APN bags the big ‘uns at Canon Media Awards, as The Press rewarded for courage under fire

A rapidly changing media landscape means it’s not the happiest of financial times for many in the newspaper and magazine publishing sector at the moment, but those issues were briefly forgotten on Friday night as the industry gathered in Auckland to reward the best in the business at the Canon Media Awards. And it was APN, which has recently enlisted the help of Deutsche Bank to conduct an asset review, that again popped the most corks on the night and followed on from its ‘grand slam‘ last year by taking out the vast majority of the big awards. 

The Weekend Herald was named as Canon newspaper of the year, the fifth year in a row that either Weekend Herald, The New Zealand Herald or Herald on Sunday has taken that honour, and best weekly newspaper of the year for the second year running. Canvas was also named best newspaper inserted magazine.

“… So much good journalism was produced across the country in one of the most challenging years for newspapers, with the Christchurch earthquake, Japanese tsunami as well as the big set pieces of the Rugby World Cup and the general election,” says Weekend Herald editor David Hastings. “The award is a tribute to the staff, reporters, photographers and those on the production side who worked so hard to stay on top of events.”

Fittingly, given the hardship Christchurch has faced in recent times and the role local media has played in reporting on it, The Press had a good night too, picking up a total of nine awards, including best newspaper of the year (with a circulation of over 30,000) and best newspaper design. The fact that  the paper, with the help of the Fairfax network, managed to get a paper out on the day after the February 22 quake probably deserved an award of its own.

Martin van Beynen from The Press was named senior reporter of the year and senior newspaper feature writer of the year and also won the Wolfson Fellowship to Cambridge University. His colleague Olivia Carville was named junior reporter of the year.

nzherald.co.nz won both the best website and best online news site awards, its coverage of the NZ Election 2011 received an award for best innovation in multimedia storytelling, and its social media editor Troy Rawhiti-Forbes won best website for community interaction.

“This is an unprecedented win for us and something the online team are incredibly proud of,” says Jeremy Rees, nzherald.co.nz’s editor. “Over the past six years we’ve taken out the top honours six times winning best news website four times, including three consecutive years – 2007, 2008, 2009 and best website twice – 2011 and 2012 … We’ve focused a lot of attention on the quality of our digital storytelling and this has really paid off with readers spending more time during a site visit on nzherald.co.nz than any other New Zealand news website.”

APN’s regional newspapers won both top awards in the same year for the first time, with The Bay of Plenty Times rewarded for its strong coverage of the Rena disaster with best newspaper of the year (with a circulation of up to 30,000) and The Star in Christchurch taking out the award for community newspaper of the year.

Star editor Barry Clarke said the award recognised the efforts and tenacity of Star and APN journalists in converting the bi-weekly broadsheet to a morning daily tabloid after the quake to meet the heightened public demand for information and news.

“All these people went more than the extra mile, in amazingly difficult circumstances, to produce a great paper,” he says. “I’m grateful to them all.”

Continuing APN’s winning ways, NZ Magazines’ The New Zealand Listener won best newsstand magazine, the third time it has won the award in the past six years.

“Our aim is to produce a compelling magazine that is not afraid to rattle cages but which is a positive, energising force in the nation’s cultural and intellectual life,” says Listener editor Pamela Stirling. “Our intelligent, well-educated and sophisticated readership wants to be challenged and entertained with stimulating and insightful journalism and the fact that a full 60 percent of our readers are loyal subscribers indicates a readership that is highly engaged with the magazine and trusts it to deliver what its target audience wants. The Listener has a circulation [63,238] more than twice that of its nearest current affairs competitor.”

Best trade/professional magazine went to Landscape Architecture NZGood won best magazine design and New Zealand Geographic’s senior contributor (and its founding editor more than two decades ago) Kennedy Warne was awarded magazine feature writer of the year.

Stuff.co.nz/thepress won the best breaking news coverage and Fairfax’s Stuff App won the best Innovation in New Technologies award.

“Canon is delighted to be both a sponsor and part of this event and it is always a pleasure to see the great efforts of the New Zealand print and online media,” says Yusuke Mizoguchi, managing director of Canon New Zealand. “Tonight was a chance to commend the hugely talented and dedicated people that help to make up New Zealand media.”

Winners of the Canon Media Awards 2012

Category                                                                Winner

Canon Newspaper of the Year                      Weekend Herald

Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation) The Press

Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation) Bay Of Plenty Times

Weekly Newspaper of the Year                     Weekend Herald

Community Newspaper of the Year                     The Star

Press Photographer of the Year – Senior                      Alan Gibson

Press Photographer of the Year – Junior                      Benjamin Curran

Best Single news picture                                           Geoff Sloan

Best Video                                                                 Daniel Tobin

Best Online News Site                                           nzherald.co.nz

Best Newsstand Magazine                                           New Zealand Listener

Best Trade/Professional Magazine                      Landscape Architecture NZ

Magazine Feature Writer of the Year                      Kennedy Warne

Senior Reporter of the Year                     Martin Van Beynen

Junior Reporter of the Year                     Olivia Carville

Reporter Sport                                          Simon Plumb

Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Martin Van Beynen

Junior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Alex Fensome

Best Investigation                                          Jon Stephenson

Student Journalism Award                                          Jonathan Carson

Best Artwork                                                                Richard Dale

Cartoonist of the Year                                          Guy Body

Best Columnist                                           Simon Cunliffe

Editorial writer of the Year                                           Bruce Rennie

Best Headline                                           Nicholas Sorensen

Reviewer of the Year                                           Russell Baillie

Reporter Science and Environment                     Marty Sharpe

Reporter Politics                                          Vernon Small

Reporter Human Relations                       Imogen Neale

Reporter Business                                          David Fisher

Reporter Crime and Justice                     Clio Francis

Reporter Arts & Entertainment                     Vicki Anderson

Newspaper Feature Writer Science and Environment Chris Barton

Newspaper Feature Writer Sport                     Ben Stanley

Newspaper Feature Writer Politics                      Claire Trevett

Newspaper Feature Writer Human Relations Tony Wall

Newspaper Feature Writer Business                      Karyn Scherer

Newspaper Feature Writer Arts and Entertainment Adam Dudding

Newspaper Feature Writer Crime and Justice Steve Kilgallon

Magazine Feature Writer Science and Environment Kennedy Warne

Magazine Feature Writer Politics                     Jonathan Milne

Magazine Feature Writer Human Relations Donna Chisholm

Magazine Feature Writer Arts and Entertainment Diana Wichtel

Magazine Feature Writer Business                     Donna Chisholm

Magazine Feature Writer Crime and Justice Joanna Wane

Magazine Feature Writer Sport                     Scotty Stevenson

Best Magazine Design                                           Good

Best Newspaper Design                                           The Press

Best Newspaper Inserted Magazine                     Canvas – NZ Herald

Best Website Community Interaction                      nzherald.co.nz

Best Innovation in Multimedia Storytelling NZH Election 2011

Best Innovation in New Technologies                     Stuff app

Best Sports Picture                                           Simon Watts

Best Photo Essay                                           Geoff Sloan

Best Breaking News Coverage                      stuff.co.nz/thepress.co.nz

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