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Following criticism of last year’s awards, Australia’s Newspaper Publishers Association says it is working to improve judging standards for its top PANPA Newspaper of the Year competition.
But chief executive Mark Hollands says qualified judges, “don’t exactly grow on trees”.
The association has promised a greater number of judges and additional judging time to ensure quality decisions. Both the Newspaper of the Year (90K+), and the Sunday Newspaper of the Year awards will be judged outside of Australia.
“We continue to look for individuals who know newspapers but are independent of publishers in this part of the world,” Hollands says. “And we need those individuals to be able demonstrate a knowledge of broadsheets and tabloids, and who do not have an affinity to a certain city or part of the world.
“These guys don’t exactly grow on trees.”
He says last year’s judging was a significant improvement on previous years. “A number of editors made comments about the need to improve – and we are doing our best to meet that challenge.”
The criteria and entry forms for the competition are online at www.panpa.org.au with examples of the judging forms.
Additional awards have been created, together with an extra circulation segments – 0-10,000 and 10-000 to 25,000 – to make competition for smaller papers fairer. New awards include Best Portrait Photography, and Innovation on Digital Platforms, which has been created to champion new products and services on digital media.
Entries close July 9, with winners announced at the Newspaper of the Year dinner in Sydney on August 26.