New Zealand media earns pat on the back
It has been a big two days for the New Zealand media industry. Last night, winners of the Voyager Media Awards were announced, and the NZ Radio Awards were presented on Thursday.
The award categories reflected the scope of modern media and showed how the industry has adapted to commercial pressures and cultural demands.
There was recognition for the bedrock tasks of journalism — reporting, feature writing, photography, subbing, editing and publishing. But there were awards, too, for websites and apps, campaigns and projects, videography and digital storytelling.
What the finalists all shared was a commitment to the essential role of providing credible and trustworthy news, analysis and imagery.
The past two decades have not been comfortable for the industry. Its fortunes have been hit by digital disruption and the collapse of traditional advertising.
Many mastheads have disappeared and competition for the time of news consumers has come from alternatives such as Facebook and Twitter. The reputation of traditional news sources has been challenged with cries of fake news and the offer of alternative facts.
Journalists in New Zealand are bound to seek and report the truth, to be accountable, transparent and independent. These are the ethical standards the mainstream media accepts and upholds.
The rules are reinforced by laws of contempt and defamation and principles adopted by the NZ Press Council.
The New Zealand media remains a reliable and dependable source of news. The awards bestowed this week confirm that the fourth estate here is doing the job demanded of it.