An ongoing investigation into a bug found under a plane tree has won New Zealand’s most coveted media prize. Number 8 Wire, an online community news service in Waikato settlement Gordonton, scooped the latest Alcohol Sponsorship Press Award with its breaking stories about the life cycle of a caterpillar.
“Can’t wait for the next instalment,” said Metro hack and awards convenor Steve Braunias.
“The photography is excellent, the science reporting is simple and specific, and the sense of wonder is contagious.
“This is a great series – and totally in keeping with the rest of Number 8 Wire, which the judges find consistently entertaining and informative, with stories ranging from the history of cow sheds to concerns about the deceptive corner on Horsham Downs Road.”
Number 8 Wire is run by Annette Taylor and her daughter Iris Riddell. They will receive a bottle of award-winning Stolen Rum as their prize. The Alcohol Sponsorship Press Awards (ASPs), established last year, 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 press secretaries. The judging panel comprises a seasoned media professional in each of the four main centres, as well as Hastings and Rangiora. Previous winners of the ASPs include Cheryl Riley (Hokitika Guardian), TV3 political editor Patrick Gower, Christchurch author Jane Bowron and semi-literate George FM radio host Nick Dwyer.
This week’s finalists are:
- Little Treasures editor Emily Simpson, who was inundated with complaints from readers that the home on the latest cover was too tidy, responded by offering a free subscription to the reader with the messiest house. The magazine’s Facebook page was inundated with photos of domestic tips. (Here’s the winning entry (and photo album of other slobs)
- Ali Ikram of TV3, who tweeted on @AliIkram, “The 30% of those answering ‘No’ in the @campbelllive poll as to whether James Cameron should be able to move to Wairarapa were his kids”
- Musician Amanda Palmer, who got a bad review from Simon Sweetman, responded by posting a video of the critic making a bit of an ass of himself
- Otago Daily Times hack Nigel Benson, who had to put up with Max Cryer, and saved the most priceless quotes for the story’s final two sentences
- Taranaki Daily News hack Jared Smith, who filed this incredible story about the town with no beer
- Also from the Taranaki Daily News, Lyn Humphreys, whom filed this incredible story about the theft of a frozen foetus
- Chinese journalist Ling Lin, who got royally ripped-off by her employer, and didn’t get a lot of joy out of the Employment Relations Authority, either
- And Fairfax hack William Mace, who wrote the worst sentence published anywhere in the world this week (paragraph two)