ST drive to register users lauded at global media awards event

Efforts by The Straits Times to register users have been recognised by the International News Media Association (Inma).

ST's "Gift an Article" feature, launched last November, came in second in the category for Best Initiative to Register Users at the Inma Global Media Awards which took place virtually yesterday.

Developed in response to feedback from ST subscribers, the feature allows them to share individual paywalled articles with non-subscribers, subject to the latter registering for a free mySPH account. This means more readers can sample original and exclusive work produced by the ST newsroom.

In a press statement, Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and ST editor, said: "We will keep trying to improve on the experience for our audiences, to make our content more engaging and easier to access and share.

"This has to be a relentless effort, and we will keep striving to do more to serve our audience well."

ST joins other leading newsrooms as Inma award winners this year. The association received more than 640 entries from 37 countries for the 20 categories in the competition.

German news publisher Mittelbayerische Zeitung won the Best in Show award for developing a collaborative data science initiative called Drive, which shared and combined the data of multiple regional publishers to propel digital subscriptions. Other prominent winners included The Times of India (six awards) and The Globe and Mail (four) from Canada.

Additionally, SPH, which is the publisher of ST among other titles, received an honourable mention for Best Use of Data to Drive Advertising, for a solution called Brand Safety Classification to Aid Inventory Exposure.

Based on machine learning software and developed in-house, the solution improves content and brand safety classification of articles published across SPH titles, ensuring advertisements are placed alongside content appropriate for the brand.

The software is able to exceed the accuracy of existing third-party classification solutions.

"We are delighted to win this award, and it is a testament to the strong synergies between our business and growing data units," said Dr Deb Goswami, SPH's head of data and analytics. "The most powerful outcomes arise when we combine a customer-centric mindset with actionable data. This is an important milestone in our efforts to enable data-driven outcomes within the organisation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2021, with the headline 'ST drive to register users lauded at global media awards event'. Subscribe