nzherald.co.nz has won the supreme award at tonight's Canon Media awards for best website.
The win is part of an extraordinary win for the New Zealand Herald which has won an unprecedented four top honours at the national media awards - declared Newspaper of the Year, best website, best daily and, for the Weekend Herald, best weekly paper.
Judges said the nzherald.co.nz website demonstrated the ability of online journalism to take on complex, emotive stories in a manner that adds greater depth than TV, radio or newspaper coverage ever could.
"Their interactive feature displaying messages of condolence for Christchurch earthquake victims was classy and tasteful. Extensive use of multimedia across the site suggests an online operation which its journalists are excited by - rather than simply reflecting the newspaper online."
The win means nzherald.co.nz has now taken the top award at the national media awards in four of the last five years.
Judges of the Canon Media Awards praised the New Zealand Herald's comprehensive, in depth coverage of international, national and local stories and particularly rated its coverage of the Pike River disaster, which included an exclusive interview with one of the survivors.
The winning entry also included the first interview with Rochelle Crewe 40 years after her parents were murdered and coverage of the September Christchurch earthquake and MPs' spending scandal.
The Weekend Herald's winning weekly newspaper entry included revelations that pressure was building on Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson to resign, that police were investigating a Super City voting scandal and details of the discovery of the body of Carmen Thomas in the Waitakere Ranges.
Judges said the paper "had quality and quantity to burn and headed a clutch of excellent weeklies. Serious and authoritative, yet reader-friendly - a paper with no apparent weaknesses, from its clean, attractive design to its sharp, agenda-setting journalism" said one.
As well as the four overall awards, the Herald won 8 other honours, including best investigation - for business writer Karyn Scherer 's work on Natural Dairy, the Chinese bidder for the Crafar farms.
The judge said it was an important story, well-told, with a great deal of research that culminated in an historic and beneficial decision which he believed would affect New Zealand's economy for decades.
Mark Mitchell was named photographer of the year for six outstanding news pictures.
Our Weekend Herald Canvas magazine won best newspaper magazine, being described by the judge as "a good looking, finely crafted production in total harmony with its audience. Warm, sassy, relevant and informative, it defiantly complements its host paper while also being an excellent stand alone magazine".
Writer Phil Taylor won two awards for business and crime stories, Chris Barton for arts feature, Richard Robinson for photo essay and Amelia Wade as top student journalist. Work by a further 17 Herald staff made the Canon award finals.
At the awards function at Sky City last night Sinead Boucher of Fairfax Media won the top individual honour, the Wolfson Fellowship to Cambridge University. The reporter of the year was Phil Kitchin of the Dominion Post and best feature writer went to Tony Wall of the Sunday Star-Times. The best newsstand magazine was North & South whose writer Donna Chisholm took home four awards, including best magazine writer.
Canon Newspaper of the Year: The New Zealand Herald
Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation): The New Zealand Herald
Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation): The Southland Times
Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Weekend Herald
Community Newspaper of the Year: Mountain Scene
Senior Best Portfolio of Six Pictures: Mark Mitchell
Junior Best Portfolio of Six Pictures: Benjamin Curran
Best Single News Picture: Kent Blechynden (The Dominion Post)
Best Sports Picture: Hagen Hopkins (Getty Images)
Best Video: Amy van Dyk, Mike Scott, Matt Rilkoff, Aaron Wood (Taranaki Daily News)
Best Photo Essay/Slideshow: Richard Robinson (The New Zealand Herald)
Best Online Commentary/Blog: Jane Yee (stuff)
Best Breaking News Coverage: thepress.co.nz
Best News Site: stuff.co.nz
Best Use Of Emerging Technologies: stuff.co.nz, (ipad and iphone app)
Best Community Collaboration: stuff.co.nz/thepress.co.nz
Best Website: nzherald.co.nz
Best Newsstand Magazine: North & South
Best Trade/Professional Magazine: Unlimited
Best Design: Good
Magazine Feature Writer of the Year: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Junior Magazine Feature Writer of the Year: Elle Hunt (Salient)
Magazine Feature Writer Science/Environment: Mike White (North & South)
Magazine Feature Writer Politics: Diana Wichtel (NZ Listener)
Magazine Feature Writer Human Relations: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer Arts: Diana Wichtel (NZ Listener)
Magazine Feature Writer Business: Jim Robinson (North & South)
Magazine Feature Writer Crime/Justice: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer General: Donna Chisholm (North & South/Metro)
Magazine Feature Writer Sport: Gregor Paul (NZ Rugby World)
Best Design: The Press
Best Newspaper Inserted Magazine: Canvas (The New Zealand Herald)
Senior Reporter of the Year: Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Junior Reporter of the Year: Charles Anderson (The Nelson Mail)
Reporter Arts/Entertainment: Tom Cardy (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Science/Environment: Kiran Chug (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Sport: Barry Lichter (Sunday Star-Times)
Reporter Politics: Vernon Small/Tracy Watkins (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Human Relations: Rebecca Todd (The Press)
Reporter Business: Dave Burgess/Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Reporter Crime/Justice: Phil Taylor (The New Zealand Herald)
Reporter General: Phil Kitchin (The Dominion Post)
Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Junior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year: Sarah Murray (Sunday magazine/Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Science/Environment: Jon Morgan (The Dominion Post)
Newspaper Feature Writer Sport: Steve Kilgallon (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Politics: Tracy Watkins (The Dominion Post)
Newspaper Feature Writer Human Relations: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer Business: Phil Taylor (Weekend Herald)
Newspaper Feature Writer Arts: Chris Barton (The New Zealand Herald)
Newspaper Feature Writer Crime/Justice: Tony Wall (Sunday Star-Times)
Newspaper Feature Writer General: Nikki Macdonald (The Dominion Post)
Best Investigation: Karyn Scherer: (The New Zealand Herald)
Student Journalism Award: Amelia Wade (The New Zealand Herald)
Artwork: Anna Crichton (Freelance)
Cartoonist: Jim Hubbard (NZPA)
Columnist: Joe Bennett (The Press)
Editorial: Peter Calder (Herald on Sunday)
Headline: Jim Curran (Pagemasters)
Reviewer: David Larsen (NZ Listener)