Stolen Rum and Steve Braunias reward excellence in journalism with Alcohol Sponsorship Press Awards

Stolen Rum has managed to gain a fair bit of attention in its short life through a combination of a good product, good branding and good PR. And it’s set up a cheeky wee competition with the help of its newish agency Pead PR that is judged by well-known columnist Steve Braunias. 

The inaugural winner was Hokitika Guardian journalist Cheryl Riley and, acknowledging that the news was dominated by stories about teapots last week, Braunias commented: “Cheryl’s story about teapots was quite simply better than everyone else’s stories about teapots.”

Braunias described Riley’s award-winning article as a sad story which served as a reminder that all things must pass, including teapots.

“I was also saddened for Westland artist Jane Riley,” Braunias added. “According to the story, she ‘will take up the wall space where the teapot collection was formerly displayed’.

“I hope they are making her as comfortable as possible.”

Braunias will use his Twitter account @SteveBraunias to announce the winner every Friday.

Braunias said runners-up this week included newsreader Rachel Smalley of TV3 for her interview with John Key on Firstline, Listener photographer David White for his “revealing portrait of the Prime Minister looking like an asshole” at the infamous cup of tea with John Banks, and Gisborne Herald journalist Austin King for his story about an 11-year-old girl who got lost on a school trip but no one noticed.

Braunias has recently joined Metro magazine as a staff writer. He also writes a satirical diary which is published every Saturday by newspapers in Nelson, Hamilton, Timaru, Invercargill, Palmerston North and New Plymouth. His sixth book will be launched at the 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

In January an abusive email exchange saw columnist Steve Braunias axed from the Sunday Star Times newspaper.

Editor David Kemeys would not confirm the reasons behind Mr Braunias’ exit, saying the matter was “private”.

“Columnists come and columnists go,” he said.

But Mr Braunias says his former boss wanted to axe his column for some time.

“Editors come and editors go,” he told the National Business Review.

“I expect the paper will soon enough despatch the mediocre hack back to where he came from – which I understand is nowhere.”

Stolen Rum was only launched in February last year, but has already won a number of prestigious awards… in March, Stolen Rum Gold was awarded a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards while Stolen White Rum collected a bronze.  In July, Stolen White Rum won a silver medal at the International Wine and Spirits competition in London.

Teapot image courtesy of the Hokitika Guardian and Greymouth Star

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