SPH Chinese Media Group NewsHub series on Bicentennial wins award for best digital story

The project, titled Treasures Before Us, focused on Singapore's history over 700 years, and featured stories that were presented through multiple platforms. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - When a team of journalists from Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group (CMG) NewsHub started work two years ago on a digital series to mark the country's bicentennial, they sought to dig up lesser-told stories about Singapore's pre-colonial and 19th century history.

Over several months, they spoke at length to nine researchers, some of whom had differing views, and camped in the library for days.

Their efforts paid off on Wednesday (Feb 5) at CMG's Chinese New Year get-together and awards ceremony.

The project, titled Treasures Before Us, won Best Digital Story.

It focused on Singapore's history over 700 years, and featured stories that were presented through multiple platforms, including a long-form interactive on zaobao.sg, a 3D virtual museum, a five-episode video series and a series of five print articles on Lianhe Zaobao.

Said the project lead, correspondent Wong Siew Fong: "We hope that people can get a chance to reflect and think about Singapore's history in another way."

A total of 15 awards were presented at the event, where CMG head Lee Huay Leng spoke about the group's efforts to report on and respond to the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

These efforts include ramping up content on the coronavirus and public health issues, staging a live show this Sunday at SPH's News Centre to express solidarity for those affected and raise funds for the Singapore Red Cross Society to aid affected communities in China. Said Ms Lee: "I believe that with our shared sense of purpose and values, we have the ability to fight each battle as it comes."

Several other award-winning projects focused on less-known aspects of life in Singapore.

Homeless In Singapore, a project by two correspondents which won Best News Report, delved deeper into the stories of homeless persons in Singapore. "I felt that there were still some gaps in terms of telling the story of the street dwellers," said Ms Ng Wai Mun, who worked on the project with Ms Su Wenqi.

To give a more in-depth picture of the situation, they went on night walks with volunteers and social workers at Catholic Welfare Services and interviewed officials, non-governmental organisations and those living on the street.

Digital video series Mission: SG, which won Best Video - News, explored a more personal side of foreign ambassadors in Singapore. Said Mr Fredrick Lai, who was a host: "We got to see what their family lives were like, how they interacted with one another."

He added: "All the ambassadors have a fun side to them."

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