ST wins big at annual SPH awards

Journalist of the Year Wong Kim Hoh (centre) and senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan (left), who won a Special Award for Consistently Good Work, celebrating their wins with their colleagues from the newsroom yesterday. ST swept 12 out of 1
Journalist of the Year Wong Kim Hoh (centre) and senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan (left), who won a Special Award for Consistently Good Work, celebrating their wins with their colleagues from the newsroom yesterday. ST swept 12 out of 19 awards at yesterday's ceremony.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

From news to design, graphics, photos and digital, ST journalists come out tops

On a day when it rained awards for The Straits Times, many journalists bagged prizes for their coverage of the death of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew - a reminder of the event that gripped the nation last year.

ST bagged 12 of the 19 awards yesterday at the annual awards ceremony for the Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/ Tamil Media (EMTM) group. The awards, decided by top editors from the various newspapers, showcase the best work put out by SPH journalists.

The accolades for journalistic excellence stretched across several categories in news and features, infographics as well as visuals and digital packages.

ST senior writer Wong Kim Hoh, 54, was named Journalist of the Year for his work, including the award-winning interview series It Changed My Life which features in The Sunday Times.

The series, which started in 2013, tells the stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things. It clinched the top prize at the World Digital Media Awards last October for Best Use of Online Video.

Mr Nirmal Ghosh, 56, who is ST's Indochina bureau chief and based in Bangkok, and Malaysia correspondent Shannon Teoh, 34, won the Story of the Year for a piece that gave a new twist to the political tussle in Malaysia.

Swiss national Andre Xavier Justo confessed to Mr Ghosh that he tried to sell data which he stole from his former employer PetroSaudi to people, who he said, intended to use it to topple Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Executive photojournalist Alphonsus Chern, 36, became the second person in the history of the EMTM group's annual awards to score a hat-trick in the same year.

He won Feature Picture of the Year for his photograph of the Black Knights - the Republic of Singapore Air Force aerobatics team - flying in formation over the South China Sea.

Mr Chern, together with executive photographer Ng Sor Luan, 37, also bagged the Best Video of the Year, for their three-minute video, Trailing the Knights, a behind- the-scenes look at the team's training.

He also won the Best Interactive Infographics for a piece that took readers through a virtual tour of the National Gallery Singapore.

Several award-winning efforts were connected to the coverage of the death of Mr Lee.

The Business Times' correspondent Joyce Hooi won Commentary/ Analysis of the Year for her piece on the habit by the Western press of throwing backhanded compliments at Singapore after the death of Mr Lee, and persisting in judging the Republic by its chewing gum policy and "lack of personality".

Meanwhile, ST swept the multimedia awards, including the Best Cross Media Story of the Year and Best Digital Package for its coverage of Mr Lee's death and legacy.

The accolades were another nod to the work done by ST's digital team, which won 11 awards at the 6th Asian Digital Media Awards in Hong Kong last November, including the gold award for Best News Website.

Said a jubilant Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez yesterday: "2015 was a special year for all of us in ST. We marked our 170th anniversary, and the best thing we could do to mark it was keep up our tradition of good journalism.

"To be recognised with awards from our peers, across so many categories - news, features, pictures, videos, infographics, and design - is a tribute to the wonderful team in the ST newsroom."

Berita Harian won a Special Award for Excellence in Enterprise.

The New Paper won four awards - Young Journalist of the Year, which went to infographics journalist Billy Ker, Illustration of the Year, Best Video of the Year and Special Award for Excellence in Teamwork.

Mr Ker, 26, who joined SPH in 2013, has conceived and designed page layouts and infographics such as one on the 2014 World Cup host country Brazil, and a three-week special on the Star Wars fever last year.

"I did not expect to win this award. I feel truly honoured, because I was pitted against three other outstanding journalists," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'ST wins big at annual SPH awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe