Herald website judged best news site

nzherald.co.nz won the top award for best news website at the Qantas media awards in Wellington last night.

It is the third honour at media awards for nzherald.co.nz in two months after it was relaunched in December.

The Herald newspaper was also honoured for best newspaper investigation. Herald and Herald on Sunday journalists and sections took home scores of awards or were finalists for work published last year.

Two Herald on Sunday reporters took out the awards for top junior and senior reporters. David Fisher, best Senior reporter, was also named for the prestigious Wolfson Scholarship to study journalism in Britain. Catherine Woulfe won best junior reporter.

In April nzherald.co.nz was one of only seven online newspaper sites in the world to be awarded with an Honoree mention in the prestigious international Webby Awards in the United States.

And just a week ago nzherald co.nz was voted best re-designed website in New Zealand at the NetGuide Awards.

nzherald.co.nz multimedia editor Jeremy Rees says the Qantas Media Award is a great result for the team.

"With our focus on breaking news as it hits, New Zealanders keep coming back throughout the day to find out how stories have developed.

This was acknowledged by the Qantas judges when they included us also as a finalist in the category for best coverage of a breaking news story.

"The huge amount of user-generated content suggests the move to create an online community - enabling New Zealanders at home and overseas to share their views and opinions - has been very well received.

Commenting on the nzherald.co.nz award, the Qantas Media Awards judges say the site prevails by virtue of its ability to consistently bring readers into the picture.

"In particular, (the site's) 'Your Views' columns of reader commentary often actually drives the stories they relate to."

In other awards, the Herald newspaper's business magazine, The Business, was declared best business section. Travel, published every Tuesday, won its category for the third consecutive year and canvas magazine again took out the award for best fashion pages.

The Herald and Weekend Herald were finalists in both the best daily newspaper and best weekly paper categories.

Also recognised as finalists in the best editorial project category were the Herald's coverage of the Auckland waterfront stadium controversy and our newsfeature series Cancer: the New Frontier which helped raise at least $75,000 for cancer research.

Two Herald journalists, health reporter Martin Johnston and social issues reporter Simon Collins won two awards each: Johnston for the best health news story and health feature and Collins with a feature and the best newspaper investigation -- Warriors Still, which looked at family violence and poverty issues in the Ford Block, the setting for the movie Once Were Warriors, in light of the Kahui killings.

Weekend Herald reporter Patrick Gower was honoured for his story breaking the Wither Hills sauvignon blanc controversy and was a finalist for reporter of the year, won by the Herald on Sunday's David Fisher. Fisher later took the top individual honour of the night, the Wolfson fellowship to Cambridge University.

Writers Phil Taylor and Owen Hembry were finalists for best senior and junior feature writer; Geoff Cumming, Angela Gregory and travel editor Jim Eagles won for features on government and diplomacy, Pacific issues and tourism; canvas writer Janet McAllister won a magazine feature award for Maori issues; and the Herald had four winning columnists -- Russell Baillie for the arts, Te Radar for humour, Anthony Doesburg for I.T and Claire Harvey for social issues. Scott Kara, from our Thursday entertainment section Timeout, was a finalist for best reviewer. Chris Skelton won best single sports picture.

As well as David Fisher's awards, the Herald on Sunday won best junior reporter, for Catherine Woulfe, photography honours for Janna Dixon and and best sports columnist for Paul Lewis.

Sideswipe writer Ana Samways won best columnist-style website for her website www.spareroom.co.nz.

Another title in the APN stable, the Listener, was declared best news stand magazine and three writers (Nick Smith, Denis Welch, Sarah Barnett) won in the category magazine feature writers.

The full awards list is at Qantas Media Awards 2007.

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