A Sampler Of Scribblers: 2009’s Student Press AwardsPosted: September 14, 2009
Industry awards are awful things, full of awkward speeches and obnoxious boors in equal measure. That said, they do offer a genuine opportunity for camaraderie and recognition of our best and brightest – and last Saturday’s Aotearoa Student Press Awards were no different.
But the problem I find with these ceremonies is that all too often you’re applauding someone’s work while hissing “what’s his name?” at your fellow diners. So today we offer a sampler of sorts: below we’ve listed the winners of individual categories and, where possible, a link to some of the work that has so impressed their peers and pundits.
Best Feature Content – Nina Fowler, Salient
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager said Nina’s article on the political crisis in Fiji was “a thoughtful and skillful examination of a subject where the mainstream media have spectacularly failed the public … an excellent example of journalism explaining the news.”
Second equal – Joshua Drummond (Nexus), Matt Russell (Chaff)
Best Feature Writer – Sarah Robson, Salient
Asia New Zealand foundation media adviser Charles Mabbett said Sarah’s articles were of a very high journalistic standard, consistently well-researched and well-written.
Second – Stacey Knott, In Unison
Third equal – Anthonie Tonnon (Critic), Rosabel Tan (Craccum)
Best Education Series – Joshua Drummond, Nexus
Drummond’s investigation of the van Leeuwen affair was described by one judge as “an engaging investigation of issues that lie at the core of what a university is, or ought to be”.
Second – Sarah Robson, Salient
Third equal – Helen De Reus/Ben Thomson, Critic
Best News Writer (Unpaid) – Jessy Edwards, Salient
The judges said Edward’s story on bums bumming around Victoria University showed confident writing, while her other stories had genuine news value and were well-written.
Second – Nicholas Mark, In Unison
Third – Stephen Smith, Debate
Best News Writer (Paid) – Stacey Knott, In Unison
Blogger, freelance writer and former Salient news editor Keith Ng said Stacey was the clear-cut winner, and her ability to engage with her subjects made her stories outstanding.
Second – Michael Oliver, Salient
Third – Aimee Gulliver, Critic
Best Humour – Joseph Harper, In Unison
Harper’s real-life attempt to start a fake charity appealed to Jeremy Wells as “an original idea, well constructed linguistically and graphically.”
Second – Jeremy Bryson, Chaff
Third – Ryan Boyd, Debate
Best Reviewer – Joseph Harper, In Unison
Even curmudgeonly music critic Simon Sweetman conceded that Harper writes “like a reviewer rather than a blogger, with a good level of opinion and information”.
Second – Antony Parnell, Nexus
Third equal – Uther Dean (Salient), Daniel Copeland (Gyro)
Best Columnist – Dr Love (Magneto), Liz Willoughby-Martin (Critic)
Public Address blogger Russell Brown called Dr Love “a good blend of dry wit and useful information”, while Scoop co-editor Alastair Thompson said Willoughby-Martin was “entertaining, charming and occasionally funny… a natural columnist” (unfortunately neither magazine has an online archive, so you’ll just have to take their word for it).
Third: Michael Langdon, Salient