CLARION WINNER: Owen Jacques and his wife Bianca Clare.
CLARION WINNER: Owen Jacques and his wife Bianca Clare. CONTRIBUTED

APN journalists rewarded at Clarions

A SIX-month investigation that led to a coronial inquest for a pair of Filipino sailors killed in Australian waters has earned Sunshine Coast reporter Owen Jacques a prestigious Clarion Award.

The Clarion Awards recognise the best in Queensland journalism.

Mr Jacques' work, titled One Bulk Carrier, Three Dead, No Answers, won Best Regional Print News Report at the gala Clarions event on Saturday night in Brisbane.

He was also a finalist in three other categories including Investigative Journalism, Business Journalism and Rural Journalism.

This is the second time he has won a Clarion Award, after being a finalist six times in his seven years as a journalist.

The judges said Mr Jacques' "comprehensive reports chased down every lead. This was a local, state and international story, which resulted in a coronial inquest. The story ticked all the boxes - accuracy, storytelling, newsworthiness, ethics, research and impact as a regional journo".

Senior reporter Vani Naidoo was a finalist for Best Regional Feature Writing.

National affairs reporter Dan Burdon was nominated for Investigative Journalism.

Nicole Madden from the University of Sunshine Coast won Most Outstanding Journalism Student (Regional). Ms Madden's entry included work she published in The Daily.

Mr Jacques said he was humbled by the honour, given the skill and reputation of the competition.

"The work regional journalists do is critical because they are the ones who know their communities best," he said. "Regional Australians need journalists to fight for them, because often there is nobody else."

Mr Jacques said his wife Bianca Clare - also a journalist - had been a huge support during the sometimes-gruelling investigation.

Mr Jacques has a pedigree of journalism in his family. Not only is his wife the news director at the Sunshine Coast Daily, his late grandmother Thalma Daniels was a writer at the Daily's sister paper, the Mackay Daily Mercury.

"I think Nan would be proud," he said.

APN ARM editorial director Bryce Johns said the Clarion results proved regional readers were as well served as the big cities.

"The talent in our newsrooms is outstanding and they continue to tell the stories of our people in a compelling way," he said.

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