Critic Named Best Student Publication Third Year in a Row

Press Release:  Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards
12 October 2014

Otago University’s Critic has been named Best Publication for the third year running at the Fairfax Media Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards, held at the University of Auckland Saturday 11th October.

A panel of media experts including Bernadette Courtney, Editor of the Dominion Post; Sarah Daniell, Editor of Your Weekend; and Simon Wilson, Editor of Metro Magazine, awarded Critic the top honour. Judge Sarah Daniell said Critic was “very solid, in both content and design.” Simon Wilson said Critic contained “real investigative journalism and in-depth reporting”, distinguishing it from most other entries. 

In an unusual twist, two small publications were awarded joint runners-up. Simon Wilson said of runner-up Canta (University of Canterbury) that it had a “gleeful engagement with the student community”, while Sarah Daniell said runner-up Nexus (University of Waikato) was “just fantastic, bold and sassy. You want to pick it up.” Nexus also won Best Small Publication.

Critic won a total of six of the 21 awards on offer – Best Original Illustration, Best Lifestyle Section, Best Feature, Best Feature Writer and Best Design. Salient (Victoria University of Wellington) won Best Sports Writer, Best Website, Best Social Media (alongside Nexus), Best Original Photography, Best Headline, Best Editorial Writer, Best Reviewer, Best Political Writer and Best News Writer, totalling nine awards, but missing out on Best Publication for the third year in a row.

Other winners were Nexus for Best Social Media and Best Humour, Debate (Auckland University of Technology) for Best Cartoonist, Massive (Massey University) for Best Education Feature, Canta for Best Cover, and Craccum (University of Auckland) for Best Columnist.

The Aotearoa Student Press Association comprises seven publications from the country’s universities.

2014 Fairfax Media ASPA Awards Results

BEST SPORTS WRITER

RUNNER-UP

Christopher Reive, NEXUS

WINNER

Ollie Ritchie, SALIENT

BEST WEBSITE

RUNNER-UP

CRITIC

WINNER

SALIENT

Judge Toby Manhire said Salient has the crispest and most elegant site – it was easy to navigate, with good use of images and strong content.

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA

JOINT WINNERS: NEXUS AND SALIENT

Of Nexus, judge Paul Harper said the magazine takes an edgy approach to Facebook and is rewarded with good engagement. It’s entertaining, clever and often a bit naughty.

Paul said Salient tailors its approach to each of its Social Media channels to ensure the magazine engages effectively with each unique audience. During the election, Paul said Salient was a force on Twitter, providing followers with up-to-the-minute live coverage of political debates on campus.

BEST CARTOONIST

RUNNER-UP

Daniel Vernon, CRACCUM

WINNER

Alex Leighton, DEBATE

BEST ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION

RUNNER-UP

‘Food’ by Ramina Ra, DEBATE

WINNER

‘Conspiracies’ by Lucy Hunter, CRITIC

BEST ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHY

WINNER

Imogen Temm, SALIENT

Judge Cameron Burnell said Salient was the stand out winner. He thought the images showed a high degree of technical ability and conveyed a strong narrative.

BEST HEADLINE

RUNNER-UP

CRITIC with “Nude Calendar to Help Girls Get Re-Laid for Life: 'Support Has Been Great' for Bra-less Octypussies”

WINNER

SALIENT with "Illegal Highs Reaching New Lows: Are Police Failing to Weed Out Criminals"

BEST HUMOUR

RUNNER-UP

Kit Haines, CRACCUM

WINNER

James Raffan and Alix Higby, NEXUS

BEST EDITORIAL WRITER

RUNNER-UP

Zane Pocock, CRITIC

Judge Jackson Wood said Zane isn’t one to shy away from big issues. His writing is clear and concise, not polluted by unnecessary descriptions which makes the full power of his words hit you.

WINNER

Duncan McLachlan and Cameron Price, SALIENT

Judge Suzanne Carty said Cam and Duncan’s entries stood out because they were well written, well argued and without artifice. She said of particular note was the editorial on the case for decriminalising marijuana, which was tightly written and persuasively argued. “The lads set a standard with this piece in particular that no other student mag matched,” Suzanne said.

BEST EDUCATION FEATURE

JOINT RUNNERS-UP

Loulou Callister-Baker, CRITIC and Wilbur Townsend and Sally Owen, SALIENT

WINNER

Charlie Mitchell, MASSIVE

Of this entry, Matt Nippert said: "Massive goes out of print with a bang. An angry, well-researched story on the effects of Voluntary Student Membership shows its audience how universities are literally passing the buck on fees by billing them as levies and taking control of student services.”

BEST COLUMNIST

RUNNER-UP

Peter Dornhauf, NEXUS

WINNER

Conrad Grimshaw, CRACCUM

David said he especially liked Conrad Grimshaw with his fresh sentences, stylish pacing and a nice knowing wryness.

BEST REVIEWER

RUNNER-UP

Soumya Subba, CRACCUM

Judge Joe Nunweek said Soumya is a very promising writer who thrives when talking film.

WINNER

Simon Gennard, SALIENT

Joe said Simon is a powerful, distinctive new voice – it didn’t take him long to realise Simon would be his first pick. Joe said writing about contemporary art is a leap of faith both for young writer, who is always expected to dig deeper than our more straightforward expectations for film and music reviewers.

BEST LIFESTYLE SECTION

RUNNER-UP

CRACCUM

WINNER

CRITIC

BEST COVER

RUNNER-UP

SALIENT

Judge Juliette Wanty said Salient's covers are terrific. She said the use of great photography and styling to illustrate a creative concept make theses covers intriguing, beautiful, and now.

WINNER

CANTA

Judge Valentine Watkins said Canta’s blend of nostalgia, pop culture references, and brilliant use of colour and style are second to none. Each of the covers is refreshingly different and has something to say, with a nice dose of student magazine-y humour and edge.

BEST POLITICAL WRITER

RUNNER-UP

Winona D'Costa, CRACCUM

Judge Jim Mora said Craccum’s entry displayed novel analysis with both humour and depth. Political humour doesn’t have to be earnest – these columns have real style.

WINNER

Jade D'Hack, SALIENT

Judge Duncan Garner said Salient’s entry really impressed him with its sharp, tight, interesting and purposeful writing.

BEST NEWS WRITER

RUNNER-UP

Josie Cochrane, CRITIC

WINNER

Sophie Boot, SALIENT

Judge Laura McQuillan said Sophie was the clear winner – her stories were interesting, informative and hard-hitting, relevant to students and the wider Wellington community.

BEST FEATURE

RUNNER-UP

Rayhan Langdana and Ana Lenard, CRACCUM

The judges said this was a well-researched piece that covers off its bases and goes the extra yard by speaking to someone at the forefront of the issue.

WINNER

Lucy Hunter, CRITIC

The judges said this was a well-written personal tale full of attitude and well-pointed invective along with information and background about the industry of "mediums".

BEST FEATURE WRITER

JOINT RUNNERS-UP

Ana Lenard, CRACCUM and Phillip McSweeney, SALIENT

WINNER

Loulou Callister-Baker, CRITIC

Donna Chisholm said this entry was simply streets ahead of any other – the writer seamlessly traversed wide-ranging styles and subject matter, from a weighty ACC investigation to a poignant personal piece that began in the first person but developed into a broader look at the funeral business.

BEST DESIGN

RUNNER-UP

SALIENT

Judge Jack Yan said Salient excels in the macro aspect of the layouts – a decent use of colours and a good variety of patterns and imagery.

WINNER

CRITIC

Judge Kitty Higbee said Critic’s design is confident. The editorial illustration is extremely well-executed and creates a style that is undeniably and emphatically Critic.

BEST SMALL PUBLICATION

WINNER

NEXUS

BEST PUBLICATION

JOINT RUNNERS-UP

CANTA and NEXUS

WINNER

CRITIC

 

Craccum Magazine (photo credit Dan Liu)

Critic Magazine (photo credit Dan Liu)

 

Massive Magazine (photo credit Dan Liu)

 

MC Matt Nippert (photo credit Dan Liu)

Nexus Magazine (photo credit Dan Liu)

Salient Magazine (photo credit Dan Liu)

The voice of New Zealand's 400,000 students.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations exists to advance the political, social and economic interests of tertiary students whatever they study and wherever they live. NZUSA is a membership body of local students' associatons. We believe in opportunity for all.

Volunteer Keep Informed