ST wins big with 15 out of 18 journalism awards

Some of The Straits Times winners: (first row, from left) Ms Rebecca Pazos, an interactive graphics journalist with ST Digital who is part of the team that won Best Interactive Infographics of the Year; senior technology correspondent Irene Tham, who
Some of The Straits Times winners: (first row, from left) Ms Rebecca Pazos, an interactive graphics journalist with ST Digital who is part of the team that won Best Interactive Infographics of the Year; senior technology correspondent Irene Tham, who won Story of the Year; senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan, who won Journalist of the Year and Commentary/Analysis of the Year; sports journalist Chua Siang Yee, who won Young Journalist of the Year; political editor Zakir Hussain, part of the team that won Feature of the Year; and multimedia editor Basil Edward Teo, who won Best Video of the Year; (second row, from left) senior Web developer Yime Benites and senior creative director Rodolfo Pazos from ST Digital, part of the team that won Best Interactive Infographics of the Year; executive sub-editor Lin Xinyi, assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath, sports correspondent Jonathan Wong and executive photojournalist Kevin Lim - part of the team that won Best Cross Media Story of the Year; executive photojournalist Ng Sor Luan, who won Feature Picture of the Year; senior executive sub-editor Fraemone Wee, who won Layout/Page Design of the Year; and senior executive photojournalist Desmond Foo, who won News Picture of the Year ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Paper lauded for its work in news and feature stories, visuals and digital packages

The Straits Times swept most of the prizes yesterday at the Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) annual awards for its English/Malay/Tamil Media group.

The day's big winner, it won 15 out of the 18 awards recognising work in news and feature stories, as well as visuals and digital packages.

Senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan, 57, known to readers and newsmakers for his close tracking of developments in transport since 1995, was named Journalist of the Year. Mr Tan, a 34-year veteran, also won the Commentary/ Analysis of the Year for a piece that argued the safety implications of hairline cracks found on MRT trains.

The annual awards honour the best journalism produced across SPH's English, Malay and Tamil newspapers, namely The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian and Tamil Murasu. The winners are chosen through a secret ballot by a panel of senior editors.

Story of the Year went to senior technology correspondent Irene Tham, 42, for her scoop on how computers used by public servants would be delinked from the Internet from May this year. It was picked up by international media, including The Guardian, BBC, CNN and Reuters.

"Hiving off Web access from 143,000 public servants' computers is an unprecedented move and one that emphasises the real threat faced by governments worldwide. It signalled the dawn of a new era of heightened security threats," said Ms Tham.

Feature of the Year went to ST's political editor Zakir Hussain, 36, Indonesia bureau chief Francis Chan, 42, and Indonesia correspondent Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, 46, for their story of the four Indonesians who had attempted to pass through Singapore on their way to Syria. Mr Chan and Mr Soeriaatmadja travelled to West Java to a school where the four had been radicalised.

Mr Hussain said: "Terrorism is a cross-border issue that required a team effort, and working with contacts from both Indonesia and Singapore helped us piece together this important story."

Senior executive photojournalist Desmond Foo, 46, won News Picture of the Year for his poignant image of an SMRT worker who saw his friend crushed by an oncoming train.

Feature Picture of the Year went to ST executive photojournalist Ng Sor Luan, 38, for her photograph of a 67-year-old fitness enthusiast.

Headline of the Year went to ST chief sub-editor Sim Mui Hoon, for "Do you see what IC?", a play on the Christmas classic, for a story on why 55-year-olds have to renew their identity cards.

Senior executive sub-editor Fraemone Wee was awarded the Layout/Page Design of the Year for her work on ST's National Day supplement "50 parades. In photos".

Sports reporter Chua Siang Yee, 27, who joined the newsroom in 2013, was named Young Journalist of the Year. Among his stories last year was a scoop on how live TV broadcast rights had not been secured for the Rio Olympics.

ST also swept the multimedia awards, including Best Cross Media Story of the Year on Joseph Schooling's Olympic victory, Best Video of the Year and Best Interactive Infographics of the Year.

The New Paper won Best Digital Package for its video series Taxi Talk by journalists Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman and Azim Azman.

The Business Times clinched Infographics of the Year and Illustration of the Year for senior correspondent Kenneth Lim and infographics editor Simon Ang respectively.

Mr Warren Fernandez, The Straits Times' editor and editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/ Tamil Media group, said good journalism remained at the core of the business, amid much disruption and change in the media industry, and even as efforts are ramped up to develop new revenue streams.

"We are moving on many fronts to grow our revenues. But the reason for doing this is clear: So that we continue to have the resources to be able to keep good people who produce good journalism," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'ST wins big with 15 out of 18 journalism awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe