NZBS Graduates win at Voyager Media Awards

News News & events

25 May 2020

Several top prizes at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards ceremony, have been picked up by graduates from the New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

The awards, celebrating excellence in New Zealand journalism, were this year announced in an online ceremony because of the COVID19 restrictions.

NZBS alumni winners included Logan Church from RNZ who won Best Reporter – Junior, in part for his coverage in the aftermath of the Mosque shootings.  

"Logan’s live radio cross was a standout in a strong field of entries," said judges Emma Field and John Crowley.  “It was absolutely compelling. His talent was well selected, his interview was gripping, emotional but insightful. He showed compassion but also was able to skilfully do his job to provide information and insight to the community about one of New Zealand’s worst days."

"His other two entries were strong local stories, both well-constructed longer-form radio pieces, where he gained the trust of the people he interviewed to outline the issues, and drew the listener to make them feel like they were there. This is the best kind of journalism, and Logan displays skill level beyond his years, but also a passion for a good story."

Cass Marrett, working for TVNZ’s online platform, Re:, won Best Video Journalist-Junior, for her online portfolio. The judges, Jane Wrightson and Paul Cutler called it 'new-media reporting at its creative and refreshing best.'

“Cass used all her multi-media skills to produce fascinating profiles of two engaging women - an internationally-acclaimed author and a young local government politician. She obviously found a way to gain instant rapport with both talent and used this, combined with nice shooting and pacey editing, to target Re:’s young demographic audience."

Also winning big was one of NZBS’s more high-profile graduates, Paula Penfold from Stuff Circuit and Māori Television, who was awarded runner-up in Broadcast Reporter of the Year.

NZBS Head, Tony Simons, watched the live ceremony on Friday evening.  “It was great to see our graduates featuring so strongly in those particular categories. General Reporting, Radio and Video Journalism are some of our specialist areas and it was notable that Logan [Church], who works for RNZ, featured in a video category as well”, he said.

Other graduates who featured in the finalist list:

  • Student Journalist of the Year
    Charlotte Cook, RNZ
    Steven Walton, New Zealand Broadcasting School/METRONEWS
  • Best reporter, junior
    Mitch McCann, Newshub/MediaWorks
    Katie Scotcher, RNZ
  • Science Journalism Award
    Andrew Macfarlane, TVNZ
  • Best Reporting, Maori Affairs
    Māni Dunlop, RNZ
  • Best Video Journalist, Junior
    Logan Church, RNZ
    Sean Hogan, 1 NEWS/TVNZ
    Nathan Morton, Local Focus NZME/Very Nice Productions
  • Best Feature Writer, Junior
    Samantha Olley, Rotorua Daily Post and Bay of Plenty Times
  • Travel Journalist of the Year
    Brook Sabin, Stuff and Sunday Star Times

Since its inception in 1984, the school has gained a reputation as arguably the best place in the country to train for a career in broadcasting. It’s launched the careers of some of the giants of the New Zealand media industry, including household names like Mike McRoberts, Jack Tame, PJ Harding, Ben Boyce, Miriama Kamo, Clarke Gayford and current Minister of Broadcasting, Kris Faafoi.

Applications to study the Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications at Ara in 2021 close on 30 September. For details visit or call 0800 24 24 76.