News Limited staff look set to scoop the pool at the inaugural News
Awards – “news” being a word that here means “News Limited news.”

Finalists have now been announced in the News Awards which are “judged by the journalists’
peers,” says News Limited chairman John Hartigan,
who believes it’s a “fairer system, rather than some of the social
justice representatives the Walkleys have had in the past.” Indeed,
News Limited employees are far better represented at the inaugural News
Awards than in this year’s Walkley Awards finalists.

The Oz and the Herald Sun were quick to congratulate their own: both are up for Newspaper of the Year. In fact, the Hun got socarried
away with all of its nominees that it neglected to mention who was
sponsoring the event – and putting up the $65,000 in prizemoney for the
13 category winners – until the tenth paragraph.

One notable nominee is Ian Gunn, who’s finalist for Sub-Editor of the Year for his
headlines, says John Stapleton in The Oz, “including one on a story about the farcical attempts by two
Greek athletes to avoid a drugs test before withdrawing from the
Olympics with ‘Greek heroes exit stage, wearing scandals’.” It’s
perhaps lucky for Gunn that Fairfax employees aren’t in the running,
otherwise he’d have a rival at The Agealthough there’s already plenty of competition within the News Limited stable.

“Winning articles reap just rewards,” was how The Daily Tele put
it yesterday on page two. But other papers have been less declamatory.
In fact, we couldn’t find any reference to the awards in The Courier-Mail, The Mercury or The Advertiser. Even The Cairns Post, which is one of four contenders for Newspaper of the Year hasn’t made mention of the News Awards.

Embarrassed? Shy? Under-represented? The Advertiser‘s editorial department advised Crikey that
they’re saving the story until the winners are
announced at a black tie dinner in
Adelaide on 15 November.

We wish News Limited journos best of luck for the awards – not
that they need it.

And lest Crikey taint the in-house love-in, we’ll let The Oz have the last word. “Two of the three finalists for Business Journalist of the Year came from The Australian,”
writes John Stapleton in the paper. Communications writer Michael
Sainsbury led the national coverage of Telstra, revealing how closely
the business was entwined with its political ownership.” Quite.

Peter Fray

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