The New Zealand Herald has swept the annual Canon Media Awards, winning best website, overall best newspaper, reporter of the year, photographer of the year, columnist of the year, best data journalism, best design, best magazine, best investigation and a swag of online, photography and reporting awards.
As well as best overall website, nzherald.co.nz won all of the digital categories for which it was a finalist - best cross-platform coverage, best use of interactive graphics, best cross-platform campaign, and best innovation in multimedia storytelling.
"The team at the NZ Herald put themselves ahead of the pack by moving ahead in innovative areas, such as data journalism and mobile editorial," said judges Tony Gillies and Sue Carter. "The site continues to be easy to navigate, with an unrivalled depth of content and clear and appealing headline writing. The Herald is truly serving its audience, wherever they are, whenever the news breaks."
The supreme individual award went to the Herald's editor Shayne Currie, whom the judges praised as an outstanding editor consistently producing papers that rise to meet the demands of changing audiences.
Jane Hastings, the chief executive of the Herald's publisher, NZME, said the award for Currie recognised his exceptional talent.
"I cannot think of a more worthy and respected recipient of the Wolfson College, Cambridge Fellow than Shayne. He is an exceptional talent with years of experience and industry know-how, the basis for his recent promotion to Managing Editor, Herald Brands."
Nzherald.co.nz's coverage of the 2014 election across platforms was praised by the judges. "The combination of exclusive breaking stories, data journalism, use of the digital media platforms and social coverage, meant the user's experience was both exciting and broad."
The judges described Data Editor Harkanwal Singh's real-time election app, which won best innovation in multi-media storytelling, as an ambitious project which paid off handsomely.
"This is data-driven journalism at its purest."
The Newspaper of the Year judges, Australian media executives Garry Linnell and Campbell Reid, described the Herald as a "world-class newspaper" and a "standout" winner. It is the seventh time in eight years that a Herald title has won the overall newspaper of the year award.
"The thing that sets the Herald apart is its depth. It is a high-quality newspaper from page one to page 101 and beyond. It doesn't have a weak link. Its journalism can break an international scoop one day and be unapologetically parochial the next, but its hallmark is always the rigour and quality of its information. Its readers are never left short of the information they need to know," the judges said.
"In print and in its digital channels it is comfortable in its skin and in its stature as New Zealand's most influential publication."
editor, Shayne Currie, paid tribute to the editorial staff. "It's wonderful that so many different journalistic disciplines have been recognised across print and digital. We're buzzing about these wins - they show our journalism is hitting the mark."
The Herald and its art director Rob Cox won the prize for best newspaper design for the third year in a row, while the Wednesday liftout Viva was judged best newspaper magazine.
The judges said Viva and TimeOut, a finalist in the same category, "continue to combine good design, beautiful imagery, excellent writing and an ability to surprise their dedicated audiences".
The Herald also scooped many of the major individual prizes last night.
Jared Savage was named reporter of the year for a portfolio which included an exclusive investigation that led to Maurice Williamson stepping down as a Government minister, and a special interview with Rochelle Crewe. He also won the best crime and justice reporting category. Judges Fred Tulett and Jane Phare said Savage's "well-crafted portfolio displays a thoroughness and determination to get to the heart of the story that is a master class for all aspiring investigative reporters".
won two reporting categories - health and education, and politics.
Brett Phibbs was named photographer of the year for an "almost perfect" portfolio of news, sports and feature images, and he also won sports photo of the year. Peter Meecham was judged winner of the news photo of the year - an exclusive photo of then-Labour leader David Cunliffe on a beach as he fought for his job.
won best investigation for his work into cricket match-fixing.
was judged best general and best overall columnist for her work in the
. "Must reads. Highly entertaining, wittily written, perceptive dissections of those in the public eye. Best to have a good look in the mirror before being subjected to a Hewitson interview," said judge Tim Pankhurst.
Deborah Hill Cone was named best humour and satire columnist, a category in which the other two finalists were also from the Herald - Toby Manhire and Paul Thomas. "Wildly entertaining weekly columns with an inimitable, sometimes zany style, dealing with issues as varied as personal grooming, escaping Auckland, or the wasteland of Radio NZ programming," said judge Richard Long.
The Northland Age's editor, Peter Jackson, was judged best editorial writer.
"Jackson offered judges four excellent editorials that canvassed a variety of local issues. The pieces were very community-minded and made strong points supported by facts. Jackson was unafraid to use blunt language to reinforce his points."
On a glittering night at the Auckland SkyCity Convention Centre, the Mountain Scene was named as best community newspaper. Best weekly newspaper was the Sunday Star-Times and best daily newspaper under a circulation of 30,000 was the Taranaki Daily News.
In Features, newspaper feature writer of the year was Charles Anderson of The Press and magazine feature writer was Rebecca Macfie of the NZ Listener.