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NZME’s work recognised at INMA Global Media Awards

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) has won the Best Use of Print award at the 2024 International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in London.

The award was given for NZME’s work on the Hawke’s Bay Today ‘Cyclone Gabrielle: Special Free Edition’.

Last year, Cyclone Gabrielle hit Hawke’s Bay, resulting in the tragic loss of eight lives and leaving Napier isolated for an extended period.

The award recognises NZME’s team of journalists, photographers, and distributors who, despite the challenges posed by Cyclone Gabrielle, produced and delivered 20,000 free copies of the 16-page special edition.

Printed in the Wairarapa, these copies were then distributed around the flood-smashed region with the help of Civil Defence. The newspapers provided vital updates on power outages, food and water distribution, road closures, and rescue support, aiding relief efforts and reaching affected communities.

NZME also had three other finalist entries this year: ‘Imprint’ for Best Idea to Grow Advertising Sales, ‘The New Zealand Herald’ for Best Brand Awareness Campaign, and BusinessDesk NZ’s ‘AI-Powered Markets Coverage’ for Best Use of AI in Customer-Facing Products.

Murray Kirkness, NZME Chief Content Officer, says he is incredibly proud to have the team’s hard work acknowledged on a global stage.

“This award highlights the importance of print media during crises, enabling our team to support relief efforts to connect communities that might otherwise have been isolated.

“It also acknowledges the talent, resilience, and dedication of our team who worked tirelessly to keep our communities informed during a significant natural disaster, even when they were experiencing the aftermath themselves.”

Chris Hyde, Hawke’s Bay Today Editor, says the award not only recognised the hard work of a local reporting team in harrowing conditions but also highlighted the importance of regional newsrooms.

“This edition was written and put together by journalists first on the scene of an unfolding disaster. Many of them could not get back to their homes at night. One had to abandon a company car as floodwaters rose around him. Another of the team was rescued with her family from the hard-hit Esk Valley, losing her house and everything she owned.

“There was an unshakeable desire, amid that chaos, to share what the region was going through. From the start, we wanted to do that, not just with the rest of the world online, but also with our communities – the people who needed the news most,” says Hyde.

Carolyn Luey, NZME Chief Digital and Publishing Officer, says it’s an honour to be recognised with a major global award for providing an impactful piece of media that kept Kiwis in the know when they needed it most.

“Our focus on being New Zealand’s leading news destination is driven by our dedication to delivering reliable, timely information, especially in urgent situations like breaking news.

“The ‘Cyclone Gabrielle’ special edition not only reflects our commitment to providing quality journalism to communities across the country but also highlights the importance of maintaining a high-quality and efficient print business.”

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