'ODT' awarded major newspaper prize

It is official. The Otago Daily Times is a class act, winning a major prize at the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association's Newspaper of the Year awards presented in Sydney this week.

The Otago Daily Times' Class Act/Extra! entry claimed the top young readers prize on Thursday in the 25,001-90,000 circulation category, capping a successful night for New Zealand's oldest newspaper.

The ODT was also a finalist in the newspaper of the year and the innovation in pre-production processes or technology categories.

The awards attracted 369 entries from newspapers in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The ODT was one of only two New Zealand metropolitan dailies named as a finalist - the other was Wellington's Dominion Post.

The newspaper of the year winners were: The Sydney Morning Herald (90,000+ circulation); The Geelong Advertiser (25,001-90,000); The Daily Examiner (up to 25,000).

The 10th annual Class Act awards were held in Dunedin last Friday.

Prime Minister John Key and the newspaper recognised the excellence of 55 secondary school pupils in the region.

Class Act has acknowledged the outstanding potential of 555 pupils in our region since its introduction in 2000.

This week's win was the third young reader award Class Act/Extra! has won at Panpa.

It has also been highly commended twice.

Class Act is the jewel in our Newspapers in Education programme.

Extra! is a 16-page tabloid published 11 times a year and distributed, with the newspaper, to schools.

It covers current events, reading and writing.

It also attracts thousands of participants to take part in maths and social studies quizzes throughout the region.

Coverage of the 2009 Class Act awards ceremony will be screened tonight on Dunedin's Channel 9 from 7pm.

A DVD of the coverage is available from Channel 9 for $29.95 (order from www.ch9.co.nz/shop).

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