Asian Digital Media Awards: The Straits Times bags 7 wins, including best news website

The Straits Times won seven awards - including two golds - at the 7th Asian Digital Media Awards on Wednesday (Nov 9).
The Straits Times won seven awards - including two golds - at the 7th Asian Digital Media Awards on Wednesday (Nov 9).ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming.
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming.
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming.
(From left) The Straits Times senior web developer Yime Benites Puelles, head of The Straits Times Training Angelina Choy and production editor at The Straits Times Digital, Chew V-Ming. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings' flagship newspaper, earned seven awards - including two golds - at the 7th Asian Digital Media Awards on Wednesday (Nov 9).

Gold awards were clinched for Best News Website and Best Data Visualisation Project at the annual event, held in Singapore this year at the Orchard Hotel.

It also won four silver awards for Best News Website, Best Data Visualisation Project, Best Lifestyle Website and Best in Tablet Publishing, and one bronze award for Best New Product.

AskST, the paper's cross-media reader engagement programme launched at the start of the year, clinched a bronze award. It enables readers to tap The Straits Times' pool of experienced correspondents and their contacts via a variety of platforms.

Picking up two wins - a silver for Best Lifestyle Website and silver for Best in Tablet Publishing - was the microsite A Gallery Of Old And New, produced specially to coincide with the opening of the National Gallery Singapore last November.

With the use of interactive 360-degree panoramas, the site takes readers on an immersive virtual tour of the gallery's interior.

 
 

Two special projects that the paper undertook last year, Animals Crossing and The Day The Mountain Shook, also won a gold and a silver respectively for Best Data Visualisation Project.

Animals Crossing gives readers an in-depth look at Eco-Link@BKE, the region's first bridge reserved for animals, while The Day The Mountain Shook is a poignant account of how families of the victims of the deadly Mount Kinabalu earthquake on June 5, 2015, were coping with their loss.

Together with The Straits Times' seven wins, SPH clinched a total of 10 awards on Wednesday.

Citizen journalism website Stomp won two awards - a silver for Best News Mobile Service for its WhatsApp service and a bronze for Best Reader Engagement - while Brand Insider, the company's content marketing arm, added another with a silver for Best Digital Advertising Campaign, courtesy of its Mother's Day campaign with camera-maker Canon.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media group, said: "We take these awards seriously as they validate our efforts to transform. We have moved from being a print-centred newsroom to a multimedia operation.

  • Prize winners in four categories

  • Best News Website

    Gold: Fleeing to Survive by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd 
    Silver: Straitstimes.com by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
    Bronze:  Bloomberg.com/asia by Bloomberg Media

  • Best Data Visualisation Project 

    Gold:  Animals Crossing by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
    Silver: The Day the Mountain Shook by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
    Bronze: Formula One season by Thomson Reuters Asia Pte Ltd

  • Best in Tablet Publishing 

    Gold:  The Age tablet app by The Age Company Limited
    Silver:  A Gallery of Old and New by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
    Bronze: ZIP (Zon Interaktif Pesona) by The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) 

  • Best Lifestyle Website

    Gold: OHI (Obviously Harith Iskander) by Astro Awani Network Sdn Bhd
    Silver:  A Gallery of Old and New by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
    Bronze: AsiaTatler.com by Edipresse Media Asia Limited

"Our aim is to produce great content across platforms. The fact we can not only do it, but also win international awards consistently, is a huge boost for the team.

"It also assures readers and viewers that they can count on us to deliver quality content, in our print and digital products."

SPH garnered a record haul of 12 awards at the same event last year, with The Straits Times clinching 11 - the biggest ever win for any publication.

This year's awards, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) and Google, were held in conjunction with the Digital Media Asia Conference.

It attracted 116 entries across nine award categories from media companies in 11 countries. There were 24 judges, including eight from the US and nine from Europe.

Speakers at the three-day conference, which started on Tuesday, include experts from media organisations including Google, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Britain's The Times newspaper and The Straits Times.

The conference's topics focused on three main themes that define the challenge media companies face: online reader revenue, the end of display advertising 1.0 and tomorrow's revenue today.

Here's a look at The Straits Times' winning entries this year.

Best News Website

Fleeing To Survive - Gold

A special report by The Straits Times' Foreign Desk that examined the migrant crisis gripping South-east Asia and Europe as it traced the treacherous paths of the migrants.

The Straits Times' website (www.straitstimes.com) - Silver

The paper's news portal, which underwent a major revamp in July last year to mark its 170th anniversary, continues to see improvements based on data and iterative development models.

A number of reader-centric enhancements have since been made, which include social listening widgets to capture conversations around hot topics and dynamic image carousels for a more visual and engaging experience.

Best New Product

askST - Bronze

A cross-media reader engagement programme launched at the start of this year that allows Straits Times readers to tap the paper's pool of experienced correspondents and their contacts for information.

Topics range from personal finance and education to entertainment and health matters.

Best Data Visualisation Project

Animals Crossing - Gold

A multimedia longform story package about the Eco-Link@BKE, South-east Asia's first ecological bridge reserved solely for animals to safely cross an expressway separating two forests, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

The Day The Mountain Shook - Silver

One month after a deadly earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu in Sabah on June 5 last year - claiming the lives of seven pupils and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School, as well as a Singapore adventure guide - The Straits Times recounted the incident and spoke to the affected families to find out how they were coping in this interactive online special.

Best Lifestyle Website

A Gallery Of Old And New - Silver

Using interactive 360-degree panoramas for the first time, this special microsite was produced to mark the opening of the National Gallery Singapore in the civic district area on Nov 24 last year.

Best in Tablet Publishing

A Gallery Of Old And New - Silver

The entire microsite is web-responsive, scaling down gracefully for a tablet screen with an added feature: the interactive panoramas, with the help of gyro sensors, respond to how readers hold their devices.

Read here for the full list of winners.