Efforts to document scars both mental and physical have led a slew of Australian Community Media (ACM) nominations in the prestigious Kennedy Awards. Reporters and photographers from across the ACM network, which includes this masthead, have ranked among the best in the business in the list of finalists released on Thursday. More than 90 judges helped pluck the finalists from 748 entries across 35 categories. Two of the three nominees for the Chris Watson Award for Regional Reporting - Print and Online come from the ACM stable. The three nominees include Newcastle Herald court reporter Sam Rigney's sensitive and detailed portrait of the path to justice for victims of music-scene predator Daniel Hanson. The Examiner's Joshua Peach also earned a nomination for his work laying bare connections between a prominent Burnie City Council candidate and neo-fascist group Proud Boys. ACM photographers were also well represented, with a nominee in each of the section's three categories, and Illawarra Mercury shooters representing two of those. The Mercury finalists include Sylvia Liber's documentation of the physical toll perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals wrought on Wreck Bay, a village of 200 in Jervis Bay, earned a nod in Outstanding Portrait Photography. In Outstanding Sports Photography, Adam McLean's work on the UCI Road World Championships 2022 stood out from the pack. Bendigo Advertiser photographer Darren Howe's shot Saved from Above, a winner in the Quill awards presented by the Melbourne Press Club earlier this year, also made the shortlist for the Outstanding News Photography category. Kennedy Foundation chair Carl Dumbrell said the finalists were picked from a swathe of strong entries. "The judging process was incredibly hard this year as there were so many great entries, demonstrating that great journalism is alive and thriving," he said. Winners will be named at a gala dinner at Royal Randwick on August 18.