The CNA Award for the Best Front Page newspaper goes to

This is us. The Times Media team with publisher Reay Neben (holding the winning front page) take a moment to celebrate. Times photo Wayne Martin

The moment was electric.

We waited with bated breaths as Brendan Dooley one of the world’s most quick-witted magicians and Master of Ceremony at the New Zealand Community Newspaper Association (NZCNA) awards hosted at the Rydes in Christchurch on Friday evening announced….

‘And the winner of the Best Front Page Community Newspapers in New Zealand is…..the Botany and Ormiston Times’.

An exuberant Times Media team at the CNA Awards hosted at the Rydes in Christchurch. Photo supplied

Everything else was a blur as some of the best in the media world cheered and applauded.

There were warm hugs and congratulatory handshakes as we received the award from David Mackenzie, president of CNA.

The judges comments for the Botany and Ormiston Times were: “Outstanding photography and clever graphic tools created the platform for the designer of the Times to create two stunning front pages for this entry.

Both front page entries effectively used a main dark image to capture the reader which provides a nice balance alongside the colourful masthead and pointers. Using many faces in the masthead banner was another clever tool to give these small images the maximum impact when you first pick up the paper.”

The award is a testament to the fact that five years ago the publisher of Times Media, Reay Neben decided to rename and revamp the paper to reach out to  new communities in Botany and Ormiston area.

The Times art director Clare McGillivray revamped the look of the paper, while the editorial team worked really hard to reach out and be the voice of the community. The advertising team worked overtime to help retailers get their products and services introduced to new settlers in the area. And while we are still working on our distribution with more and more people in the area asking for the paper—the award is an acknowledgement that we are doing something right.

The NZCNA Annual Awards celebrate the very best of community newspapers and magazines throughout the country. It is run by the New Zealand Community Newspaper Association, an industry body with members from more than 80 independent newspapers and magazines.

NZCNA president David Mackenzie said the awards recognise the best of the industry.

“The community newspapers are thriving up and down the country and that can be put down to the power of print advertising and the hyper-local stories produced each week by highly-connected, local journalists who work for independent publishers,” he said.

The awards were the centre piece of the CNA’s annual two-day conference, where members heard from a range of speakers about the industry, including Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi.

Whakatane’s The Beacon took out the top honour at this year’s New Zealand Community Newspaper Association awards in Christchurch on Friday night.

The Beacon won the Frank Veale Memorial Award for Community Newspaper of the Year, capping off a big night for the newspaper which recently celebrated its 80th birthday.

There was another big win for the Times Media stable as Jon Rawlinson from EastLife magazine won both, the awards-the Best Sports Journalist award for Rural Living as well as the runner up award for Eastlife magazine.

Jon Rawlinson receiving the Best Sports Journalist Award from NZCNA president David Mackenzie. Photo supplied

The judges comments were: Brilliant storytelling, well explained for the uninitiated reader (especially the Polo story) great quotes, it’s good to use parenthesis/plays on words sparingly. Nice chatty writing style which suits the larger features in this publication. Good mixture of subjects shows Jon’s versatility and ability to cover sporting events through personalities. Smart use of sidebars makes the longer reads accessible and easy to read.