SINGAPORE - Straits Times journalists Audrey Tan and Rebecca Pazos were honoured by the Singapore Press Club at its 50th anniversary on Friday (June 10).
Ms Tan, 31, received the City Developments Limited-Singapore Press Club Sustainability Journalism Award while Mrs Pazos, 34, won the Young Digital Journalist Award.
Ms Tan, who is assistant news editor and science and environment correspondent, was recognised for her tireless coverage of sustainability, which has led to reforms in the environmental impact assessment frameworks in Singapore.
The Press Club said: "Her pieces on climate change, biodiversity conservation and carbon markets have been consistently tenacious.
"She has also embraced new channels, specifically her environmental podcast 'Green Pulse', and a series of climate change cartoons in the lead up to COP26."
COP26 was a major global climate change conference organised by the United Nations at the end of last year.
Ms Tan, who joined the paper in 2013, said she was honoured to receive the award, and that the climate crisis is more than just an environmental problem but one that is closely intertwined with all other aspects of life from health to the economy.
"Journalists have an important role to play in highlighting these links," she said.
"I am grateful to my editors at The Straits Times for their encouragement over the years, and for believing in the importance of climate coverage even before this topic became mainstream."
Mrs Pazos, who is a data visualisation editor at ST, was recognised for telling compassionate, human-centred data stories, including her work visualising changes to constituency boundaries in Singapore and tracking the country's Covid-19 outbreak.
Mrs Pazos, who has been with ST since 2015, said she was shocked and encouraged by the win.
"Data journalism can be serious, but it can also be fun, inspiring and emotional if we can weave in the human stories in the data," she said. "It's visual, visceral and often unexpected but it gives us room to be quirky and creative too."
The pair, along with three others, received their awards from Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo at the Orchard Hotel.
The inaugural awards were launched to commemorate the Press Club's 50th anniversary and aim to recognise journalists and other media-related professionals who have excelled in their craft and made an impact in their work.
The other winners were Ms Nabilah Awang from Today and Ms Kelly Ng from The Business Times, who received the Young Journalist Award, and Ms Chai You Xia from 8world News, who received a Young Digital Journalist award alongside Mrs Pazos.
The Club also unveiled a Singapore Media Industry Hall of Fame, honouring 50 individuals from the media and media-related professions for their contributions over long careers in the industry.
Fourteen of them were inducted posthumously, hailing from the English and vernacular presses. These included Singapore's first President Yusof Ishak, who founded Utusan Melayu; fourth President Wee Kim Wee, who was an editorial manager at The Straits Times and a founding pioneer of the Press Club; former minister Othman Wok, who was Utusan Melayu's deputy editor; former ST editor-in-chief T.S. Khoo, who was founding president of the Press Club; and former Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) CEO Lyn Holloway.
The other posthumous inductees are former Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) veterans Ananda Perera, Ee Boon Lee, Remesh Kumar, S Chandra Mohan, Steven Lee, and Wong-Lee Siok Tin; Tamil Murasu founding publisher and editor G. Sarangapany; ex-Lianhe Zaobao chief editor Loy Teck Juan; and former Tamil Murasu chief editor V.T. Arasu.
Another 36 were also inducted as "living pioneers", including former ST editors-in-chief Peter Lim and Cheong Yip Seng; former ST editor Leslie Fong, who was Press Club president from 1991 to 2008; ST editor-at-large and former ST editor Han Fook Kwang; former ST sports editor Godfrey Robert; and former Sunday Times and magazines editor Tan Wang Joo.
Other print media veterans who were honoured were former Business Times editor Mano Sabnani, former BT deputy editor Margaret Thomas, former BT journalist and Today editor-at-large Conrad Raj, former The New Paper editor P.N. Balji, former Berita Harian editors Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Guntor Sadali, former Lianhe Zaobao editor Lim Jim Koon, former Sin Chew Jit Poh editor Frank Wong Yut-Wah, former Nanyang Siang Pau managing director Ung Gim Sei, and former Singapore Press Holdings veterans Chew Keng Juea, Denis Tay, Seow Choke Meng, and Tham Khai Wor.
Broadcast media veterans who were honoured were ex-SBC editors, presenters and section heads Ahmad Thani, Brian Richmond, Choo Lian Liang, Francis Chowdhurie, Joan Chee, Lucy Leong, Mun Chor Seng, Tay Joo Thong, V. Kalaiselvan and Zainab Rahim.
Also honoured were public relations veterans Basskaran Nair, Christina Cheang, Elaine Lim, Gerry de Silva, Yap Boh Tiong, as well as two former press secretaries to founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew - Mr James Fu and Ms Yeong Yoon Ying.
The Club said it will continue to induct more veterans every year.