EY Business Journalism Awards

Recognising excellence in business journalism in New Zealand

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Winner, 2015 Awards

Matt Nippert of The New Zealand Herald has been named the EY Business Journalist of the Year.

Nippert winning portfolio, which also won the news category, was chosen from a field of more than 30 entries from a raft of publications ranging from large, metropolitan daily papers to online news sites and small industry magazines.

Nippert’s work included an exposé of an attempt to stifle an inquiry by the Financial Markets Authority, which brought down a Cabinet minister during last year’s General Election campaign, and an investigation into the disgraced (and now jailed) high-profile Auckland businessman Alex Swney.

Runner-up for the top award was Rebecca Macfie, of The New Zealand Listener.

EYNZ chairman Rob McLeod, who chaired the judging panel, said this year’s entries were of an excellent standard and made the judging process “extremely challenging”.

Another member of the panel, EY partner Alan Judge, said business journalists had a pivotal role in ensuring New Zealand’s capital markets remained transparent and strong.

Nippert’s entries were outstanding examples of how excellent investigative and communications skills could connect players in the markets – from the regulators to employees, shareholders and customers.

“These stories demonstrate that business journalism is not an academic, siloed affair,” he said.

Judge Nicola Legat, an award-winning feature writer and former editor of Metro magazine and publishing director at Random House, said Nippert’s entries “exposed the under-belly of business at the margins, when things turn toxic and septic, and lobbying crosses the line and subverts good decision-making, harming public confidence in our business, legal and political systems”.

Entrants in the awards submitted portfolios in five categories: News, Features, Young, Commentary and Radio.

Fourteen finalists were chosen and, from them, five category winners.

The finalists were:
Commentary: Gareth Vaughan (interest.co.nz), Liam Dann (NZ Herald), Tim Hunter (NBR)
News: Richard Meadows (Fairfax Media), Matt Nippert (NZ Herald), Fiona Rotherham (BusinessDesk)
Features: Richard Meadows (Fairfax Media), Rebecca Macfie (Listener), Victoria Young (NBR)
Young: Suze Metherell (BusinessDesk), Holly Ryan (NZ Herald), Victoria Young (NBR)
Radio: Jenny Ruth (NBR), Nona Pelletier (Radio NZ)

The five category winners, who each won $1000, were:
Commentary: Gareth Vaughan
News: Matt Nippert
Features: Rebecca Macfie
Young: Holly Ryan
Radio: Jenny Ruth

Overall winners:
Runner-up: Rebecca Macfie (award of $1000)
EY Business Journalist of the Year: Matt Nippert (award of $3000)

The judging panel comprised Rob McLeod, Alan Judge, Nicola Legat and former journalist, editor and publisher Reg Birchfield

Winner, 2014 Awards

Tim Hunter, the deputy editor of Fairfax Business Group, was named the inaugural EY Business Journalist of the Year in 2014.

Hunter took the top award from a field of 43 entries, winning a cash prize of $3000.

His column Power report pays no respect to reason and fact also took the category winner’s prize in the commentary section, winning Hunter another $1000 cash.

Other category winners were Duncan Bridgeman (News) from NBR, Christopher Adams (Features) from the New Zealand Herald, Richard Meadows (Young Journalist) from Fairfax Business Group and Jenny Ruth (Radio) from Radio New Zealand.

Each received a cash award of $1000.

Nicola Legat, one of the award’s four judges, described Hunter’s winning entry as “entertaining, clever and passionate - a virtuoso column you can write only with experience and confidence.”

EY New Zealand managing partner Simon O’Connor says he is delighted with the quality of entries.

“This meant the judging process, particularly in the commentary section, had its challenges,” he said. “It was also heartening to see such a strong performance in the Young Journalist category.”

To reflect the high standard in the commentary category, the judges have decided to make a special Highly Commended award of $500 cash to Liam Dann, Business Editor of the New Zealand Herald.

The 2014 judging panel comprised O’Connor, EY partner and Government Leader Alan Judge, Nicola Legat (former Metro magazineeditor, now Publishing Director at Random House) and Reg Birchfield (a former editor, publisher and journalist, now a media consultant).

Read our news release for the full list of winners and judges comments.

For further information please contact:
Jenni McManus
Communications Manager NZ
021 971 599