State multicultural honours for Express

The Latrobe Valley Express has been awarded a Multicultural Award For Excellence for its reporting of multicultural affairs.

Presented by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the award recognises excellence in the reporting of multicultural affairs and outstanding effort in highlighting issues of social importance and contributing to community awareness.

Editor Shaun Mallia accepted the award on behalf of The Express team at a ceremony at Government House on Thursday night.

“The Express is a community newspaper and as such we are a part of that community, and the Latrobe Valley is a multicultural community,” Mr Mallia said.

“Multiculturalism is alive and well in the Valley, and we will endeavour to reflect that fact in our reporting.

“To be recognised for our commitment to reporting about the multicultural community and its impact, past, present and future, is an incredible honour.

“On behalf of The Express I wish to thank Gippsland Multicultural Services director Lisa Sinha for nominating us for this prestigious award.”

In the award summary, the commission highlighted the paper’s ‘multicultural portfolio’ which shows the constructive impact the multicultural community has in the Latrobe Valley.

“Articles have featured: ageing migrants’ contribution to the region; skilled migrants and their role in the community; the barriers and obstacles they face; and many others showcasing the benefits of the diverse community,” it read.

The summary stated that in February this year, The Express dealt with a potentially difficult situation in a balanced and sensitive manner.

“After Islamophobic remarks were made by an elected councillor of Latrobe City Council, Latrobe Valley Express were concerned that giving too much prominence to the opinions of this councillor and of this debate could potentially further inflame the situation.

“However, they acknowledged the public’s right to know about the issue and to hold people in positions of authority to account.

“By including an editorial explaining the reasons behind the choice and length of the coverage they were able to justify their reporting style, while building social cohesion and understanding in their community.”