Mountain Scene has scooped two major journalism gongs.
Queenstown’s best-read paper was named community newspaper of the year at the glitzy Canon Media Awards in Auckland on Friday night.
That same night, we picked up overall best newspaper and supreme winner at the NZ Community Newspapers (NZCN) annual awards in Queenstown.
Part-time writer Frank Marvin, former co-owner and publisher of Mountain Scene, grabbed an impressive double – named Canon’s community reporter of the year and NZCN’s best senior journalist.
Philip Chandler, aka Scoop, was runner-up in the latter.
The Scene was also joint runner-up for NZCN’s best advertising feature.
Canon judges Jim Eagles and Mike Fletcher say Mountain Scene was the “immediate, unanimous choice” with our quirky, sassy, savvy style.
“In 2014, the paper came up with a string of cracker stories that could not be overlooked. Plus it continues to be a paper with real personality very much involved in its community.”
Of Marvin, the same judges say his outstanding series of investigative articles “must have left their targets red-faced and readers delighted”.
“Among his hits was victory in a two-year battle to show than an emergency exercise which officialdom proclaimed as a success was actually a fiasco; the revelation that the local hospital keeps only minimal supplies of blood; and an expose of bad hygiene reports on 14 local eateries; and the unveiling of a health board plan to shelve a promised upgrade of the hospital and hand it over to a local trust. Great stuff!”
Meanwhile, NZCN judge Bruce Morris calls Mountain Scene a “brassy, in-your-face tabloid with a free spirit that is unusual in the New Zealand community newspaper landscape.”
He says this newspaper breaks stories and packages leads “around a mix of news, for-the-record essentials, columns, opinion and irreverent fun”.
NZCN judge Jim Tully, who awarded Marvin the senior journalist gong, says Mountain Scene’s team is “impossible to beat” for hard-hitting, high-impact stories.
“It was hard to separate Ryan Keen, Paul Taylor, Philip Chandler and Frank Marvin but by a narrow margin I gave [the best senior journalist gong] to Frank from Philip on the basis of all-round strength.”