The Straits Times bags 8 wins at Asian Digital Media Awards including best innovation, online video

(From left) Stomp editor Azhar Kasman; ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee; Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong May; Chew V Ming, deputy head of digital strategy for EMTM Group; and Eugene Leow, head of digital strategy for EMTM Group, at the Asian D
(From left) Stomp editor Azhar Kasman; ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee; Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong May; Chew V Ming, deputy head of digital strategy for EMTM Group; and Eugene Leow, head of digital strategy for EMTM Group, at the Asian Digital Media Awards on Nov 1, 2017.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee (centre) accepting the award for an online feature on Joseph Schooling’s Road to Rio, at the Asian Digital Media Awards on Nov 1, 2017.
ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee (centre) accepting the award for an online feature on Joseph Schooling’s Road to Rio, at the Asian Digital Media Awards on Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times bagged eight awards at the 8th Asian Digital Media Awards, including for best online video, best news mobile service and best innovation.

Singapore Press Holdings' flagship paper won four silvers and four bronzes at the awards at Orchard Hotel on Wednesday (Nov 1).

Citizen journalism site Stomp also won two awards: a gold for Best In Social Media Engagement, and a bronze for Best News Website. 

ST's efforts to innovate and experiment with new ways to reach out to readers were recognised at the annual regional awards which received 185 entries from 29 media companies in nine countries.

The awards were jointly presented by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) and Google.

An in-depth look at Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling's Olympic gold win in Rio last year bagged a silver award in best in lifestyle, sports or entertainment website category.  The special online feature, Gold: Joseph Schooling’s Road to Rio, includes an interactive graphic that analyses his winning swim. 

South-east Asia’s brightest hopes, another project that features Olympic medal hopefuls from around the region, also won silver in the best lifestyle, sports or entertainment mobile services category.

The Anatomy of Cancer, an interactive guide on common cancer types affecting Singaporeans, won a silver award in best digital advertising campaign.

 

The project, which features three-dimensional (3D) models, was part of a content marketing campaign for Parkway Cancer Centre. Earlier this week, it also won best website infographic at the prestigious Editor & Publisher EPPY Awards.

ST's mobile app also won silver for best news mobile service.

ST's virtual reality (VR) project on Singapore's push to be a Smart Nation won a bronze award in the best use of online video category.

The project, titled Are You Future Ready?, takes users on a trip of the nation's vision in an online game. Readers can pilot a drone and learn fun facts about smart technologies along the way. It was done in collaboration with GovTech, the agency behind tech transformation in the public sector.

Another bronze winner was an initiative to make ST content available on increasingly popular smart devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. It won in the best innovation new product category. Users could ask Google Home for the latest news by saying: "Ok Google, talk to Straits Times." Or get ST's daily round-up of top news on Amazon Echo by simply asking: "Alexa, ask ST for News in a Minute."

Mr Warren Fernandez, ST editor and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English, Malay and Tamil Media Group, said: “We are continuing on our transformation journey, striving to produce more digital content as well as more compelling content.

"These awards are a recognition of those efforts made by all on our team. We still have room to improve if we are to meet the expectations of our readers and serve them well.”

Lianhe Zaobao also won a silver award for Best in Social Media Engagement.

Winning entries were selected by a panel of judges including media veterans from countries such as the United States and Britain.

Other winners include Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, The Star from Malaysia and Kompas from Indonesia.

Said ST digital editor Ong Hwee Hwee: "We are happy that our efforts to experiment with new ways of presenting content on different platforms have won recognition.

"Voice-activated technology, for instance, is an area with good potential even though smart devices like Amazon Echo have yet to take off in a big way here. Innovation, in the age of disruption, has to be key in what we do."

The awards were announced during the three-day Digital Media Asia 2017 conference which ends on Thursday (Nov 2). Topics discussed on Wednesday included global trends in media use, and how news organisations were grappling with the issue of monetising digital news content.