SPH wins two awards at SOPA 2013 Awards for Editorial Excellence

SINGAPORE- Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) bagged two awards at the SOPA 2013 Awards for Editorial Excellence held tonight at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong.

The SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence were established by The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) in 1999 as a tribute to editorial excellence in both traditional and new media and were designed to encourage editorial vitality throughout the region.

At this year's SOPA awards, SPH won the following accolades:

Excellence in News Photography (Honourable Mention)

- The New Paper on Sunday - Kelvin Chng for LionsXII survive Sarawak 'hell'

Excellence in Feature Photography (Honourable Mention)

- The Straits Times - Desmond Lim for Hiding Place: Singapore's first halfway house

The New Paper won an Honourable Mention in the category of Excellence in News Photography. The winning photograph for the story LionsXII survive Sarawak 'hell' was taken by Kelvin Chng, who was a photojournalist with The New Paper for 11 years, and is now with the English and Malay Newspapers Division's Editorial Support Service Unit as a Systems Support Specialist in SPH.

Mr Dominic Nathan, Editor of The New Paper, said: "Sports photography is a specialised field in itself, but this time Kelvin caught the action off the field as well, after the final whistle. The LionsXll were pelted with water bottles after a bruising away win against Sarawak. And Kelvin survived Sarawak hell with an award-winning shot. The award is also great recognition of The New Paper's effort in giving our readers the best sports coverage in Singapore. No one covered the return of the Malaysian Super League last year like we did and going forward, you can count on more action shots, on and off the field."

Two of The New Paper's journalists were also finalists in their respective categories. Zaihan Mohamed Yusof was a finalist for the prestigious Journalist of the Year award, while Judith Tan's scoop of the extra-marital affair of former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer in her report Source. Messages. Scandal was a finalist for The Scoop Award.

The Straits Times photojournalist Desmond Lim won an Honourable Mention in the category of Excellence in Feature Photography. Desmond won for his series of photographs in Hiding Place: Singapore's first halfway house. He lived in the halfway house for 10 days weeks to document the everyday lives of its residents. Desmond was also part of the team that won an Honourable Mention in the same category at last year's SOPA awards.

Ms Stephanie Yeow, Picture Editor at The Straits Times, said: "We are extremely proud of Desmond, to say the least. He is one of our most talented photographers. Even though he was a runner-up tonight, he's number one in my book."

In addition, The Straits Times' Lim Yong and Quek Hong Shin were named finalists for Excellence in Information Graphics for their infographics work in Mirroring Nature, while Manny Francisco was a finalist for Excellence in Editorial Cartooning for China plays its Asean game.

The SOPA Awards were divided into three groups, A, B and C. Under SOPA's classification, SPH contended for awards in Group B, categorised as English-language newspapers that circulate primarily in one or two countries, English-language magazines with circulation under 50,000 and English-language websites with 5 million monthly uniques or below.

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