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Voyager Media Awards 2019 finalists announced

The finalists for the 2019 Voyager Media Awards were announced earlier this week, with Stuff taking the lion’s share of nominations with a total of 84 nominations across 63 categories. Rival media company NZME goes into the awards with 55 nominations. 

Now in its 46th year, the awards celebrate the best of New Zealand’s newspapers, magazines, websites and apps, as well as rewarding featuring writers, columnists, cartoonists, reviewers and photographers for outstanding work.

The 280 finalists were selected from nearly 2000 entries, whittled down by a panel of more than 70 judges based in nine countries – co-judging in groups of two and three over the past several weeks. 

Voyager chief executive Seeby Woodhouse says the finalists in this year’s awards should feel proud to be selected from the huge number of high calibre entries. 

“It really is a testimony to the standard of news we’re lucky to have access to here in New Zealand.”

Stuff’s hefty number of nominations includes website of the year – which is won jointly with Newsroom.co.nz last year – along with best news website or app. The company’s special projects have also been highlighted in the best innovation in digital storytelling category, including Drug Deals, Court, and A Tale of Two Cities (in partnership with Newshub).

Last year’s newspaper of the year winner (more than 30,000 circulation), The Press, is one of two finalists in the category this year, with the New Zealand Herald also up for the honour.

At NZME, the incumbent weekly newspaper of the year Weekend Herald has also been named a finalist in the category this year, after consecutive wins in 2018 and 2017. NZME has dominance in the newspaper of the year (up to 30,000 circulation) category with both the Bay of Plenty Times and the Rotorua Daily Post finalists along with Stuff’s Waikato Times.

In the reporting, photography and videographer categories there is a fairly even spread across media companies, with people from NZME, Stuff, RNZ, Allied Press, Mediaworks and TVNZ represented across the categories. 

Last year’s magazine of the year, New Zealand Geographic is again a finalist in the category, along with Bauer Media’s New Zealand Listener and North & South.

Awards director Jane Phare says she is heartened by feedback from the judges who said journalism is in good shape in New Zealand. Comments from judges included “balanced, professional and relentless”, “tenacious reporting”, “determination to serve public interest rather than chase headlines”, “storytelling at its very finest”, “beautifully crafted television”, and “compositional excellence and human interest was a standout for the {photographic”) judges”.

One judge said: “The breadth and quality of the work spoke volumes about the strength of New Zealand journalism.”

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on 17 May.

The full list of finalists can be seen on the Voyager Media Awards website.

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