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HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach Newswire - 21 June 2024 - The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), a Hong Kong-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the highest standards in journalism, today announced the winners of its prestigious annual Awards for Editorial Excellence. These recognize outstanding journalistic work from the past year in the Asia-Pacific region.

The ceremony took place on Thursday June 20 at an awards dinner in Hong Kong and marked the 26th consecutive year that the awards have been given out.

Global, regional, Chinese-language and Bahasa media outlets submitted more than 700 entries across 21 categories.

Among the themes that stood out this year were the worrying state of health-care across the region, and public policy, particularly in the world's two most populous nations, India and China. Here are some highlights.

EXCELLENCE in REPORTING on WOMEN'S ISSUES

Malaysiakini's exposé, Baby snatching: How stateless mums lose their infants in Sabah hospital, won the top award in the regional group.

EXCELLENCE in JOURNALISM INNOVATION

The Financial Times's much-talked about project, Satellites, drones and programming tools reveal the transformation of China's mosques, won the top award in the global group. It detailed Beijing's effort to "harmonize" mosques by reconstructing or demolishing them.

EXCELLENCE in FEATURE WRITING

The Sydney Morning Herald won the regional Award for Excellence for its piece, China's Mongolian Reach, detailing the systematic erosion of Mongolian identity.

Initium Media received an Honorable Mention in the Chinese- language group for Journey for Hope: Chinese Migrants' Perilous Path to the U.S., which chronicled why some people are prepared to take huge risks in search of new life— a popular theme among several entries in this year's awards.

EXCELLENCE in TECHNOLOGY REPORTING

Reuters' Cable Wars, a behind-the-scenes look at how the West is trying to stop China from building undersea fiber-optic cables , won the top global award.

EXCELLENCE in INFOGRAPHICS

How to Cool Down a City by The New York Times won this category in the global group with what the judges called "superb work" balancing "being explanatory and captivating."

SOPA AWARD for PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM

Bloomberg News won this coveted award for its series, Bad Medicine. Bloomberg traced the fallout in various countries from problematic drugs manufactured by Indian-owned pharmaceutical companies. The judges called it a "meticulously researched" investigation that "brings to the fore a grave public health hazard."

Several winners benefited from an entry-fee subsidy for small media outlets or first time entrants, including China Books Review, which won the top global award in the Opinion Writing category for Mao to Now; and Master-Insight.com, which won an Honorable Mention for Chinese-language Opinion Writing for My Outstanding Student, Li Keqiang.

The event also honored the late Benjamin Kang Lim, a renowned China journalist and mentor, with the 2024 SOPA Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Thank you to all who entered the 2024 SOPA Awards and congratulations to the winners, honorable mentions and finalists," said Bill Ridgers, Asia Digital Editor at The Economist and co-chair of SOPA's Editorial Committee. "We are proud of SOPA's role in encouraging and recognizing independent journalism in a region where it is increasingly difficult to operate and where important local issues risk being overshadowed by bigger global events."

SOPA would like to thank our speaker, Joseph Kahn of The New York Times, whose remarks are available here: https://www.youtube.com/@SOPAAsia

We also extend thanks to our 135 volunteer judges and to Karen Koh for being our master of ceremonies. Thanks also to the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong, known as JMSC, which has administered the SOPA Awards since 2011 and will perform this role again next year.

The awards would not be possible without our supporting partners, Coconuts, Create Productions, Media OutReach Newswire and Telum Media.

Hashtag: #SOPAwards2024

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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