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Fairfax Media Journalists Scoop The Pool

May 9 2008




Fairfax Media Journalists Scoop The Pool

Fairfax Media journalists were acknowledged for their outstanding work when they won the top awards at the Qantas Media Awards in Auckland tonight.

Phil Kitchin, of the Dominion Post, won not just Senior Reporter of the Year Award, he was also awarded The Qantas Fellow to Wolfson College, Cambridge, where he will study investigative journalism for 10 weeks.

And, with Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst, he was awarded the Print Industry Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award was given in acknowledgement of the skill, determination and courage of Messrs Kitchin and Pankhurst in the Dominion Post's investigation and publication of the Louise Nicholas case involving allegations of police pack rape.

Judges agreed the Nicholas investigation was one of the most important pieces of journalism in the past decade.

Mr Kitchin's won the senior Reporter of the Year for a portfolio of four stories headed Fraudster Confesses, U-turn as Pack Rapists Get Parole, The Terror File and Crucial Witness Recants.

Ian Steward, of The Press, another Fairfax publication, was named Junior Reporter of the Year.

"The recognition of the fine work from both Phil and Ian reflects Fairfax's commitment to high quality journalism," Group Executive Editor Paul Thompson said. "These are outstanding results.

"Phil has scooped the pool and deservedly so for his doggedness and journalistic skill. His study at Wolfson will also be of great benefit to New Zealand journalism, to which he has already contributed so much.

"But we are also delighted to see that Tim Pankhurst's leading role in the Louise Nicholas investigation has been recognised. It was superb and courageous  journalism and the story has had a profound and positive impact on the police and New Zealand society as a whole."

Mr Thompson also praised Ian Steward's work.

"We are committed to encouraging young journalists and we are delighted that Ian has been so recognized."

The Qantas awards were also an excellent night for the first crop of Fairfax Media journalism interns.

The Student award was won by John Hartevelt, also of the Press, for his portfolio of work was studying as a journalism student at Canterbury University.

Two of the three finalists in the Student award, Susana Talagi, of the Western Leader,

and Matt Calman, of the Dominion Post, are also Fairfax Media interns.

"Fairfax newspapers also dominated this category because the other finalist, Michelle Duff, works for us at the Manawatu Standard," Mr Thompson said.

The Manawatu Standard was named Newspaper of the Year in the up to 25,000 circulation category, which it last won in 2005.

The Press and the Dominion Post were finalists in the over-25,000 category. The Sunday Star-Times was a finalist in the Weekly Newspaper of the Year award.

It was a good night for The Southland Times with Mark Winter winning the Cartoonist of the Year award and Michael Fallow being named Leader Writer of the Year.

Other awards included Steve Kilgallen, of the Sunday Star-Times, who won both the reporting and feature writing open categories for sport and racing, and Colin Espiner, of The Press, who won the political columnist award.

"Fairfax Media is delighted so many of our talented staff have been recognized tonight," Mr Thompson said. "We aim to be the industry leader in all we do and the results tonight show we have wonderful people to achieve this."   

For all the Qantas awards results, go to or





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