ST video series bags prize at World Digital Media Awards

Ms Isabelle Lim (above), who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon, who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe, who surmounted obstacles to make it to university.
Ms Isabelle Lim (above), who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon, who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe, who surmounted obstacles to make it to university. ST FILE PHOTOS
Ms Isabelle Lim, who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon (above), who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe, who surmounted obstacles to make it to university.
Ms Isabelle Lim, who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon (above), who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe, who surmounted obstacles to make it to university. ST FILE PHOTOS
Ms Isabelle Lim, who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon, who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe (above), who surmounted obstacles to make it to university.
Ms Isabelle Lim, who overcame her disabilities to pursue photography; Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon, who has found peace after a horrific attack; and Mr David Hoe (above), who surmounted obstacles to make it to university. ST FILE PHOTOS

Series on S'poreans who overcame the odds pips entries by others such as The Guardian

A Straits Times video series clinched a top prize at the World Digital Media Awards yesterday, beating competition from Latin America and Europe.

It Changed My Life, which features Singaporeans who have overcome the odds to turn their lives around, won for the Best Use of Online Video, a category won by the BBC last year.

Other entries in the category include an interactive documentary on World War I by The Guardian.

This is the first time an entry from Singapore has won at the awards organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra). The award

  • Inspiring stories that touched hearts

  • Here are the five videos from the It Changed My Life series that won a top prize at the World Digital Media Awards.

    Photography gives deaf girl a different perspective

    Isabelle Lim was born deaf, with multiple physical deformities, but overcame her disabilities to pursue her dream of being a photographer. She has had several pictures featured in exhibitions. http://str.sg/eKv

    Disfigured but not disheartened

    Ms Annie Siow Lee Khoon's life was turned upside down when a spurned suitor slashed her face and poured boiling water over her. Instead of being vengeful, she has found peace of mind.  http://str.sg/mfG

    A film-maker's real-life drama

    Love, support and a baby have helped film-maker Bertrand Lee move on from the trauma of a horrific Mumbai crash, in which he lost a leg. http://str.sg/Z67u

    Selling tissues with blind mother

    Mr David Hoe had to jump through hoops to get to university. Despite having to sell tissues with his mother as a child, and later having to cope with her death, he aced his N-levels and even won a teaching scholarship. http://str.sg/mGu

    Fighting for women's rights

    Ms Saleemah Ismail's childhood encounters with victims of violence, drugs and crime spurred her to give up a cushy corporate job and fight for women's rights. http://str.sg/7pR

s pit winners from the European, Asian and Latin America digital media awards against one another.

The Straits Times is the only winner from Asia at this year's edition.

"Very strong story and used imagery powerfully to convey the message. Music was integrated well to help tell the story," said Mr Jonathan Halls from Talkshow Media, who was one of the judges.

The series was praised as an "outstanding example of the raw emotional power of the medium in the hands of an expert, and a shining example of cross-media collaboration".

It Changed My Life is helmed by ST senior writer Wong Kim Hoh and directed by executive video journalist Shawn Lee Miller. Around 30 videos have been produced since the series began in November 2013.

Among those profiled are Ms Isabelle Lim, who was born deaf with multiple physical challenges but persisted in her passion for photography, and Mr Henry Leo, who was raised as a servant but never held ill will towards his adoptive family.

Mr Wong, who conceived the series as he wanted to "reflect hope and humanity", said he was "very chuffed" about the win.

"This win also belongs to all the people who shared their lives and their stories with our readers. People always ask me where I find my subjects each week - I believe if I keep my eyes, ears and mind open, they will come," he added.

ST editor Warren Fernandez said: "This award reflects how lives have changed for all of us in ST as we transitioned from being a pure print to a truly multimedia newsroom. The inspirational features by Kim Hoh are a joy to read in print, but being able to see and hear his interviewees on video brings out even more powerfully their struggles and triumphs over adversity.

"This international recognition will inspire all of us in the ST team to strive to do even better."

ST digital editor Eugene Leow said: "This global award is a wonderful reward for our talented team who have pushed our digital boundaries far further than we imagined possible.

"We've not just shown we can transition from print to multimedia, but that we can be among the best in the world."

Into its second year, other winners of this year's World Digital Media Awards include The Guardian, which won Best News Website, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation which won Best Data Visualisation Project, and Die Welt, which won Best Mobile Service.

Wan-Ifra is the global organisation of the world's press and represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 firms in more than 120 countries. The World Digital Media Awards was held at the World Publishing Expo 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, and attended by news agencies from across the world.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'ST video series bags prize at World Digital Media Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe