ST wins three prizes at top Asian awards

ST wins three prizes at top Asian awards
The Straits Times's (ST) foreign editor Ravi Velloor (left), and ST's executive artist Manuel A. Francisco, who both won awards at the Society of Publishers in Asia (Sopa) awards on 11 June 2014.

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times won prizes for editorial illustration, opinion writing and infographics at the annual Society of Publishers in Asia (Sopa) awards last night.

Executive artist Manuel A. Francisco took the top prize in the Excellence in Editorial Cartooning category.

His work accompanied a serious Opinion article about Japan's attempt to revive itself as a world power. Judges said the illustration captured perfectly the state Japan was in, with regard to its economy and overall security.

Mr Francisco, 44, who has been with the paper for seven years, said he was surprised by his big win, especially because he came up with his winning image almost "automatically". "The idea came really quickly," he said.

Sopa gives out the awards to honour journalistic excellence in publications in Asia. This year, it received more than 670 entries for 18 award categories.

The ceremony was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

ST foreign editor Ravi Velloor, 56, a veteran of 35 years in journalism, including 21 years at The Straits Times, won an honourable mention for Excellence in Opinion Writing for his piece calling for an Asia-wide natural disaster response body and emergency fund.

Judges said it offered a smart analysis of Asia's susceptibility to natural disasters, and came up with wise suggestions. ASEAN defence ministers accepted a proposal in his piece for a central command for disaster relief.

Executive infographics journalist Lim Yong also received an honourable mention for his infographic on innovative solutions and designs inspired by nature.

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