Nearly 30 years after Bob Jones famously smacked over TV reporter Rod Vaughan, Jones has beaten the unlucky Vaughan a second time – to win New Zealand’s most famous media award. In a cruel twist, Jones fought off Vaughan to win the latest Alcohol Press Sponsorship Award (ASP) as a result of the National Business Review’s announcement that Vaughan had joined the business newspaper’s staff.
“When judges took note of NBR’s reminiscence of the Jones-Vaughan stoush in 1985, they were initially going to give the ASP award to Vaughan in recognition of his status as a ‘bloody legend’, as NBR described their new signing,” said Metro hack and awards convenor Steve Braunias.
“But after lengthy debate, they changed their mind, reasoning that Jones deserved the award for creating Vaughan’s ‘legend’.
“This raises interesting ethical and philosophical questions about whether journalists ‘own’ their stories, but in the meantime it’s Jones who owns the ASP.”
The ASPs, established in 2011, are held in association with Stolen Rum, and are announced each Friday on the Twitter account @SteveBraunias. The award recognises excellence and strangeness in New Zealand media, including social media, and is open to editors, reporters, subs, weblog writers, photographers, illustrators, critics and even publishers.
The judging panel comprises a seasoned media professional in each of the four main centres, as well as Johnsonville and Geraldine. Previous winners of the ASP include Cheryl Riley (Hokitika Guardian), TV3 political editor Patrick Gower, Christchurch author Jane Bowron, George FM radio host Nick Dwyer, and Masterton eelologist Jermaine Kerehi.
This week’s finalists are:
Northern Advocate hack Kristin Edge, for her cheerful narrative of feral love
Paul Litterick of Fundy Post, for a superb and typically cool display of intellectual snobbery
New parody account on Twitter, @johnkeysemotion
The uncredited hack at the Southland Times, for this 118-word classic
Waikato Times hack Rob Kidd, for this piece of New Zealand gothic
Fraser Gunn, for the week’s most ravishingly beautiful photograph
Wairarapa Times-Age photographer Chris Kilford, for his stunning portrait of Emily, Izzy, Patrick and Maddie of Tinui. “In a very real sense,” commented judges, “all New Zealand families look like this.”