A galaxy of industry stars gathered at Sky City on Friday night as the country's most important and highly sought after print media accolades were dished out at the Canon Media Awards. And there were a few sore heads among the APNers on Saturday morning after they walked out with what they're calling the 'Grand Slam': best website, newspaper of the year, best daily newspaper and best weekly paper.
This was the first time Canon had its name on the napkins, after taking over from long-time sponsor Qantas last year. And given the trends in online readership, the best website honour now seems to be one of the most prized. nzherald.co.nz won Best Website, making it four wins in the past five years for the site, but, in a similar fashion to last year, stuff.co.nz was given Best News Website, following up from last year's win. Stuff.co.nz also received the award for Best Use of Emerging Technologies for its iPad and iPhone app.
“This is a massive achievement for the team," says Jeremy Rees, editor in chief for nzherald.co.nz. "Over the past year we’ve worked hard to constantly improve the site and expand the ways in which we deliver the news. With digital there are just so many opportunities to extend coverage through video, interactive graphics, social media and two-way, real-time communication. We’re now able to bring stories to life like never before.”
The media juggernauts responsible for making the final decisions said nzherald.co.nz demonstrated the ability of online journalism to take on complex, emotive stories in a manner that adds greater depth than TV, radio or newspaper coverage ever could.
"Their interactive feature displaying messages of condolence for Christchurch earthquake victims was classy and tasteful. Extensive use of multimedia across the site suggests an online operation which its journalists are excited by – rather than simply reflecting the newspaper online."
When it comes to paper-based news, big brother has taken over from the Herald on Sunday this year. It was judged to be New Zealand's Best Weekly and Best Overall newspaper last year, but TheNew Zealand Herald followed up from winning Best Daily Newspaper award it won last year with Best Newspaper, Best Daily and Best Weekly for the Weekend Herald. It's the fourth year in a row an APN title has won Best Overall Newspaper.
As well as the four big 'what really counts' awards, the Herald won eight other honours.
“The judges’ opinions underscored what readers have been telling us about our products, which is being reflected in increased sales and traffic," says chief executive of New Zealand Media, Martin Simons. “Readership of the Herald is at a seven-year high, circulation is up year-on-year and website traffic continues to grow at +30 percent."
As is always the case, given the size of the market and the number of awards on offer, the Fairfax Media behemoth also brought home a load of trophies, winning 30 of the 59 honours that were handed out on the night.
Group digital editor Sinead Boucher won the top individual honour, the Wolfson Fellowship to Cambridge University, while the Dom Post's Phil Kitchin was named reporter of the year and the Sunday Star Times' Tony Wall won best feature writer.
The Southland Times won Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation) title, The Dominion Post won ten awards and the Sunday Star-Times won six. The Press’ four awards included Best Columnist (Joe Bennett), Best Design and Best Breaking News Coverage.
Of the magazines brands, Unlimited won the Best Trade or Professional Magazine.
“The awards vindicate the investment Fairfax Media is making in our ‘content first, channel second’ approach to our journalism coverage, a project which is reaching the end of its first year in effect," says Fairfax Media chief executive Allen Williams. "Our updating of technology and systems has resulted in the growth and enhancement of Fairfax Media’s news gathering and reporting and enabled us to file this content 24 hours a day to keep ahead of the competition.”
Other notable achievements this year were ACP's North & South winning seven awards, including best newstand magazine and best magazine feature writer to Donna Chisholm, who won four awards in total; Queenstown's Mountain Scene winning Best Community Newspaper; and Good picking up best design ahead of Cuisine and NZ House and Garden.
Journalism teacher and go-to-guy for media commentary Jim Tully and well-known rugby photographer Peter Bush were given the outstanding achievement awards.
Check out the full list of winners below or, if you don't trust us, here.
Canon Newspaper of the Year: The New Zealand Herald
Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation): The New Zealand Herald
Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation): The Southland Times
Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Weekend Herald
Community Newspaper of the Year: Mountain Scene
Senior Best Portfolio of Six Pictures: Mark Mitchell
Junior Best Portfolio of Six Pictures: Benjamin Curran
Best Single News Picture: Kent Blechynden (The Dominion Post)
Best Sports Picture: Hagen Hopkins (Getty Images)
Best Video: Amy van Dyk, Mike Scott, Matt Rilkoff, Aaron Wood (Taranaki Daily News)
Best Photo Essay/Slideshow: Richard Robinson (The New Zealand Herald)
Best Online Commentary/Blog: Jane Yee (stuff)
Best Breaking News Coverage: thepress.co.nz
Best News Site: stuff.co.nz
Best Use Of Emerging Technologies: stuff.co.nz, (ipad and iphone app)
Best Community Collaboration: stuff.co.nz/thepress.co.nz
Best Website: nzherald.co.nz
Best Newsstand Magazine: North & South
Best Trade/Professional Magazine: Unlimited
Best Design: Good
Magazine Feature Writer of the Year: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Junior Magazine Feature Writer of the Year: Elle Hunt (Salient)
Magazine Feature Writer Science/Environment: Mike White (North & South)
Magazine Feature Writer Politics: Diana Wichtel (NZ Listener)
Magazine Feature Writer Human Relations: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer Arts: Diana Wichtel (NZ Listener)
Magazine Feature Writer Business: Jim Robinson (North & South)
Magazine Feature Writer Crime/Justice: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer General: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer Sport: Gregor Paul (NZ Rugby World)
Best Design: The Press
Best Newspaper Inserted Magazine: Canvas (The New Zealand Herald)
Senior Reporter of the Year: Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Junior Reporter of the Year: Charles Anderson (The Nelson Mail)
Reporter Arts/Entertainment: Tom Cardy (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Science/Environment: Kiran Chug (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Sport: Barry Lichter (Sunday Star-Times)
Reporter Politics: Vernon Small/Tracy Watkins (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Human Relations: Rebecca Todd (The Press)
Reporter Business: Dave Burgess/Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Crime/Justice: Phil Taylor (The New Zealand Herald)
Reporter General: Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Junior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year: Sarah Murray (Sunday magazine/Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Science/Environment: Jon Morgan (The Dominion Post)
Newspaper Feature Writer Sport: Steve Kilgallon (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Politics: Tracy Watkins (The Dominion Post)
Newspaper Feature Writer Human Relations: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Business: Phil Taylor (Weekend Herald)
Newspaper Feature Writer Arts: Chris Barton (The New Zealand Herald)
Newspaper Feature Writer Crime/Justice: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer General: Nikki Macdonald (The Dominion Post)
Best Investigation: Karyn Scherer: (The New Zealand Herald)
Student Journalism Award: Amelia Wade (The New Zealand Herald)
Artwork: Anna Crichton (Freelance)
Cartoonist: Jim Hubbard (NZPA)
Columnist: Joe Bennett (The Press)
Editorial: Peter Calder (Herald on Sunday)
Headline: Jim Curran (Pagemasters)
Reviewer: David Larsen (NZ Listener)