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The Weekend Australian wins News Media Awards top prize

The Weekend Australian has taken out the top prize at 2018 News Media Awards, becoming the inaugural winner of the coveted News Brand of the Year.

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After earlier winning Weekend News Brand of the Year, a title it took out last year in the former Newspaper of the Year awards, The Weekend Australian beat out other News Brand of the Year categories winners for the top award.

The Weekend Australian editor, Michelle Gunn (centre), with the masthead’s CEO Nicolas Gray (left).

NZME title The New Zealand Herald won Daily News Brand of the Year. The NT News won the regional News Brand of the Year award and The Gympie Times took home the community category for the second year in a row.

Fairfax Media investigation “China’s Operation Australia” won the new News Story of the Year category. Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker’s exploration of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on Australian politics was published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, which led to new legislation in terms of the scope of foreign operatives and the resignation of Labor senator Sam Dastyari.

New Zealand publisher NZME dominated the advertising and marketing portion of the evening, taking home seven of the 12 awards. The trophies included Best Subscriber Acquisition Campaign of the Year, Consumer Brand Campaign of the Year and Best Execution of Integrated for a Client.

Fairfax Media’s Tasmanian title The Examiner won Best Execution of Print Advertising for a Client, Regional, for its 175th birthday campaign for multiple clients. The award for Best Community or Social Purpose Initiative, sponsored by UnTLD went, to News Corp Australia’s Community network for the “Do Something! Day 2017” campaign.

This year’s Hegarty Award and Scholarship for the best young executive was awarded to News’ NewsXtend ‎head of digital business development, Lauren Moloney.

The prize was established in 1987 in honour of Patrick Hegarty, a former executive director of the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association (PANPA) from 1983 to 1986. Following his untimely death aged in his early 40s, the award was established to help nurture the next generation of media gamechangers. The winner of the award must be an executive under 35 who has shown exceptional talent and leadership in their role. Alongside the title, Ms Moloney was awarded a $10,000 bursary for an overseas study trip.

Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley won the inaugural News Media Executive of the Year award for leadership in championing press freedoms in the face of oppressive and censorious government dictates.

Kate Geraghty’s multi-award winning photo series “Battle for Mosul” won the prize for Photographic Essay. The series, published in The SMH and The Age, captured the destruction and emotional impact of the war on the city and its people.

Fairfax’s Justin McManus won two photography awards, taking home Portrait, Features & Lifestyle Photography – National/Metro and News Photography – National/Metro.

Apple Daily Hong Kong took out one of the two technical awards of the night for Run of Press. News Corp Australia’s Townsville Print Centre won Print Centre of the Year. Both awards were presented by DIC.

A full list of winners can be viewed here.

See all the snaps from the night here:

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