EY Business Journalist of the Year announced

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Tim Hunter, the deputy editor of Fairfax Business Group, has been named the inaugural EY Business Journalist of the Year.

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 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).

Judges’ comments

Tim Hunter: OVERALL WINNER, Category winner (Commentary)
“The Chalkie column, courtesy of various authors, has informed and amused readers for years. Tim Hunter elegantly maintains the high commentary standards of this masthead. His withering description of bureaucracy at its most embarrassing and incompetent is delightful, yet instructive. A complex episode, so well interpreted that it leaves the reader feeling both educated and uneasy.” (Reg Birchfield)

“Tim Hunter did not take at face value an official report produced by the Electricity Authority. Incisive criticism, done with humour and in clear, understandable language.” (Alan Judge)

Click here to read Tim Hunter’s winning entry

Christopher Adams: Category winner (Features)
“A great story-teller – so essential to good feature writing. His recounting of the events and explanation of the complexities of the story behind New Zealand’s baby food trade with China is a fine piece of feature writing.” (Reg Birchfield)

Jenny Ruth: Category winner (Radio)
“Jenny  kept on at the Abano story, extracting the essence of the issue and highlighting the conflict nicely. She allowed her interview subjects to tell the story rather than constantly injecting herself, while not allowing them to get away with too much self-glossing.” (Reg Birchfield)

Duncan Bridgeman: Category winner (News)
“Duncan has the consummate journalist’s nose for a great news story, combined with a talent for relating it compellingly. He uncovered the shameful Albany Heights hussle and hasn’t let go. A great piece of news reporting and story commitment.” (Reg Birchfield)

Richard Meadows: Category winner (Young)
“Richard was the stand-out in this category. He understands what makes good business stories and he’s already adept at telling them. He’s happy to dig, bring his copy to life, and explain issues and events in simple language – an important journalistic fundamental often lacking in business reporting.” (Reg Birchfield)

Liam Dann: Highly commended  (Commentary)
“Business reporting at its best.” (Reg Birchfield)

“He grip his material with authority and verve, making the column a compelling read.” (Nicola Legat).

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young New Zealand, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Ltd.