Attacks on media awards sponsor Canon over the blogging award won by Cameron Slater have been condemned by the Newspaper Publishers' Association.

Slater won the award at the annual Canon Media Awards in May for breaking a story on Auckland Mayor Len Brown on his Whale Oil blog. Canon has this week been criticised on social media posts over revelations about Slater in the book by Nicky Hager, Dirty Politics.

NPA editorial director Rick Neville said the association deeply regretted that the company had been targeted for criticism.

"This particular award was made by independent judge Deborah Hill Cone in recognition of Whale Oil having broken a major story relating to the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown," Mr Neville said. The NPA had not considered withdrawing Slater's award, he said.

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"In the 40-year history of the awards, none has ever been withdrawn and it would be an extreme, highly unusual step."

It would only be justified if concrete evidence came forward showing illegal or highly unethical methods were used to obtain the story, he said.