I entered the best blog category for the Qantas media awards and didn’t make the finals. Here were the four posts I put up, with apologies to Russell Brown, Telecom XT and NBR for opening old wounds.
Telecom XT Outage – Unacceptable
Why I don’t read Public Address
NBR’s performance since the subscription wall was built
How to twitter if you are a corporation
I had always assumed that Kiwiblog would run away with the award, so am a bit sad that Dave Farrar’s site did not even make the finals. Neither did Russell Brown’s Public Address, and each of these should be perennial contenders for the award.
I didn’t expect to make it – and indeed I may have been DQ’d, either because I judged another online category or as I was insufficiently news focused.
The easier question is whether or not Kiwiblog should be there as I fully expected. There are three possible reasons for Kiwiblog not to make it: application, disqualification, or judging.
The first, and I hope most probable cause, for Kiwiblog’s absence from the finalists is that Kiwiblog did not apply for the Qantas awards. While from a judge’s perspective this is frustrating as the universe of potential award recipients is defined, it also avoids the ‘black hole’ of endless numbers of possible award winners for the judges. So if Dave chose not to compete, then sobeit.
The second possible cause is that the judge decided that Kiwiblog did not qualify under the rules. The site may have been deemed by the judge not to have met the “news related” requrements for a Qantas award, or the judge may have considered blogs as personal journals rather than harder news and opinion sites. The guidance given to judges on this was scanty, and so the judge was within his or her right to determine eligibility.
The third possible cause is that Kiwiblog was deemed by the judge to be inferior to the three finalists. That depends in part on the criteria used by the judge (these were not made clear to judges) and by the judge’s opinion.
Most likely, and by far, is the first.
The Qantas awards are the premier journalism award, and to be Highly Commended or to win an award is an honour. The online categories are still in their infancy, so I expect the quality and quantity of submissions to grow each year. So next year let’s make sure that we get as many applications as possible.
Think you’ll find that as long as the awards are directly managed by the Newspaper Publishers Association (overseen by APN and Fairfax), independents won’t get much of a show in. Shame, but hardly surprising.
Personally I felt my entry, although “non-compliant”, was much stronger than some. I’ll let readers be the judge:
Kiwiblog is a meat market. It doesn’t offer anything new or original. All that blog is doing is just cut & paste and commenters just go there to give their opinions. Kiwiblog doesn’t educate anyone with any new knowledge or insights to anything.
For the past few years (three) I’ve been one of the judges – but this was under the Old Regime run by Barry and Carolyn Young.
Not sure what happened but they’ve gone, replaced by Tim Pankhurst and the NPA team. I wasn’t contacted about the new-look awards (fewer categories, more traditional view of the world) so can’t comment on how they’ve selected their finalists but I can tell you how I used to do it.
I had three categories over three years – all in the online section.
The first year (2007) was an odd one, “columnist style website” which I took to mean it was like “light entertainment in the use of a browser” and so awarded it to Spare Room on the basis that I found it really funny.
2008 was the Best Single Report on a News Website (my favourite one) which went to this story on the NBR site: http://www.nbr.co.nz/usana. The story made full use of the web to deliver its story – audio, links to relevant documents, the whole shooting match. To this day I’ve yet to see another story match it for completeness.
2009 was the Business Website award – finalists were Herald, Stuff’s Business Day and NBR. I gave it to Interest.co.nz which cracked me up no end.
The judging process was entirely designed by me and consisted of Barry emailing me to remind me I’d better decide and me occasionally asking for guidance (in 2009 I said “Do I have to chose one of the finalists?” He said no so I didn’t).
That was it. All my own work. I found this surprising because as a reporter I’d been part of dozens of conversations about how fixed/rigged/crooked/pointless/bent/confusing/stupid the judging of the awards was.
I was particularly pleased to be able to award a winner that hadn’t been a finalist. Keeping an eye on the entire market rather than just the submitted nominees is always a good idea I thought.
It’ll be interesting to see how they go about judging this category this time round.
Very similar process this time around Paul
And Keall… I owe you for the rick rolling.
You should have entered this Lance.
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