ST wins five prizes at Asian Digital Media Awards

(From left) Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez with award recipients ST senior executive content producer Denise Chong; Stomp editor Azhar Kasman; product manager in digital media products Joash Yeo; business development manager in the Chinese Med
(From left) Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez with award recipients ST senior executive content producer Denise Chong; Stomp editor Azhar Kasman; product manager in digital media products Joash Yeo; business development manager in the Chinese Media Group Lim Ruo Qi; senior UX designer in digital media products Shan Yihong; assistant vice-president in publishing systems Lau Siang Kiang; and head of project management office and value engineering Jensen Boey.PHOTO: SHAN YIHONG
The interactive ST project, Where’s Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans.
The interactive ST project, Where’s Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans.
The podcast page featuring ST & BT Podcasts.
The podcast page featuring ST & BT Podcasts.
News Challenge, a weekly current affairs quiz on ST’s Instagram account.
News Challenge, a weekly current affairs quiz on ST’s Instagram account.
The interactive graphic package, War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce.
The interactive graphic package, War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce.

It wins kudos for efforts to engage millennial audiences, explore new ways to tell stories

As media organisations grapple with major changes in how people consume news, The Straits Times was recognised yesterday for its efforts to engage a younger audience online and explore innovative ways to tell stories.

ST won five awards at the 10th edition of the Asian Digital Media Awards. The flagship title of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) bagged two golds, two silvers and one bronze at the award ceremony, held at Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel.

Organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra), the awards recognise publishers that have adopted digital media and mobile strategies to meet the major changes in how people consume news and information.

Fifteen judges scrutinised 151 entries sent by 24 media companies from 11 countries in Asia.

Clinching the gold award in social media engagement was News Challenge, a current affairs quiz on ST's Instagram account that tests how well informed users are of news.

Launched in May, the weekly quiz is designed in a fun, interactive format. It has helped grow ST's Instagram account, which saw its follower base increase by more than 60 per cent this year to 230,000.

  • WINNING ENTRIES

  • 1. BEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT – GOLD AWARD

    Instagram: News Challenge

  • 2. BEST PAID CONTENT STRATEGY (INCLUDING PAY WALL, MEMBERSHIP OR CROWD FUNDING MODELS) – GOLD AWARD

    A machine learning-enabled personalised experience for audience engagement and subscriptions

  • 3. BEST IN LIFESTYLE, SPORTS, ENTERTAINMENT WEBSITE OR MOBILE SERVICES – SILVER AWARD

    War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce

  • 4. BEST DIGITAL PROJECT TO ENGAGE YOUNGER AND/OR MILLENNIAL AUDIENCES – SILVER AWARD

    ST & BT Podcasts reach younger audiences

  • 5. BEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT – BRONZE AWARD

    Where’s Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans

  • 6. BEST PAID CONTENT STRATEGY (INCLUDING PAY WALL, MEMBERSHIP OR CROWD FUNDING MODELS) – BRONZE AWARD

    SPH News Tablet

  • 7. BEST DIGITAL NEWS START-UP – GOLD AWARD

    Garage by The Business Times

SERVING READERS WELL

These awards are about our readers, whom we want to serve well, across all our platforms. Winning these awards shows that we are making good progress as we transform our newsrooms to become more audience-centred, data-driven, multimedia operations. We have content that stacks up with the best of our peers in the industry.

ST EDITOR WARREN FERNANDEZ, who is also editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group.

Winning the bronze award in the same category was another ST project, Where's Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans. In this interactive game created to mark Singapore's 53rd birthday last year, users could test their eye for detail by spotting 53 items hidden in an illustration of a crowd watching the National Day Parade. They could then share their results on social media.

ST also emerged top in the Best Paid Content Strategy category, winning the gold award for a machine-learning tool used on its website to customise user experience.

It allows readers to follow news and updates on topics that matter to them, in the form of targeted reads and videos. The tool is also used on the websites of two other SPH titles, The Business Times and Lianhe Zaobao.

With more people shopping online, packaging waste has become a concern. ST's interactive graphic, "War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce", uses a novel approach to highlight this issue. Readers are able to unbox a parcel virtually to get a visual breakdown of the packaging waste generated by the online shopping industry. The project clinched the silver award for Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services.

ST and BT were also jointly recognised for their efforts to strike a chord with millennial audiences, with their podcast offerings that range from financial advice to lifestyle trends. They won silver for Best Digital Project to Engage Younger and/or Millennial Audiences.

ST editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said: "Ultimately, these awards are about our readers, whom we want to serve well, across all our platforms. Winning these awards shows that we are making good progress as we transform our newsrooms to become more audience-centred, data-driven, multimedia operations.

"We have content that stacks up with the best of our peers in the industry."

BT also won gold in the Best Digital News Start-up category for Garage, an online portal on the region's start-up landscape.

SPH bagged a bronze award in the Best Paid Content Strategy category for a news tablet app that provides Chinese newspaper readers with a seamless no-login and auto-update digital experience.

Other winners include Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, Indonesia's Kompas daily newspaper and Reuters.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2019, with the headline 'ST wins five prizes at Asian Digital Media Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe