THE Australian is the 2012 PANPA Newspaper of the Year in the daily 90,000-plus circulation category in an extremely close result.
The award was accepted by The Australian’s deputy editor Michelle Gunn.
“On behalf of our editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell and editor Clive Mathieson, I would like to thank the PANPA judges for this award,” Ms Gunn said. “It may seem quaint, but news is what we do on The Oz, both in print and increasingly online. Breaking big stories drives everything we do and when you have a news room peopled by journalists such as Paul Kelly, Hedley Thomas, John Durie and Dennis Shanahan, you really can’t go too far wrong.”
All judges remarked on the high standard of the entries across all categories, but The Australian had the edge in the main category.
“The Australian has rightly achieved a reputation for authoritative journalism and good writing. All those involved in this newspaper are to be congratulated for maintaining this fine reputation, demonstrated in the quality of its editions entered in these awards,” said one judge.
Another said: “The Australian has been an iconic newspaper that represents the very best in journalism, making bold strides towards establishing itself as a truly multi-platform brand. Leading the way in setting the business and political agenda, it is without peer in its ability to connect and engage with its target audience”.
Highly commended in the category went to last year’s winner The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, New Zealand Herald, The Daily Telegraph, and Herald Sun.
Newspaper of the Year in the daily 25,000 to 90,000 circulation category went to The Examiner Launceston.
The judges said: “The Examiner is a fantastic multi-layered product. It has not lost sight of its traditional print audience with great variety of stories, well executed in an interesting package of run of press sections and outstanding liftout sections.”
Sunshine Coast Daily and The Border Mail tied in the 10,000 to 25,000 circulation category.
The judges said: “The Sunshine Coast Daily continues to provide its community with a strong heritage of quality journalism and community advocacy, cementing its position with readers in the region” and “What stands out about the Border Mail is its compelling front pages with excellent photography and graphics and arresting headlines. The paper’s commitment to community issues and campaigns is also really impressive”.
The Gladstone Observer won the up to 10,000 circulation category and the judges said “the team has obviously worked hard to create an excellent newspaper, with an eye to the future and an engaged and active reader base”.
Sunday newspaper of the year went to The Sunday Age, which the judges said “showcased a strong journalism pedigree and a position as a newspaper that would set the agenda for the week ahead whilst wrapping up in depth the issues from the week prior. Design was also a real high point”.
Non-dailies newspaper winners were News Review Messenger, Adelaide (90,000+), The Land (25,000-90,000), South Western Times (10,000-25,000), and The Riverine Herald (up to 10,000).
Other notable winners included The Australian Financial Review’s app which won the newly created category of Digital News Destination mobile or app (Metropolitan/National). The Courier (Ballarat)’s iPhone app won the same award in the Rural/Regional/Suburban category.
Digital News Destinations went to the couriermail.com.au in Metropolitan/National and questnews.com.au in Rural/Regional/Suburban. The open Digital News Destination category encompassing specialty, niche website or app was taken out by stuff.co.nz and The Press for their “Earthquake Anniversary” multi-media project. Innovation in Digital Publishing & Storytelling was tired between The Australian’s “Your School” and Fairfax Media’s “AirLink”.
The PANPA Newspaper of the Year awards included more than 70 winners chosen from more than 1000 entries.