A Radio New Zealand news reporter, Benedict Collins, took out this year’s top award for agricultural journalists at the awards night for the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators.
He won the supreme award, the OPSPRI New Zealand Rongo Award, which recognise excellence in agricultural journalism. He won the same award two years ago while working for Country99TV. He also won this year’s Federated Farmers Broadcast Journalism Award.
The runner-up, with articles written for Country-Wide magazine, was Terry Brosnahan.
At Friday night’s awards dinner, a total of twelve awards were presented, eleven for journalism and one for photography. The key objectives of the awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in agricultural journalism.
The winner of the DairyNZ Dairy Industry Journalism Award, which recognises the ability to communicate the complexities of the dairy industry, was Anne Boswell, of the The Dairyman.
The winner of the Alliance Group Ltd Red Meat Industry Journalism Award was Stephen Bell, writing for New Zealand Farmers Weekly. Entries focus on all aspects of the red meat industry, from genetics, breeding, on-farm, processing, marketing, and all issues facing the red meat industry. He also won The Beef + Lamb New Zealand News Award, which recognises excellence in hard news journalism, focusing on any aspect of the beef and sheep industry.
The Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award, was won by Kent Blechnnyden, of The Dominion Post (see left).
Ballance Agri-Nutrients sponsors the Farm Business Writing Award, which was won this year by Lynda Gray of Country-Wide magazine.
The AgResearch Science Writers Award, established to enhance standards of science writing, especially about pastoral agriculture, was won by Jon Morgan, then of The Dominon Post.
The Horticulture New Zealand Journalism Award, set up to recognise excellence in agricultural journalism focusing on New Zealand’s horticulture industry, was won this year by Elaine Fisher for articles in Coast and Country.
The Rural Women of New Zealand Award, which recognises the important contribution women make in the rural community, was won by Sonita Chandar, of the New Zealand Farmer.
The AGMARDT Agribusiness Award, which recognises high quality information about and effective analysis of national, global and other agribusiness, was won by Nigel Stirling of New Zealand Farmers Weekly.
The Guild’s own award is designed to encourage and recognise excellence among journalists with three or less years reporting on agricultural issues, The Agricultural Journalism Encouragement Award, went to Gerard Hutching of the Dominion Post.