Some goddamned student has kicked the arses of New Zealand journalists by winning the nation’s most coveted media prize.

Daniel Whitfield, who studies journalism at Wintec in Hamilton, is the latest winner of the prestigious Alcohol Sponsorship Press Award for his story about the changing face of boy racing in the Waikato.

Metro hack and awards convenor Steve Braunias said that it was the coolest story of the week by about a million miles.

“The structure isn’t perfect, some of the sentences need work and it would have been great to have heard more from the Circle Jerks.

“But that doesn’t take away from the fact this is a story told with real feeling by someone who appears to be a genuine petrol head.

“Reporting is often anthropology, but you have to know your shit. The references to ‘boosting’, ‘invasions’ and ‘unnatural flares’ are from someone who speaks the language of petrol head – further evidence is the confident way he rattles off the names, ‘Honda Civics, Subaru WRXs, Nissan Silvias and VW Golfs’.

“In many ways the point of the Alcohol Sponsorship Press Award is to celebrate stories which reveal and portray New Zealand life as it’s actually lived. Whitefield has done this with passion, skill and care. He deserves a drink. Salut!”

Braunias said that the next three paragraphs would be a cut and paste job, and were intended for readers who may not be aware of the Alcohol Sponsorship Press Awards (ASPs).

The awards, established in November 2011, are held in association with Grower’s Mark, and are announced every Friday on the Twitter account @SteveBraunias. There are usually about five finalists, and the winner is awarded two bottles of wine – as such, the ASP credo is, “We don’t take the piss. We give it.”

The award recognises excellence and strangeness in New Zealand media, including social media, blogs and things like that. The judging panel comprises a seasoned media professional in each of the four main centres, as well as Brisbane and Dubai.

Previous winners include Abbie Jury, Bradley Ambrose, Don Scott and John Armstrong.

Anyhow, this week’s finalists – who don’t receive so much as a drop of liquor, but who are all to be commended and congratulated for their contributions – are as follows:



  • Lawrence Gullery (Hawke’s Bay Today), for the week’s lamest story, “Ghostly goings on in Hastings”. Judges also commended whoever was responsible for the week’s lamest use of a photo.