Singapore: The Straits Times’ (ST) Innovation Lab has won first place for Best New Concept to Incubate Products or Ideas at the INMA Global Media Awards on Tuesday (May 25) night.
The lab, an initiative of ST’s Digital team to ensure the newspaper keeps abreast of technological innovation and digital trends, takes an “entrepreneur” approach to developing new forms of story telling and reaching new readers.
It is a space where journalists and technology people can mingle, exchange ideas and conduct simple experiments.
Media giant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which owns ST, also picked up awards for its innovative interactive advertising and its mobile apps at the awards ceremony held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Said ST editor Warren Fernandez: “The Straits Times has been on a journey to transform itself into a fully multimedia newsroom these past years.
“This has meant constantly trying new ideas and testing out new concepts for our products to meet our readers’ information needs. The Innovation Lab was conceived in that spirit, and we are glad that it has been recognised with this award.”
Mr Eugene Leow, ST’s Digital Editor, added: “The Straits Times is a multi-platform product, available in print and digital. Winning a prestigious international award that recognises our effort to be innovative and creative is testament to our journalists who are constantly thinking about new forms of story telling.”
ST also won first place for Best Execution of Print Advertising for “The Interactive Newspapers”. Leveraging technology, an exact digital replica of the newspaper was developed to add interactivity and animation to the advertisements so as to engage readers.
These innovations seek to enable the newspapers in print format to maintain its print revenue model, increase its readership online, gain additional revenues from the added digital features, and extend the reach of the advertisements to wider audience beyond the newspaper online physical copy circulations.
The interactive features allow readers to contact advertisers via one-touch call, messaging, e-mail, or go direct to the advertisers’ website.
AsiaOne, Asia’s leading news and information website, was placed third in the category of Best Use of Mobile for its mobile apps for iOS and Android.
With the concept of helping readers save time, and to make it more appealing to new groups of users, in particular younger readers in the 20-25 age group, the new mobile apps were designed and developed.
New features include more varied content from a much wider range of content partners, like BBC, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and Vulcan Post. The app was also refreshed with an improved design that is sleek, clean and modern to give readers a better user experience.
SPH’s chief executive officer Alan Chan said: “These awards demonstrate our desire and ability to constantly innovate and engage all our stakeholders in the face of challenges in today’s media industry.
“As Asia’s leading media organisation, we will continue to strive and excel in all our businesses by enhancing our media offerings and staying ahead of the competition.”
The competition was organised by the International News Media Association (INMA), a leading organisation dedicated to surfacing the best ideas in media.
The INMA Global Media Awards competition received 699 entries from 264 news brands in 40 countries and was judged by an international panel of 41 executives from 19 countries representing stakeholders in the media industry.