Newcastle Herald reporters Sam Rigney and Joanne McCarthy have been recognised at the Kennedy Awards for excellence in journalism.
Rigney won the outstanding court reporting category while McCarthy claimed the Chris Watson outstanding regional newspaper reporting prize.
Rigney won for his reportage to unmask Andrew James Benn, the region's most egregious serial rapist, and to highlight the stories of his victims.
Rigney was also a finalist in the overall regional newspaper category, named in honour of former Newcastle Herald editor Chris Watson, while McCarthy and the Sydney Morning Herald's Amanda Hooton were co-nominees in the feature writing category for their piece in the Good Weekend delving into the devastating impact of surgical mesh implants.
Newcastle Herald colleagues Donna Page and Nick Bielby were also shortlisted in the outstanding reporting on the environment category for their series Dirty Deeds, which unfurled the story of millions of litres of toxic waste secretly pumped into creeks or dumped on the ground in Maitland.
The awards were held in Sydney on Friday night.
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