MotorSport NZ Awards salute media action

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MotorSport New Zealand presented five awards to journalists, producers, communicators and photographers from around the country in recognition of the imagery and content captured and created over the past year which conveyed New Zealand motorsport news to fans at home and overseas.

The NZ Motorsport Media Awards were presented during the annual motorsport awards night at Te Papa Wellington on Saturday, an evening which saw more over 50 awards, trophies and certificates presented to competitors, officials, volunteers and media at all levels of four-wheeled motorsports in New Zealand.

MotorSport NZ ceo Brian Budd said: “Our media representatives attend all kinds of motorsport events, from club-level grassroots motorkhanas and hillclimbs through to the higher levels of the sport such as our national championship events, and international features like Supercars ITM Auckland Sprint.

“Whatever the level of competition, our teams, competitors and officials value their relationship with the media enormously.

The New Zealand motorsport media awards have two photography categories – the President’s Award for the best single shot and the Photographer of the Year for the best portfolio. The finalists across both categories were Auckland’s Matt Smith, Napier’s Bruce Jenkins, Tauranga’s Greg Henderson and Christchurch’s Alison Hogg.

Bruce Jenkins’ mid-air shot wins
The judges selected Bruce Jenkins as the winner of the President’s Award for the best single shot for his image showing Toyota Racing Series competitor Brendon Leitch in mid-air at Manfeild. The judges said: “This image is an excellent moment of frozen action. Highly newsworthy and sharp, it is a moment that cannot be easily anticipated and the photographer has done extremely well to follow the action off the track and into the grass.”

Greg Henderson at last
Long-time motorsport photographer Greg Henderson took out the Motorsport Photographer of the Year title for the first time. The judges said: “This portfolio is a fantastic mix of track, dirt, and drift action captured at the decisive moment. The images show a collective example of well executed photography with skill in not only freezing the action but in creating pin sharp images that contain movement. The exposure and overall treatment has been well executed, particularly with the image of Jonny Reid and Neil Foster in the wet, and the colours and texture in the image of Hayden Paddon.”

The photography award judges also commended Alison Hogg’s entry for the President’s Award single shot title, saying they would have liked to see a full portfolio of her work to be considered for the photographer of the year title.

The finalists for Motorsport News Journalist of the Year were MediaWorks’ Newshub senior sports reporter Shaun Summerfield, Sky TV’s The Crowd Goes Wild reporter Chris Key, and Autosport and Autofile contributor Mark Baker.

Newshub’s Summerfield best journo
The news journalist award went to Summerfield with the independent judge saying his style of reporting delivered succinct, informative news items which appeal to motorsport and general sports fans alike. Summerfield’s portfolio included items on Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon, land speed record-setter Reg Cook, the Kiwi connections and Ford GT40 at the 2016 running of Le Mans and a tribute to New Zealand race legend Chris Amon.

The judge added: “Shaun appears to effortlessly collate and present news, facts and driver comment into each item, however the knowledge, contacts and work behind the scenes is evident. There was strong news-telling throughout all items.”

“A moment of frozen action. Highly newsworthy, sharp –a moment that cannot be easily anticipated and the photographer has done extremely well to follow the action.”

The Motorsport Feature Journalist or Producer of the Year saw independent television producer David Turner of Perspective Group and videographer Adam Jones of The Fast Files selected as the finalists.

The feature journalist or producer award went to Turner who submitted a portfolio of short features from the NZ Touring Cars Championship television highlights programmes he was commissioned to produce. The judges said: “David’s vignette style of story-telling delivered a series of short features which were engaging and informative. Two items, in particular – At home with the Ross family and Sam Barry, my office – allowed the driver’s personality to shine through. All of these elements combine to create strong character-driven stories.”

For the second year of the Motorsport PR Communicator of the Year award, which recognises the publicists working with motorsport teams, events and sponsors around New Zealand to help generate media coverage of motorsport, two finalists were selected by the independent judge – John Coker, an account director with Wright Communications who oversaw the publicity for the 2016 Toyota Racing Series, and Catherine Pattison, publicist for rally driver Emma Gilmour.

Catherine Pattison PR communicator
In selecting Catherine Pattison as this year’s motorsport PR communicator, the judge said: “Catherine’s writing and style of communication shows a strong understanding of not only her client but the varied needs of the New Zealand media of today. Packaged well, with distinctive templates offering quick links to the ever more important social media options, her style straddles that fine line of conversational and authoritative and would appeal to someone who is either familiar or unfamiliar with the sport as more often than not is the case with modern news desks. Her supporting coverage showed a well-researched and balanced media reach including relevant offshore publications and the resulting international recognition for her driver was well deserved.”

Budd says: “My sincere congratulations to our motorsport media award winners. You have delivered a fantastic array of motorsport images and stories for the overall betterment of our sport.”

Media were free to enter.

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