The NZ Herald has swept this year's Canon Media Awards, winning most major categories - including Newspaper of the Year, Website of the Year, best daily newspaper and best weekly paper.

The Weekend Herald was crowned overall Newspaper of the Year at the glitzy awards dinner in Auckland tonight, and its editor, Miriyana Alexander, won the night's top individual prize - a 10-week scholarship to Wolfson College at Cambridge University.

nzherald.co.nz beat Fairfax's Stuff, The Spinoff and interest.co.nz to claim the top digital award - Website of the Year.

The NZ Herald won best daily newspaper (over 30,000 circulation) over its main competitors, The Dominion Post, the Press and the Otago Daily Times

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The Herald also scooped many of the other major individual awards, with Matt Nippert named Reporter of the Year for the second year running and Alan Gibson the Photographer of the Year.

The Weekend Herald was named best weekly newspaper over its NZME stablemate, the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend,and Fairfax's Sunday Star-Times, Waikato Times and the Press.

Photographer Alan Gibson was crowned Photographer of the Year at the Canon Media Awards tonight. Photo / Alan Gibson
Photographer Alan Gibson was crowned Photographer of the Year at the Canon Media Awards tonight. Photo / Alan Gibson

The Weekend Herald also won the prize for best front page.


Newspaper of the Year judges Campbell Reid, Paul Thompson and Brett McCarthy said the Weekend Herald was unmatched in its "exclusive reporting, depth and quality of its writing and analysis, lifestyle content and commentary".

"It is a serious newspaper in the best sense of the word: delivering readers with substantial journalism within an accessible and appealing weekend paper.

The Weekend Herald has the sense of self-assurance that allows it to choose the stories that will set the national debate and it delivers those stories with rigour and authority.

"Its coverage of the world of rugby, from the provocative 'Send in the Clowns' to the sobering tales of the toll the game had taken on older players, combined a great deal of cheek on one hand and sense of public duty on the other."

nzherald.co.nz was praised for its digital storytelling.

"This year the Herald seems to have broken through to modernity, impact and scale in its internet operations with elegant redesigns, great use of its multi-media network and world-class applications and sites," said judges Peter Bale and Joseph Barratt.

A tui enjoys eating nectar from pohutukawa flowers in Mt Maunganui beach. Photo / Alan Gibson
A tui enjoys eating nectar from pohutukawa flowers in Mt Maunganui beach. Photo / Alan Gibson

"Some of the story-telling is astounding such as the beautiful reporting on hair harvesting in China. It seems to take seriously its mission to serve the whole of New Zealand and is making the most of non-newspaper media now at its disposal."

Dylan Cleaver was named sports journalist of the year, and took out four other individual awards including the nib senior health journalism scholarship, sport opinion writer of the year, best sport feature writer and best reporter, health and lifestyle.

His winning portfolio heavily featured his investigation and revelations that former top rugby players are now suffering dementia, as a result of suffering knocks during their playing days.

Matt Nippert's work on big corporates not paying significant tax in New Zealand was named investigation of the year while Olivia Carville and Mike Scott's expose on Chinese girls' hair being used in New Zealand beauty salons was awarded single best story of the year.

Scott won three other individual prizes, including best photo essay, best feature video and - along with Brett Phibbs and Peter Visagie - best sports video.

"This is an outstanding, unprecedented achievement from across the NZ Herald and NZME business," said managing editor Shayne Currie.

This photo of Caleb of the New Zealand Black Stacks team is part of Alan Gibson's winning portfolio.
This photo of Caleb of the New Zealand Black Stacks team is part of Alan Gibson's winning portfolio.

"In a period of huge upheaval in the industry, our journalists have shone - delivering stories that matter. That's reflected in these big wins and in extremely strong readership and audience growth for nzherald.co.nz and, indeed, our newspapers. I am incredibly proud of the entire team."

Weekend Herald editor Miriyana Alexander was thrilled to see the newspaper recognised. "We've put a lot of time, effort and love into it, and it's wonderful to see the newsroom's first-class journalism recognised with this win."

Duncan Grieve was named best reviewer for a body of work that appeared on the site he established, The Spinoff, and for the NZ Herald.

There were 17 individual winners from the NZ Herald and NZME stable - including writers and reporters Kirsty Johnston, Jared Savage, Lane Nichols and Greg Bruce; columnists Lizzie Marvelly and Steve Braunias; and photographers Paul Taylor (Hawke's Bay Today) and Chris Cameron (freelance).

The winners

Newspaper of the Year:
Weekend Herald

Website of the Year:
nzherald.co.nz

Best weekly newspaper:
Weekend Herald

Best daily newspaper (more than 30,000 circulation):
NZ Herald

Best newspaper front page:
Weekend Herald

Wolfson College (Cambridge University) press fellowship:
Miriyana Alexander

Reporter of the Year:
Matt Nippert

Feature writer of the Year:
Joanna Wane

Photographer of the Year:
Alan Gibson

Sports Journalist of the Year:
Dylan Cleaver

nib health journalism scholarship (senior):
Dylan Cleaver

Reviewer of the Year:
Duncan Greive

Opinion writer of the Year:
Duncan Garner

Best investigation:
Matt Nippert

Best single story:
Olivia Carville and Mike Scott

Feature writer, health and lifestyle (long-form):
Kirsty Johnston

Feature writer, sport (long-form):
Dylan Cleaver

Feature writer, crime and justice:
Jared Savage

Feature writer, health and lifestyle:
Greg Bruce

Opinion writer, general:
Lizzie Marvelly

Opinion writer, humour/satire:
Steve Braunias

Opinion writer, sport:
Dylan Cleaver

Best general photo:
Paul Taylor (Hawke's Bay Today)

Best photo essay:
Mike Scott

Best sports photo:
Chris Cameron (freelance)

Best feature video:
Mike Scott

Best sports video:
Mike Scott, Brett Phibbs, Peter Visagie

Reporter, general:
Lane Nichols

Reporter, health and lifestyle:
Dylan Cleaver