est lil’ paper in the land
Team Scene: 'Mountain Scene' editor Garry Ferris (from left), his wife Kiri, Philip 'Scoop' Chandler and Ingrid and Richard Thomas, the general manager, shortly after receiving the 2006 Best NZ Community Newspaper of the Year honour at the Qantas
ALWAYS the bridesmaid, now the bride.
After being runner-up for the past four years, Mountain Scene is now officially New Zealand’s Best Community Newspaper.
The title was bestowed on the Queenstown newsweekly at the 2006 Qantas Media Awards in Auckland in May.
There are 136 community papers in the country.
Mountain Scene also joined the Sunday Star-Times, The Press and the Bay of Plenty Times in the heavyweight contest for NZ Newspaper of the Year – The Press won.The panel of judges said Mountain Scene was "a clear winner" as NZ’s Best Community Newspaper.
"How could you not pick up this paper?
"Compelling front pages [and] crisp writing make it a must-read. The excitement and quality of writing continues through the paper," said the judges.
The judging panel was made up of 23 senior editors and writers from NZ, Australia and the United Kingdom.
They jointly labelled Mountain Scene "a local watchdog which backs up crusading journalism with a good dose of grass-roots community news".
The Best Community Newspaper accolade comes one year to the month since Mountain Scene launched its all-new look.
The new concept was the brainchild of editor Garry Ferris and general manager Richard Thomas.
Ferris is a Kiwi who held senior journalism positions on a number of top overseas papers, including Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and The Australian, and London’s Guardian."My goal at Mountain Scene has always been to deliver the same quality as a paid newspaper," he says.
"Just because we’re free doesn’t mean we need to be cheap."
Thomas is the second generation of the Queenstown family who own Mountain Scene – his father Barry founded the paper in 1972.
"It’s extremely satisfying for a small independent publication like us to take on papers owned by the big international newspaper chains and win," says Richard Thomas.
"The Mountain Scene team is ecstatic and very proud of the achievement and I’m sure readers and advertisers are too."
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