The Murray Valley Standard's senior journalist has been recognised at the annual awards of industry body Rural Media SA.
Peri Strathearn was named the best regionally based print journalist for 2018 after submitting for judgement his coverage of the Thomas Foods International fire and the River Murray carp virus debate.
The judges reached the view that his entry was "streets ahead" of the others.
"The energy he displayed in personally compiling an extensive suite of on-the-spot stories related to the Thomas Foods International abattoir fire at Murray Bridge went well beyond the normal effort expected of a country newspaper journalist," they said in a statement.
"His investigative style of journalism was highlighted in the way he delved into both sides of the controversial National Carp Control Program.
"He handled the sensitivities of releasing a live virus into the River Murray and potential of mass putrefaction of the water supply in a balanced and sensitive manner.
"Regional South Australia is fortunate to have journalism talent like Peri's still available in the bush, rather than heading for the big lights of the capital city."
In a Facebook post, he thanked The Standard’s editorial team for its support, and for the readers and advertisers who “put food on my family’s table”.
He did not attend the awards ceremony in Adelaide, but RMSA vice president Dale Manson – a Murray Bridge resident – was able to present him with a certificate over the weekend.
One of The Standard's sister publications, the Stock Journal, was also recognised at the awards.
Former journalist Ali Kuchel – now with the Gatton, Lockyer and Brisbane Valley Star in Queensland – was named best regional/rural photojournalist, and Catherine Miller was highly commended in the same category.
Journalist Paula Thompson wrote the best Royal Adelaide Show story, about Mannum farmer Lorna Bormann, her Murray Bridge daughter Cheryl Miegel and granddaughter Emily Mueller; and was commended for her rural photography.
Freelancer Jacqui Bateman was named best rural photographer in the people category for work published in the Stock Journal, and highly commended for photographing the Royal Adelaide Show.