ST Asia Report wins two top prizes at Global Media Awards

The Straits Times Asia Report, which curates some of the best analyses and features on the region from the ST Foreign Desk, bagged two top honours at the International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in New York on Friday.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes The Straits Times, also clinched two other prizes - for print advertising and corporate innovation.

The bi-monthly ST Asia Report magazine was named Best New Print Product. The magazine, which will be produced monthly from next month, was also named Best in Asia/Pacific, Regional/Local Brands.

Mr Warren Fernandez, ST editor and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/ Tamil Media Group, said: "We are continuing to invest heavily in our network of overseas correspondents as this enables us to produce unique insider insights on Asia for our audience in Singapore and around the world. ST Asia Report curates and showcases their best work. We are delighted that this new effort has been recognised."

Report editor Shefali Rekhi noted that Asia is rising at a pace unseen before but a period of growth has its complexities, power struggles and misunderstandings.

"The Straits Times has been covering the region for decades now and we want to showcase our efforts to a wider audience, to be able to improve their knowledge and understanding of this complex region, through ST Asia Report, ST Asian Insider and other initiatives," she said.

In addition to the ST Asia Report, content from ST's network of overseas correspondents is also showcased in Asian Insider, a daily newsletter that covers developments across the region.

This year's INMA competition had 194 finalists from 664 entries.

Participants hailed from 165 news media companies in 34 countries, and included newspapers, magazines, digital media, television and radio.

SPH won second prize for Best Execution of Print Advertising for its campaign to promote the Classifieds section.

The Colourful Cat Advertisement campaign featured a colouring ad with cats in different poses to encourage readers to adopt a cat through the Classifieds section.

"We're glad that our creative campaign has garnered this prestigious accolade," said SPH chief marketing officer Ignatius Low.

"Most people perceive the Classifieds as a section to promote vehicles, property and tour advertisements, but it is also a marketplace with a host of surprising finds such as garage sale, antiques, lost and found items, and even pet adoption."

The other prize was for a project that helped SPH transform amid challenges and disruptions in the media industry.

The 100-day Project Storm: An Innovation Journey, which was third for Best New Corporate Innovation Initiative, was launched in April last year. It encouraged staff to adopt new ways of working and introduce strategies and skills to improve SPH's innovation capabilities. Staff members worked in teams to come up with projects that were showcased on SPH Innovation Day on July 4 last year.

SPH head of media strategy and analytics Fiona Chan said that SPH has since rolled out systematic innovative training and large-scale cross-functional projects involving hundreds of staff members to help them thrive amid the disruption in the media industry.

"This award serves as motivation for us to continue to intensify our innovative initiatives to transform our media business, and we hope it will also inspire others in the same way," she added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 19, 2019, with the headline ST Asia Report wins two top prizes at Global Media Awards. Subscribe