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Journos in Olympic Scale Punchup

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New Zealand punches above its weight, according to a very large number of people who have no real idea how to use the English language and its 750,000-odd words.

But is this true? And is it true of the New Zealand media?

For this week's Alcohol Sponsorship Press Awards, the judges have conducted a simple test. They have taken an outstanding example of international journalism and asked: "is there anything the New Zealand media turned out this week that surpassed it?"

Let us begin, then, with the outstanding example of international journalism.

Next slide, please.

"Why I Stuck a Cracker Up My Clacker" - an insightful and measured chronicle of an ordinary day in the life of an ordinary Australian - is journalism of a standard not readily surpassed in the Southern Hemisphere. And yet examples abounded in the New Zealand media this week in their threes and fours.

Example One
Rawdon Christie, Breakfast on One, stares down a beauty pageant organiser with the tough questions.

Example Two
Rebecca Macfie, NZ Listener, stares down Gerry Brownlee and his scale models with some tough questions.

Example Three
Andre, Commenter, Kiwiblog, stares down the Age of Reason with the unasked yet implicit question: how many New Zealanders must also be angry and dimwitted enough to put a cracker up their clacker? 

Example Four
Paul Litterick, FundyPost, speaking for the #PrimeUnderclass and Olympics refuseniks everywhere watches the opening ceremony and asks the question: "What country is that one, then? Could we visit it?"

Example Five
Gather and Hunt take the camcorder out around their 'hood and make a portrait of Eden Tce. This video stuff might be the best or worst thing to happen to future of writing. We still cannot tell. But they do it well.

Example Six
Susie Ferguson, Checkpoint, RNZ has a splendid interview with a man who sounds just like your Dad, if your Dad is as old as mine.
Peter Campbell of the Otaki RSA politely explains why the club is disgusted at the president who disgraced the RSA's good name. "It hasn't gone down very well at all, he says, teeth whistling, politeness never wavering. “How can I put this gently," he asks aloud. "He basically ruled the place with an iron fist".

Example Seven
Jonathan Cameron, Taranaki Daily News brought home an exceptional photo of anthropomorphism-gone-Morrieson. The video was also outstanding, and the disgusted reaction of a generation of Lion King fans only added to the fun.

But better than all these, the WINNER is….
Werewolf, August 2012 edition.

Picking up where his idol - the late lamented Alexander Cockburn - left off, Gordon Campbell rips into Mitt Romney, remembers what people were saying about Fiona Apple in 1997, looks at PPPs and the West Memphis 3 and at this point we still haven't got to Phillip Matthews' Dark Knight of the Soul. Outstanding. Darwin has nothing like this.

Gordon Campbell, stand by for a consignment of high quality liquor.

Gordon Campbell will receive two of the five varieties of award-winning Grower’s Mark wines as his prize.

The Alcohol Sponsorship Press Awards (ASPs), established in November 2011, are held in association with Grower’s Mark and announced every Friday on the Twitter account Metro hack @SteveBraunias.

The credo of the ASPs is, “We don’t take the piss. We give it.”

The award recognises excellence and strangeness in NZ media, including social media, and is open to editors, reporters, subs, weblog writers, photographers, illustrators, critics, and drinking friends of David Slack.