"Banana Battlers" by Marty McCarthy (click to see video)
PRETORIA, South Africa (3 April, 2017)—Marty McCarthy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) received the 2017 Star Prize for Broadcasting—Video from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) for his Landline program “Banana Battlers.”
McCarthy was recognized at a ceremony Monday night at IFAJ’s World Congress in Pretoria, South Africa. Her award includes a 500-Euro prize.
Judges described McCarthy’s program—on a family of Australian banana farmers struggling in quarantine due to the discovery of a devastating plant disease on their property—as “heartbreaking” and “powerful.”
The judging panel for the Star Prize for Broadcast included veteran broadcasters Ian Petrie of Canada, Ken Rundle of the United Kingdom, and Australian Neil Inall. Leigh Radford of Australia’s ABC coordinated the Broadcast awards for IFAJ.
“Marty McCarthy delivered an emotional, informative piece through meticulous reporting and skillful storytelling,” said Steve Werblow, IFAJ secretary general. “His program delivers the science, the context, the frustration and the heartbreak at the heart of the story. The program is also superbly balanced between the acknowledgment that the family’s actions saved their neighbors from disaster and the fact that the farmer now doubts the wisdom of his own decision. That is reporting at its very best.”
The judges also highly commended Dr. Bayezid Moral of Gazi Satellite Television for his broadcast on growth and challenges in Bangladesh’s poultry industry. One judge pointed out that this entry represented a “strong effort to include a good variety of video and good voices.” The result, he said, is “an important story…very well-told.”
You can see the 1st and 2nd place video as well as other 2017 IFAJ contest winners below:
The panel of agricultural journalists speaking at the IFAJ Africa Forum in Pretoria (l to r): Friday Phiri of Zambia; Inoussa Maïga from Burkino Faso; Owen Roberts, IFAJ President; Jean de Dieu Ininahazwe from Burundi. Photo credit: Johnnie Belinda Cluff
As a result of his participation in the 2017 IFAJ Congress and Du Pont Pioneer Master Class program in South Africa,Christopher Bendana is working to start a guild for agricultural journalists in Uganda. Photo credit: Helenus Kruger