Tuesday, 21 May 2024

The Straits Times bags 9 prizes at Asian Digital Media Awards for innovative multimedia content

SINGAPORE – The Straits Times’ efforts to engage its young audience online and explore innovative ways of telling a story were recognised on Thursday (Nov 8) when it won nine prizes at the Asian Digital Media Awards.

The Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) flagship title won two gold awards for best innovation to engage youth audience, and best lifestyle, sports, entertainment website.

It also bagged three silvers and four bronzes – including an award for its focus on producing premium, exclusive content for subscribers – at the awards ceremony held at The Mira hotel in Hong Kong.

The annual regional awards, jointly presented by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) and Google, recognises publishers who have adopted best digital media and mobile strategies.

For the ninth edition this year, the organisers received 157 entries from 27 media companies across 10 Asian markets. The winners were selected by a panel of 23 judges, mainly from the United States and Europe. Other titles honoured at the awards include Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun and Indonesia’s Kompas.

ST’s first augmented reality (AR) project, which marries technology and ancient art, won a gold award for best lifestyle, sports, entertainment website.

The project, which showcases artefacts of Asian deities on display at Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, allows readers to zoom in and rotate the sculptures virtually, giving them a closer look at these artefacts.

The other gold award went to NewsEd, a news portal and app that curate ST content and news articles for students and teachers. It won the top prize for best innovation to engage youth audience.

The programme is part of ST’s efforts to reach out to younger readers, by allowing students to engage in news-based learning activities with questions pre-loaded into articles. With the mobile app version, students can even use their mobile devices to record and submit photos, audio clips and videos as answers.

ST won silver in the best news website category for No One Dies Alone, a touching journalism project documenting the last days of cancer patient Tay Cheng Tian, a 54-year-old man who died in Assisi Hospice last November. The project also featured the volunteers who accompanied him through his final days. The cross-media project packaged a longform article, photos and videos together into a multimedia piece.

The publication also won the silver award in social media engagement for its Facebook group, What’s Good, which aims to promote positive journalism by encouraging users to share news of good deeds or heart-warming stories.

ST Premium, an initiative launched in February this year to produce exclusive stories, commentaries and features for subscribers, won bronze for reader revenue initiatives.

NewsEd bagged a silver award in the same category.

“This is a big win for our readers,” said ST editor and SPH’s editor-in-chief of its English/ Malay/Tamil Media group Warren Fernandez.

“We have been striving to develop premium content that is multimedia and which can be enjoyed across platforms to serve them better. So all of us in the ST newsroom view these awards not just as an indication of what we can do, but a reminder of why we do what we do.”

These ST projects won bronze awards:

* Game of $urvival: The interactive budgeting game won for innovation in youth engagement. The game, which was part of ST’s coverage for the Government’s 2018 Budget, invites readers to pick a character and navigate their financial decisions.

* The ST Asia Report magazine and newsletter, which give readers highlights of ST correspondents’ reportage from across the region, won for best digital news start-up. There is also a dedicated Facebook page.

* An integrated marketing series on travelling to Sydney, complete with photos and videos, won in the digital marketing campaign category.

SPH’s citizen journalism site Stomp bagged gold for best in social media engagement. It won for its fake-news busting project – Stomp fights fake news – which tears down sometimes viral but fake online rumours.

SPH’s Chinese-language publication, Lianhe Zaobao, bagged three awards: silver for best innovation to engage youth audience and best branded content project, and bronze for best in lifestyle, sports, entertainment website or mobile services.

ST won four silvers and four bronzes at the awards last year.

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