Voyager Media Awards 2019: Stuff steals the show

On Friday night, New Zealand’s journalists gathered to celebrate the industry’s best across print and online at the Voyager Media Awards, in a showcase of how journalism has transformed over the years.

Stuff was a big winner on the evening, with its strength across all platforms on display. Stuff.co.nz won Best News Website or App while Waikato Times was named Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation), and Sunday Star-Times took out Weekly Newspaper of the Year as well as Voyager Newspaper of the Year – Sponsored by Voyager.

The judges said 2018 was a “stellar” year for the Sunday Star-Times.

“It outshone its rivals by breaking a series of stories that set the national news agenda, dominated public discourse and held authority to account. Its ‘#MeToo’ campaign dragged hidden cases into the light, and provided a forum where survivors could safely share their experiences. A strong news section was complemented by well-crafted and entertaining features and a compelling stable of columnists. It’s a sharp, well-curated, attractively-designed and authoritative weekend read.”

Stuff editor in chief Patrick Crewdson was named Editorial Executive of the Year and was also awarded the prestigious Wolfson Fellowship – which allows a senior journalist to study a topic of their choice at Cambridge University in the UK. Crewdson plans to use the fellowship to study new media business models beyond advertising and paywalls, focusing on alternative sources of reader revenue.

Also proving a force to be reckoned with online was The Spinoff as it was named Website of the Year.

The judges credited The Spinoff for being the go-to place for stories no one else is covering — stories that make people stop and think, stories that help New Zealanders see things from other perspectives and stories people need to hear.

“This is a website with energetic reporting, crisp editing, and powerful images. There are podcasts too, of course, and 2018 brought us, for 15 weeks at least, the ground-breaking Spinoff TV. Everything comes together to make The Spinoff a site we want to keep visiting.”

For NZME, it was also a night of celebrations with NZ Herald named Newspaper of the Year (more than 30,000 circulation) and Viva winning Best Newspaper-Inserted Magazine. It also had a number of individuals to celebrate throughout the night as winners in the Reporting categories were announced.

NZME’s celebrations continued into the weekend as NZ Herald’s ‘#NotForSale’ won the Best Public/Community Service Campaign at the International News Media Association (INMA) Awards.

#NotforSale highlighted the plight of, and raised funds for, victims of child trafficking and exploitation in Asia. #NotforSale had a focus on child marriage, child labour and trafficking in India and Myanmar.

Newsroom’s hard-hitting journalism in the last year was rewarded with three reporting and writing honours. Melanie Reid won Best General Reporter for her work exposing the sexual assaults and harassment at law firm Russell McVeagh, as well as her reporting on MP Jami-Lee Ross and animal cruelty by a Northland dairy farmer. 

Eloise Gibson won the Science and Technology award for her investigation into the products and promises of the scientist/inventor Ray Avery, and Teuila Fuatai best feature writer for crime and social issues. Fuatai’s work includes an in-depth look at drug and alcohol courts.

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