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The Australian takes major awards for Newspaper of Year

The Australian and The Weekend Australian were recognised last night at the 2017 PANPA Newspaper of the Year Awards, taking home the two major masthead trophies.

It is the second year in succession the News Corp Australia daily masthead has won the industry’s highest award, while The Weekend Australian took out the Weekend Newspaper of the year – the third time it has done so in four years.

The Australian also won the prize for Best Mobile Site – although Fairfax Media took out the trophies for the three major website awards.

The Australian’s CEO Nicholas Gray said masthead wins demonstrated how well the two papers served their print and digital audiences,

“For us, getting people to engage with our journalism is incredibly important, and I think winning these awards vindicates our efforts,” he said.

“I think it’s important that innovation is in all digital things but it is also in making the core newspaper better every day. I think where we are particularly proud is we are innovating in the business model.

“Day by day, more and more people are subscribing to us in digital and in print – we have never had more people paying for our content. We are confident that will continue. We believe serious journalism matters and we believe more and more people will pay for it.”

Fairfax Media won all three of the News Site of the Year awards, with The Maitland Mercury winning in community, regional going to The Newcastle Herald and The Australian Financial Review winning the national/ metropolitan prize.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, before a crowd of more than 300 industry peers. The 2017 awards, known as the PANPAs, attracted a higher number of entries than previous years, coming from publishers across Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia.

The six categories for this year’s Newspaper of the Year awards were:

  • Newspaper of the Year – sponsored by Norske Skog
  • Digital Destinations of the Year
  • Photography of the Year – sponsored by Media Super
  • Technical Excellence – sponsored by DIC
  • Hegarty Scholarship (for young news media executives) – sponsored by Media Super
  • Environment

The prestigious Hegarty Award was presented to Fairfax Media’s Emily Sweet. Ms Sweet is group editor – digital at Australian Community Media. Stationed in Ballarat,

Victoria, her role is to grow the digital audience and map the editorial strategy of 140 regional, suburban and agricultural websites.


Ms Sweet was unable to attend the award ceremony, having given birth the day before. However, she accepted the award in a pre-recorded video.

The award is accompanied by a $10 000 scholarship to complete a study tour to any destination to gain a better understanding of the industry.

The photography category was highly competitive this year, and especially fierce in the portraits category. The national/metropolitan award in this category resulted in a tie between Fairfax’s Rohan Thomson for ‘Wild Side’ and Rohan Kelly from News Corp Australia for ‘Dogs and Dust’.

Sydney Morning Herald photographer Kate Geraghty won the news photography category in national/metropolitan for her high-impact series ‘Philippine Drug Wars’.

NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said: “I would like to congratulate all this year’s Newspaper of the Year award winners and acknowledge the incredibly high standard of the region’s print and digital news content, as well as photography, design and technical excellence. Our news media brands can stand tall as among the best in the world and this year’s award winners again showed outstanding excellence in each category. The PANPAs are the region’s pre-eminent awards in the news media industry and this year was no exception.”

A full list of winners can be found here.

Judges for the 2017 Awards were:

Andrew McKean, Miguel D’Souza, Earl Wilkinson, Tony Gilles, Peter Miller, Tim Burrowes, Foad Fadahgi, Samantha Amjadali, Tim Bauer, Camila Carmody, Christopher Getts, Alan Howe, Grant Booker, Rick Slowgrove, Paul Burston, Mal Dale, Peter Netchaef, Jon Reid, Peter Clark, David Roles, Steve Packham, Eva Rinaldi, Ian Moore, Damien Munday, Christopher Pash, John Hancock, Mark Dadswell, Gavin Ellis, Andy Moger, Ed Efchak, Karyn Krawford, David Hovenden, Nisin Sunito, Mark Hollands, Simon Wake, Charlie Murdoch, Herbert Kieleithner, Michael Van Wyk, Brian Hill, Udesh Gunatunga, Greg Graham, Kellie Northwood, Frank Masterson, Mary Ann Azer, Cheryl Stanion, Peter Cornelius, Phillip Campbell, Roger Coombs, Michael Rose, Mark Sharman, Steve Davis, Jane Schulze.

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