our rural health system
  4. Hospital pass: What value are new facilities without the doctors to run them?


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