The Blue Mountains Gazette has won a national award for its positive coverage of older Australians.
Gazette journalist Shane Desiatnik received the Older People Speak Out (OPSO) National Media Award at a ceremony in Brisbane on October 1.
Federal Minister for Ageing Mark Butler presented the regional newspaper category award to Mr Desiatnik for his December 7, 2011 story on an innovative partnership between Morven Gardens aged care centre at Leura and Blue Mountains College of TAFE.
Morven Gardens residents undertook a weekly study program with visiting TAFE teachers and volunteer tutors in subjects from basic computer skills to creative writing as part of the program.
“The majority of older Australians live independent active lives. Their ongoing contributions to the community and the economy enrich our nation in so many ways,” said Mr Butler.
“Many members of the media — journalists, photographers, producers — capture the experiences of older people and understand the challenges they face and overcome.
“They recognise inspirational lives and inspire us through their stories and images.
“Even so, too often older people are invisible in the media or portrayals are coloured by outdated ageist attitudes in media, the community or workplaces.”
Blue Mountains Gazette editor Damien Madigan said the paper was proud of its coverage of the diverse Blue Mountains community, including older Australians.
“Shane’s story highlighted a practical way people in the Blue Mountains were showing that you are never too old to learn,” he said.
“The paper feels very lucky it is able to share good news stories likes this with the wider community.”
The OPSO National Media Awards are in their 19th year.
“I congratulate the nominees and winners of this year’s OPSO National Media Awards and thank you all for helping to raise community awareness of active, positive ageing,” said Mr Butler.