Benedict Collins takes out Rongo

Posted: 16-Oct-2012

Auckland-based freelance journalist, Benedict Collins, has taken out this year’s top award for agricultural journalists at the awards night for the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators. 2012 Rongo Award winner Benedict Collins

He won the supreme award, the TBfree New Zealand Rongo Award recognising excellence in agricultural journalism, for a series of programmes on the devastation of the kiwfruit industry by PSA-V, which appeared on Country99TV.

The runner-up was Shawn McAvinue, for articles that appeared in the Southland Times.   He is now working for the Otago Daily Times. This is the first year that TBfree New Zealand has sponsored this award.

At the awards dinner, held on Friday 12 October in Wellington. a total of ten awards were presented, nine for journalism and one for photography. The key objectives of the awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in agricultural journalism.

A new award this year is the Beef + Lamb New Zealand News Award, which recognises excellence in the coverage of breaking or hard news.    The winner of this award was Richard Rennie, for a portfolio of articles that in the NZ Farmers Weekly.

Another new sponsor, for an award that has been around for a number years, is Ballance Agri-Nutrients, which has funded the Farm Business Writing Award.   The inaugural winner of this award is Tim Cronshaw, of The Press.

The PGG Wrightson Sustainable Land Management Award focuses on local, national and global agribusiness and environmental factors impacting on the sustainability of farm businesses, and was won by Susan Murray, of Radio New Zealand’s Country Life programme

The AgResearch Science Writers Award, established to enhance standards of science writing, especially about pastoral agriculture, was won by Tim Cronshaw of The Press.

The Horticulture New Zealand Journalism Award, set up to recognise excellence in agricultural journalism focussing on New Zealand’s horticulture industry, was won this year by Tim Fulton of New Zealand Farmers Weekly.

The Rural Women of New Zealand Award, which recognises the important contribution women make (and have always made)  in the rural community, was won by Jackie Harrigan for articles which appeared in Country-Wide.

The AGMARDT Agribusiness Award, which recognises high quality information about and effective analysis of national, global and other agribusiness, was won by Hugh Stringleman, for articles which appeared in NZ Farmers Weekly.

The Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award, for a single photo that illustrates a rural event or activity was won by Taranaki Daily News photographer, Jonathan Cameron

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 John Watson, of Country99TV.

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