Aware podcast Saga named finalist in offshoot of Webby Awards

Former broadcast journalist Bharati Jagdish (centre) and film-maker Jasmine Ng (right) interviewing Dr Kanwaljit Soin, former Aware president, for the Saga podcast. PHOTO: AWARE

SINGAPORE - A podcast by local gender equality organisation Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) is a finalist in the inaugural Anthem Awards, the social impact branch of the influential United States-based Webby Awards.

Saga, a 12-part series released between December 2020 and January 2021, is one of 40 finalists named in the Human & Civil Rights (Awareness - Not for Profit) category of the Anthem Awards. It is one of only three finalists in the category that focus on non-US issues and events.

The podcast, which is hosted by journalist and Money FM 89.3 presenter Bharati Jagdish, recounts the 2009 takeover of Aware by Christian conservatives. Some 50 people were interviewed for the podcast, including notable Singaporeans such as actress Irene Ang and veteran diplomat Tommy Koh. It was written and produced by Jasmine Ng and Kelly Leow over the course of 2019 and 2020.

Aware says that Saga has racked up close to 100,000 plays to date across all platforms. It is available for free on Aware's website, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Aware president Margaret Thomas said the women's rights group was "over the moon" at being named an Anthem Awards finalist.

"It is absolutely extraordinary to think that a low-budget, completely independent podcast from Singapore has been placed in the company of these international giants of social impact," she said.

The Anthem Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, aim to highlight "social good and philanthropic endeavours, online and offline" around the world.

The finalists were selected from nearly 2,500 entries from 36 countries worldwide, by a judging panel that included actors Daniel Dae Kim and Ashley Judd, as well as former US secretary of labour Alexis Herman.

Finalists in other Anthem Awards categories include satirical news series The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, an art installation inspired by US Vice President Kamala Harris and actress Jessica Alba's The Honest Company.

The winnerswill be announced on Feb 15.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.