Sources in the News Corp published The Australian said the decision to award Fairfax Media’s The Age the Newspaper of the Year Award was “embarrassing”, accusing the award’s organiser and judges of bias.
News Corp has also taken issue with The Newspaper Works’, organiser of the PANPA Awards, refusal to name the three-person judging panel.
The Australian article said: “And, while all publishers have gone through redundancy programs and cost-cutting measures, The Age and SMH had also – just months before – made the transition from broadsheet to tabloid in a last-ditch attempt to secure core readership.”
“In the end, it appeared to those present that The Age won the award because of these factors and not in spite of them.”
The Newspaper Works’ chief executive Mark Hollands was not available for comment today but a spokesperson told B&T: “PANPA stands by the judging process and criteria for the Newspaper of the Year awards, which is based on global best practice, and supports the judges' decision of the winners.”
Last week The Newspaper Works announced plans to review the Awards to “better reflect the changing publishing demands of news media”.
A panel of industry executives from a number of newspapers will be pulled together to conduct the review later this year.
News Limited editor Ian Moore will chair the panel.
Hollands said he was “grateful” Moore took on the role.
“His experience will be invaluable in bringing together the best people to re-create a set of awards that has become increasingly influential and popular in the last five years.”
“Now is the time to reinvent them to ensure their relevance.”