The Straits Times had its best showing at the 6th Asian Digital Media Awards in Hong Kong yesterday, winning 11 awards including four gold, the biggest win by any publication at the annual event.
In a nod to its multi-media strategy, the flagship newspaper of the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) won the most coveted category of Best News Website, getting the gold among 19 entries judged by criteria including content quality, the use of multimedia technology such as graphics, video and photography, and ease of navigation.
The straitstimes.com website, smartphone and tablet apps receive 100 million page views and seven million unique visitors each month. A key feature of the site is ST Now, a live blog that provides rolling coverage of breaking news from Singapore and around the world.
The Straits Times also bagged golds in Best Data Visualisation Project for Ocean's Fury, a cross-media project to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, and Best Lifestyle Mobile Service for The Life E-book series, an interactive monthly lifestyle magazine.
Another gold went to Best Use of Online Video for the weekly series, It Changed My Life, a feature about Singaporeans who overcame the odds to turn their lives around. It was the second accolade in as many months for the series, which also won gold in the same category at the World Digital Media Awards in Hamburg last month.
The Straits Times also bagged five silver and two bronze awards.
The record win is a big leap from last year, when it took just one bronze award for its mobile service.
Said ST editor Warren Fernandez: "We are delighted with this haul of accolades from our peers in the media industry. Most of all because it says to our readers that ST is now a multimedia news outfit.
"Readers are the beneficiaries of this. They can enjoy award-winning content, on any platform they choose. Indeed, more and more people are engaging with our content in more ways today, throughout the day."
ST deputy editor Sumiko Tan said: "The wins were possible because the ST newsroom works as a team, producing content for all platforms. Credit also goes to the Digital team, which is made up of talented, creative and incredibly hard-working journalists always on the lookout for new ways of telling a story."
The Straits Times underwent a major overhaul this year to mark its 170th anniversary and create a better showcase for the best of its content across print, web, mobile and tablet apps.
Stomp, SPH's citizen journalism website, took the gold award in the Best New Product category for its iPad app.
SPH's total haul of 12 awards is the biggest for any organisation at the event.
"This has been our best haul at the Digital Media Awards. There were a total of 133 entries from 34 media companies in Asia, with 19 judges mainly from Europe. So it's a great validation of the quality of our work and the transformation we've undergone in the past two years," said Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in- chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media group of SPH.
The Asian Digital Media Awards recognise individuals and organisations in Asia which embrace new technology, innovative thinking and creativity in digital media. Organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra), the event is held in conjunction with the Digital Media Asia Conference.
"There have been absolute standouts this year in every category from mobile to video," said Mr Ben Shaw, director of global advisory for Wan-Ifra.
This article was first published on Nov 19, 2015.
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"Especially in mobile, Asia is at the forefront of this technology. The level of quality and the overall fit and finish of the innovation is on par, or exceeding that of any other region."