Gold for ST site that lets readers get published

The Straits Times' Communities microsite won gold at a regional awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The one-year-old site allows readers, journalists, artistes and community partners to get published alongside one another and exchange views on entertainment happenings.

It won gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Asian Digital Media Awards in Kuala Lumpur, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

The news came as the Communities' team was having its first Communities' party with readers and partners at the Third & Sixth Bistrobar in Seah Street.

Mr Ernest Luis, editor of, said: "Not many newspaper-owned websites allow readers to get published next to the journalists they follow. I'm glad the judges recognised the social media-influenced design of ST Communities."

The Communities site shared gold with Thailand's Nation Group, a multimedia company.

The Straits Times' citizen website Stomp won gold in the Best in Online Media (Newspaper Website) category. ST's website - - which won gold in that category last year, won bronze this year, sharing it with Malaysia's The Star Online and Japan's Asahi Shimbun. Silver went to the New Zealand Herald.

ST also won silver in Best in Cross Media for its coverage of the haze in June this year. Pollution readings hit record highs because of fires in Indonesia, and the newspaper covered it across its print and digital platforms.

The gold went to Australia's Seven West Media for its coverage of Syrian refugees, and the bronze to India's The Hindu.

Finally, the ST Photo Desk got a bronze for Best in Online Video for its 48 Singaporean Seconds, an audio-visual tribute to Singaporeans tied to this year's 48th National Day. Singapore's Ministry of Defence and West Australian Newspapers got gold and silver respectively. The 48 Singaporean Seconds project, helmed by Desmond Lim and Neo Xiaobin, featured 25 Singaporeans in videos that were each 48 seconds long.

Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said: "The ST newsroom has been working hard to develop our digital offerings to meet readers' changing interests and needs. These awards will spur us to do more and better, going forward."

The awards attracted 149 entries from 16 countries. All in, Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Straits Times, won 11 awards, six more than last year.

The Wanbao iPad app won gold for Best in Tablet Publishing. Herworldplus won silver for Best in Online Media (Magazine Website) category; Tiger Beer's Have You Been Good This Year? won gold for the Best in Cross Media Advertising category, while ST Classifieds and STCars both won bronze in the same category, and ST Property won bronze for Best in Mobile Publishing.

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