by Niamh Kirk
The News Brands Irish Journalism Awards (formerly National Newspapers Ireland Awards) is a great way to celebrate the News Brands members best journalism. News Brands Ireland represents a limited group of Irish news producers, 16 in total, and does not include Ireland’s digital borns. But it is a good way for Irish consumers to get a sense of which of the News Brands members are the highest achieving, as judged by their peers. This year the Irish Times takes the top spot with 23 separate nominations. *
In total there were 25 categories, awarding the section and individual journalists.
But broadly speaking they can be grouped by news categories, such as Business, Political, World News, Sport, Showbiz, Investigations etc. News titles, as well as journalists, have certain beats. So who is the best at tackling what?
Under Business categories, the Irish Independent and Sunday Times excelled and (as you would hope) The Irish Sunday Business Post.
For Crime correspondence, The Herald, Independent, and The Irish Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror were the top nominations.
Digital Innovation was dominated by the Irish Times with three nominations and INM with two, followed by the Star’s Buzz.ie.
Sunday papers are still the most celebrated for feature articles, with the Sunday Independent, Sunday Business Post, Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday all receiving multiple nominations.
For World News only two titles were nominated, The Irish Times and the Irish Independent.
Arguably the most important feature of journalism, Investigations, saw nominations across four titles, with two for The Irish Times, one for the Irish Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Times and the Irish Daily Star. A positive signal that there are concerted efforts to channel resources into investigations in many Irish newsrooms.
Across the two News categories, The Irish Times was the most celebrated with three nominations, with the Irish Daily Mail and Sunday World next with two. The Irish Independent, Irish Star, Irish Sun and Irish Examiner all received one.
For Politics the Sunday Independent attracted the most nominations, five. And The Irish Times got three while the Sunday Times got two. The Irish Examiner, Mail on Sunday and Irish Sun all got one each.
For Sport, the Irish Independent was the most successful this year and for Showbiz the Sunday Independent and most of the tabloids were nominated.
The Awards will take place on Thursday, The Awards will take place on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016.
The reaction to the nominations can be followed on Twitter under #journoawards16
*UPDATE 10.15 13/11/16
This tweet was sent in response to the piece. Susan Daly is correct, the News Brands Awards are not reflective of national journalism, just the titles that are aligned with the organisation, which are legacy newspapers. It only recently rebranded from National Newspapers Ireland to NewsBrands Ireland. Which raises the issue of how useful the awards as a metric for audiences in the digital era when brands such as TheJournal.ie and Her.ie and Joe.ie are not included but are more popular than some of the titles that are. Other national brands are also excluded such as Irish Farmers Journal. Perhaps, it was more useful in the pre-digitally dominant era, but those days are long gone. Or maybe it is just something to evaluate a brand you use or don’t if they are on the list .
The feedback made me think about the categories and beats also. Many of the absent digital born titles are well regarded for their coverage of politics, sports, showbiz and all carry features and critical articles.The Digital Innovation category might look quite different were the digital borns included for a nomination. I also realised that in terms of categories, rural affairs and the agri sector is not represented either. Nor is the wealth of regional journalism that also cover many of these areas too.
The News Brands Awards are legacy-centric and not a perfect metric by which to evaluate the entirety of Irish journalism. Many of the news producers that were once tied to one traditional are platform are multimedia news producers online. So is it time for a more encompassing industry awards that can celebrate all that Irish journalism has to offer?
12.08 – 13/11/16: The following sentences were edited for clarity: “The News Brands Irish Journalism Awards (formerly National Newspapers Ireland Awards) is a great way for the industry to celebrate the year’s best journalism. But it is also a good way for Irish consumers to get a sense of who are the highest achieving news organisation in Ireland, as judged by their peers.”Edited to ” The News Brands Irish Journalism Awards (formerly National Newspapers Ireland Awards) is a great way for the industry to celebrate it’s members best journalism. News Brands Ireland represents a limited group of Irish news producers, 16 in total, and does not include Ireland’s digital borns. But it is also a good way for Irish consumers to get a sense of which of the News Brands members are the highest achieving, as judged by their peers. This year the Irish Times takes the top spot with 23 separate nominations.