Eminent journalists to judge awards

Eminent journalists to judge awards

Sixteen former editors are among a high-calibre list of 45 journalists from five countries selected to judge the 1600 entries in the 2016 Canon Media Awards.  

The national awards, staged by the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, will be announced at a gala dinner in Wellington on Friday, May 20.

Choosing the best newspapers will be Kiwi expat Campbell Reid of News Corporation, Sydney, and Brett McCarthy, editor of the West Australian newspaper in Perth.

Judging the top digital awards, Website of the Year and Best News Site or App, are two former New Zealand journalists now holding leadership roles with international media organisations. They are Peter Bale, formerly head of digital at CNN International, now chief executive of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington DC, and Bede McCarthy, Director of Product with the Financial Times group in London.

Magazine of the Year will be judged by former Listener editor Finlay Macdonald and Lauren Quaintance who has edited some of Australasia’s most high profile magazines including Metro, Good Weekend, the (Sydney) magazine and Sunday magazine.

Photography will be judged by Mark Baker, Rob Taggart and Wayne Harman. Taggart and Baker, both of whom started their photographic careers in New Zealand, are now with the American news agency AP, Taggart in London and Baker in Jakarta. Harman was a photographer on NZ newspapers and magazines before holding a series of senior roles with The New Zealand Herald.

Judging opinion categories will be former Fairfax NZ editorial head Paul Thompson, now Chief Executive of RNZ, and Claire Harvey, deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper. She spent several years as New Zealand correspondent for The Australian and senior writer and columnist on The New Zealand Herald.

Paul Thompson is one of three former editors judging Editorial Leader of the Year, along with former NZ Herald editor-in-chief Tim Murphy and magazine editor and publisher Kate Coughlan.

Other well-known media names among the judges include Deborah Hill Cone, Jim Kayes, Jenni McManus, Noelle McCarthy, Tim Pankhurst, Jane Phare, Bill Ralston, Kate Rodger and Tim Watkin. The full list of judges and their bios can be seen at

The awards, with Canon NZ as principal sponsor, are now in their 42nd year. The other sponsors are Bauer Media, Google, nib health funds, Seafood NZ, Norske Skog, ASB, EY, the NZ Cartoon Archive, Science Media Centre, Massey University Journalism School, Competenz and The Wine Portfolio.

Tickets for the awards dinner at Te Papa, Wellington, on Friday, May 20 can be purchased for $160 (including gst) online at or via email

For more on the awards, visit

For further information contact, 021 279 6447

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