RoyalAuto is the first auto club magazine in Australia to win an award for mainstream journalism.
On Friday, March 17, the RACV’s member magazine, along with its digital and social channels, won the TAC “Towards Zero” Quill for Road Safety Reporting, for “Impact”, a year-long digital, print and social media journalism project which was published online, on social, in print and screened on television.
Impact followed the stories of several road trauma victims from crash scenes, to hospital, surgery, rehabilitation and to recovery. While the project took more than a year from start to publication, the Impact team continues to monitor and report on the victims they covered during the project.
“An outstanding team effort by the RACV’s RoyalAuto produced a compelling multi-platform series on Victoria’s hidden road toll,” said the Melbourne Press Club Quill Award judges. “The team embedded within Air Ambulance Victoria to begin tracking the fate of those seriously injured on the roads from the accident scene through to their recovery. The judges were especially impressed that journalism of such high calibre was supported and delivered by a corporate newsroom.”
Impact marks the first time that one of Australia’s auto club magazines has gone up against the two big players of Australian mainstream journalism. RoyalAuto was in competition with Fairfax Media (The Age, Australian Community Media) and News Corporation (The Sunday Herald Sun) for the award.
“It is the first time that RoyalAuto, or any other auto club magazine, has won a major Australian journalism award. The purpose of Impact is helping to save lives and prevent trauma on our roads,” said Neil Taylor, RACV CEO. “Winning the Melbourne Press Club award for excellence in journalism is a wonderful result for RoyalAuto, the RACV member magazine. The Impact team should be very proud of this exceptional achievement.”
To create Impact, photographer/videographer Meredith O’Shea spent months at Essendon Airport with the air ambulance and flying to and from crash scenes. The whole team flew into action on many occasions and after more than a year; they finally had the material needed to tell the story.
“The purpose of Impact was to go behind the headlines to highlight the suffering of the thousands of Victorians who are injured on our roads every year,” said Seamus Bradley, RoyalAuto Editor. “Through raising awareness, Impact aims to encourage people to become safer drivers, governments to build safer roads and car makers to build safer cars. The TAC Quill award will help RoyalAuto spread that message.”
The road safety awareness project was more than a year in the making and involved partnerships with Victoria’s two adult trauma hospitals (The Alfred and Royal Melbourne Hospital), Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and other emergency services. 7 News used RoyalAuto footage to produce Impact for their nightly TV news.