AUSTRALIAN Community Media mastheads have been nominated for a swag of honours at the 2019 News Media Awards.
The awards recognise excellence and innovation in the media industry across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific.
This year's awards attracted more than 500 entries, building on the legacy of the former Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (PANPA) newspaper of the year awards.
The Newcastle Herald, The Examiner (Launceston) and The Land were named among the eight finalists for the regional news brand of the year.
The North West Star (Mount Isa) and The Senior are finalists for community news brand of the year.
Eight photographers from Australian Community Media (ACM) titles were recognised across a range of categories.
The Illawarra Mercury's Sylvia Liber is a finalist in the photography essay open category.
Newcastle Herald shooters Marina Neil, Jonathan Carroll and Max Mason-Hubers each received two nominations for news, sport and feature pictures published in the Herald and Maitland Mercury.
Bendigo Advertiser duo Glenn Daniels and Darren Howe also scored two nominations apiece for regional portrait, feature or lifestyle photography.
Gareth Gardner from The Northern Daily Leader in Tamworth is a finalist in the regional sport photography section while Belinda Soole from Dubbo's Daily Liberal was recognised for community news photography.
Sydney Morning Herald journalist Carrie Fellner, formerly of the Newcastle Herald, was nominated for story of the year for her "Toxic Secrets" investigation into the health and environmental effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS). The joint project ran across metropolitan and regional titles.
The Illawarra Mercury's suicide prevention campaign and The Land's Glove Box Guide to Mental Health are finalists in the best community or social-purpose initiative.
ACM was also recognised in a variety of advertising and marketing categories, including multiple entries for best innovation for a client and the best execution of print advertising.
The ACM website promotion of winter sports was short-listed in the best digital subscriber acquistion campaign, while The Senior is in the final for the best consumer brand campaign.
The Standard (Warrnambool) is a finalist for best use of print in the product innovation finalists.
In the technical categories, The Border Mail (Wodonga) and The Canberra Times print centres are finalists in the best run of press section.
ACM sales director for national agencies Scott Corcoran is in the running for news media executive of the year.
ACM managing director Allen Williams congratulated all the finalists.
"The depth and diversity of these nominations across Australian Community Media demonstrates the connection between our people, our publications and the communities they proudly serve," he said.
Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on September 24.