Newsroom journalists won five awards for our journalism in 2020 at the Voyager Media Awards in Auckland

Newsroom won five honours at the national Voyager Media Awards on Friday night  – including 2020’s best investigation, and premium awards for the business and sports reporters of the year.

The winning investigation, by Aaron Smale, which explored how Crown lawyers and officials had worked for decades to limit the claims and rights of victims of abuse in state care, was also runner up for best crime and justice feature.

Judges said: “In an impressive field that was a credit to the investigative journalists, and their publishers, Aaron Smale’s winning work stood out for the anger it couldn’t help but provoke. It forced the Government, institutions, and the nation to reflect and account.”

Newsroom’s business editor, Nikki Mandow, won Business Journalist of the Year for a portfolio the judges applauded as providing “clarity on a compelling variety of topics that impact a wide range of stakeholders – from business owners to Mum and Dad investors, consumers and people with debt. Her writing style also challenges readers to reflect on important issues that affect our daily lives.”

The Voyager award produced a rare hat-trick: Mandow is also the current holder of the Citi Journalism Awards NZ business journalist of the year, and the NZ Shareholders Association award for business journalist of the year. 

Our LockerRoom editor Suzanne McFadden won the Sports Journalist of the Year award. The judges commented: “Suzanne’s portfolio showed the range and quality of one of the country’s finest sports writers, with revealing and gritty examinations of some of the obstacles facing women who live their lives through sport. Her stories have created the appropriate stage for critical issues that can determine the success or failure of some of our best athletes.” LockerRoom, created by McFadden, is Newsroom’s sports section, dedicated entirely to women in sport.

Newsroom columnist Anna Rawhiti-Connell won the general column writing category. “The generosity, warmth and humour of Anna Rawhiti-Connell’s columns is underpinned by strong writing and sophisticated thinking; taken together these qualities made her a clear choice for first-place. “

And author Charlotte Grimshaw won Reviewer of the Year for work published by Newsroom and the Listener magazine. The judges said: “In a year of exemplary entries, Charlotte Grimshaw stood out as a marvel of eloquence, skill and incisiveness. Her portfolio made clear that, while she always expects the best from our writers, she is always prepared to give her best in return. New Zealand literature is lucky to have a writer who takes the art of criticism so seriously.”

Newsroom investigations editor Melanie Reid and former press gallery reporter Dileepa Fonseka were also finalists – for Broadcast Reporter of the Year and Reporter of the Year, awards won respectively by Mark Crysell of TVNZ and Alison Mau of Stuff.

Newsroom’s haul of five wins from nine finalist nominations is our second highest in the four years we have entered. This year, Newsroom did not enter the website of the year category, which was won by

The Weekend Press won Newspaper of the Year, BusinessDesk’s Pattrick Smellie best columnist, and political journalist of the year went to Matt Nippert of the NZ Herald, the photographer award to freelancer Brett Phibbs and best cartoonist was Toby Morris of the Spinoff.

The full list of winners is here

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