Voyager Media Awards Finalist: Jared Savage (NZ Herald), Reporter of the Year

Media

The Voyager Media Awards were packed full of amazing, high-quality entries for 2021. From almost 1,500 submissions, 280 finalists were chosen across 66 awards. In this series, we highlight the finalists for this year’s Voyager News Website of the Year and Voyager Reporter of the Year.

We talked to NZME journalist Jared Savage, who has been nominated as a finalist for the Reporter of the Year award.

What do the Voyager Media Awards mean to you, and why are they important for NZ media overall? 

Fun is the first word that springs to mind. The Voyagers, and their predecessors, have often been one of the most fun nights of the year for journos. It’s a stressful job, so it’s great to have an evening where we can get together and catch up with colleagues, or meet new friends from other newsrooms. There’s always friendly rivalry, and banter, and of course everyone wants to be a winner. But generally speaking, the tribal nature of newsrooms is put aside by the end of the night to celebrate good journalism.  Even cynical journos need a pat on the back every now and again, so the awards are a very important tradition within the industry. Thank you to all the sponsors! 

Are there any standout pieces of work from 2020 that you’re particularly proud of?  

The story that was most meaningful to me in 2020 was the investigation into the death of a 3-month-old infant Baby Royal. He was let down by everyone who could have protected him - his family, social workers and the police - and I spent considerable time on this story in an effort to hold people to account and hopefully change things for the better, even just a little bit. Sadly, it’s a story that I (and many other reporters) have told many times before, and inevitably will happen again.  

You can read the story here.

What significance does being a finalist for Reporter of the Year hold for you? What would it mean for you to win Reporter of the Year? 

I’m absolutely stoked to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award but also very surprised, as I thought there were so many journalists who did incredible work in 2020.  

As for the possibility of winning, I don’t dare to get my hopes up! - all the other finalists are amazing, and it’s great just to be recognised alongside them.  

Any other thoughts/comments you’d like to share regarding your nomination, your work, or the NZ media in general? 

I’d just to give a shout out to all the journalists in the Gallery asking the tough questions on New Zealand’s Covid response on behalf of the public. It was a scary time for everyone, especially when jobs were at risk, but the gallery reporters worked incredibly hard every day to get reliable information out to the public - and ask questions on their behalf, even though that wasn’t appreciated by the armchair critics on social media. And another shout out to all the science and health reporters who did an amazing job, every day, to explain complicated matters in a way that everyone could understand. The value of journalism was reinforced in 2020, and highlighted that New Zealand is well served. 

Big congratulations to Jared and all the other finalists for this year’s awards. The winners' ceremony is being held 28th May at the Auckland Town Hall.