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Qantas Media Awards: Arts Journalists Recognised

Creative New Zealand recognises arts print journalism at Qantas Media Awards 2004

Print journalists and photographers were recognised in Auckland tonight for their contribution to New Zealand arts journalism at the Qantas Media Awards.

Creative New Zealand has been sponsoring the arts journalism categories of the Qantas Media Awards since 1996 as part of its arts advocacy work. Peter Biggs, Chair of Creative New Zealand, says the organisation constantly works with the media to encourage increased media commitment to arts coverage.

“The level of national and international interest in New Zealand arts and artists is unprecedented,” he says. “Creative New Zealand’s sponsorship of the arts categories of the Qantas Media Awards is a way of recognising and rewarding those New Zealand journalists who have supported this increased focus on creativity and who have provided New Zealanders with topical, engaging arts stories.

“This year Creative New Zealand has also introduced a new award category of photography to reflect the significance of arts photography. I would like to congratulate the winners and finalists in this year’s Qantas Media Awards for excellence in arts journalism.”

Barry Young, Director of the Qantas Media Awards, says Creative New Zealand’s sponsorship of the awards has been an important catalyst in developing the whole genre of reporting about the arts.

“When we introduced ‘the arts’ as a category within the awards we received a few theatre reviews as entries. Now the subject is taken seriously by journalists in newspapers, magazines, on radio and television, and the stories entered in the awards reflect this.”

The award winners in the print arts categories are as follows:

Newspaper Feature Writer Award for Best Arts Feature was presented to Eleanor Black for her story A Star is Torn, in the Canvas section of the weekend New Zealand Herald. The winning story was about singer Emma Paki whose first album hit gold but who found herself living on benefits a decade later.

Linda Herrick and Graham Reid from the New Zealand Herald were finalists.

The Award for Best Arts Feature in the Magazine Feature Writer category was presented to Steve Braunias at the New Zealand Listener for Felicity Ferrett, a feature about New Zealand author Marilyn Duckworth.

The judges said, “Steve Braunias doesn’t just review a work he writes in depth about the author, their life and their work … he focuses a lot of attention on New Zealand literature.”

The Award for Best Arts Column was presented to Graham Reid from the New Zealand Herald for a portfolio of columns about music, placing music and artists in their historical or contemporary context thereby giving a broader understanding of the artform.

The Award for Best Single Arts Picture was presented to Ross Giblin from The Dominion Post for Aerialist, which the judges said “took a lot of planning and effort”. Finalists were Alan Gibson from the New Zealand Herald, David Hallett from the Press, Jill Robb from the Southland Times and Craig Simcock from The Dominion Post.

The Award for Best Single Picture by a Junior was presented to Claire de Barr of The Dominion Post for her photograph, Ballet dancer, which the judges said “contained good composition and contrast”. Bradley Ambrose was a finalist with the photograph Costume designer for The Aucklander.

Creative New Zealand sponsors a range of awards, including the arts journalism categories of the Qantas Media Awards, to acknowledge the contribution that other sectors make to New Zealand arts. Other such awards include the Creative Places Awards, which acknowledge the work of local government, and the Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery in the National Business Review Awards for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.

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