Shin Min Daily News reporter Wong Kang Wei had knocked off work for the day when his editor rang him and told him to go to Bangkok that night to cover the arrest of a suspect who had robbed a bank in Holland Villagebefore fleeing to Thailand.
"As I did not know where to stay, I decided to stay in the hostel the robber had stayed in," Mr Wong recounted of his arrival in Bangkok in the wee hours of July 12 last year. "I found out that the staff member who checked me into the hotel was the same person who had checked in the suspect."
Mr Wong managed to convince the reluctant staff member to give him an exclusive interview. For Mr Wong's and his team's work in covering a story that gripped a nation, they won News Story of the Year at the annual awards yesterday for the Chinese Media Group (CMG) of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). Altogether, 14 awards were given out, including for photography and layout design. CMG comprises Chinese language publications in print and online, and radio .
In her speech, CMG head Lee Huay Leng spoke about the need for media organisations to transform themselves at an increasing rate due to rapid technological advancement, which "has impacted not only the ways we are getting information, but also our lifestyle and consumption habits". "My sense is the pace of change in the media environment has intensified in the last five years," Ms Lee added. "We no longer identify ourselves as merely print newspapers, but have embraced a broader sense of media identity."
Guests, including SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang and chief executive officer Alan Chan, were treated to a lion dance and performances. They also took part in a lo hei, with the yusheng arranged in the shape of a dragon spanning across several tables.