A six-part series about a Martinborough winemaker, broadcast over eight months with the final recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, took out this year’s top award in the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators annual journalism awards.
Recorded, written, edited and presented by Sally Round for the Country Life programme on RNZ, the series won the Ministry for Primary Industries Rongo Award recognising excellence in agricultural journalism. She visited every two months over a year, including overnighting to experience frost fighting.
Runner-up in the Rongo award was an entry from the NZ Dairy Exporter team, called “Farming in the Covid-19 Bubble.
All the awards for 2020 were announced at the Awards Dinner on Friday night which was sponsored by Ravensdown. A total of 11 awards were presented, 9 were for journalism and one for photography.
In addition there was a new award this year, the Primary Sector Communications Campaign Award, sponsored this year by the Guild.
The award acknowledges excellence in delivering a communications campaign or project in the primary sector to address an industry issue or campaign. Guild president, Jackie Harrigan said this award recognised that Guild membership was expanded to include communicators around 20 years ago, and they now make up about 45% of membership. “The National Executive felt this award was long-overdue.”
The inaugural winner of this award is Mike Murphy and his team from New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc for a campaign aimed at attracting seasonal labour to the kiwifruit industry.
This year, because of the cancellation of National Fieldays in June, the Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year was postponed. The decision was later made to hold it in conjunction with this year’s annual awards night.
The winner of the award the Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year award this year is Katie Milne, who was elected president of Federated Farmers in 2017, the first woman to be elected to the role. A major event in her term was leading the fight against the most significant biosecurity threat in the country’s primary sector history. This year she was very involved in the Covid-19 response. She spearheaded the call for primary sector businesses to be recognised as essential services during lockdown.
Katie has been the face of Federated Farmers, in New Zealand and overseas, including attending the Action Agriculture in Poland in 2019 and chairing the inaugural Primary Industries NZ Summit in 2019. She stood down earlier this year, and since then was appointed by the Minister of Conservation to the West Coast Conservation Board.
The key objectives of the journalism awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in agricultural journalism. The guild thanks all its sponsors for making these awards possible.
All the winning entries will be published on the Guild’s website
For more information
Awards Administrator / Guild National Secretary