Newsroom won big at the Voyager Media Awards on Friday night – judged joint* Website of the Year and investigations editor Melanie Reid winning Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year.
At a gala dinner in Auckland attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, newsroom.co.nz won praise from the overall website judges for our in-depth and investigative reporting.
“At only just over one year old, Newsroom has secured its place as a go to website for hard-hitting news coverage,” they said.
*In a rare tie, the Website of the Year award was shared with the industry’s biggest media site, Stuff.co.nz.
Another Newsroom journalist, Sasha Borissenko, won a health journalism fellowship for a planned series on obesity. Newsroom and our journalists had made the finalist list for 16 categories, winning four.
Melanie Reid's win in the highly-prized Reporter of the Year category was from a strong field of seven, including five from the New Zealand Herald.
Reid’s winning portfolio included a major investigation into the National MP Todd Barclay, a scandal over fake free-range egg supplies, a campaign revealing police ‘uplifts’ of children caught in Family Court cases and the detailed revelations over New Zealand First leader Winston Peters’ seven year over-payment of superannuation.
The judges said: “Melanie Reid's entries were a masterclass in journalism at its finest. This category featured some outstanding entries but the winning portfolio stood out because of the breadth of topics covered - politics, business and the courts - the skill of the investigations and the impact of the stories.”
Reid won the award for Best (single) News Story for her investigation into Barclay and his secret recording of his electorate agent and a payout to her from the office of the Prime Minister at the time.
“Melanie Reid's exposure of the cover-up to protect MP Todd Barclay is a fine example of patiently pursuing a story that needed to be told,” the judges said. "It took three months to get the pivotal interview with Barclay's former staffer Glenys Dixon and considerable effort to obtain copies of the Prime Minister's text messages. The result was compelling, exclusive coverage that dominated the news at a crucial time in the election cycle.”
Reid also won the award for Best Current Affairs Programme at the NZ Television Awards late last year for the Todd Barclay revelations.
Newsroom’s co-editor, Tim Murphy, said the small team which produced Newsroom.co.nz was as stunned as the industry audience last night by winning the top website award after just one year. “We are still flyweights to Stuff's heavyweight ranking but we are just so happy to have been able to get back in the ring for New Zealand journalism.”
Newsroom was founded by Murphy, former 3 News chief Mark Jennings, Reid and prominent business and political journalist Bernard Hickey as a quality independent news site - which aimed to fill what they saw as a developing gap for coverage of The Things that Matter.
Newsroom is delighted to acknowledge again the foundation supporters who helped fund the site's establishment: Holden NZ, Chorus, Kiwibank, Bell Gully, Ecostore and the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington. We are deeply grateful for around 800 individual donations through Press Patron and for organisations and individuals who have subscribed to our paid site, Newsroom Pro.
Best innovation in digital storytelling: rnz.co.nz/Great Southern TV, The Stories of Ruapekapeka
Best coverage of a major event: RNZ, election night
Newspaper of the Year: Weekend Herald
Best Daily Newspaper: The Press, Christchurch
Best Investigation: Olivia Carville, NZ Herald
Best Team Investigation: Stuff Circuit, The Valley
Magazine of the Year: NZ Geographic
Best Editorial Campaign: NZ Herald, Breaking the Silence
Columnist of the Year: Steve Braunias, NZ Herald
Photographer of the Year: Iain McGregor, Stuff
Cartoonist of the Year: Sharon Murdoch, Stuff
Feature writer of the year (short-form): Tess McClure, Vice
Feature writer of the year (long-form): Kate Evans, NZ Geographic
Wolfson Fellowship: Matt Nippert, NZ Herald