You are reading New Zealand’s best local rag – and that’s official.
At the glittering Canon Media Awards at Auckland’s Sky City last Friday night, Mountain Scene was crowned Community Newspaper of the Year.
Competing against 54 other community papers, small-town Mountain Scene beat rival big-city finalists The Wellingtonian and The Aucklander.
Judges Mike Fletcher and Ivan Dunn were lavish in their praise: “Mountain Scene is a newspaper in the best sense.
“It’s lively, well-designed and full of street-smarts, snappy journalism, well-paced people stories, compassion and a huge belief in the community it serves.
“Mountain Scene demonstrates it can cover big issues with skill, teasing out strong angles and stories.”
The judges concluded the paper lives up to its masthead claim – The Voice of Queenstown.
Accepting the honour, delighted editor Ryan Keen paid tribute to Queenstowners for being part of a dynamic, colourful community – and his team for its top-notch coverage.
“I’m very proud of the team for delivering the goods not just week in and week out but also stepping it up on the important issues to let readers know what’s really going on,” Keen says.
A regular finalist at the national awards, Mountain Scene was last awarded the top honour in 2006.
Mountain Scene senior writer Russell Blackstock was also honoured with a podium finish in the big-league Headline Writer of the Year award – fellow finalists included the Herald On Sunday deputy-editor.
May was a good month for Mountain Scene.
At the separate Community Newspaper Association awards in Tauranga the previous week, Queenstown’s paper picked up Best Website and Best Advertisement Portfolio gongs.
Blackstock also scooped the Best Headline Writing prize at those awards.