KUALA LUMPUR: The Star’s R.AGE team did Malaysia proud by bagging two awards at the prestigious Asian Media Awards ceremony last night.
R.AGE, a small team specialising in hard-hitting multimedia journalism for young audiences, edged out competition from major media organisations from Asia-Pacific, South Asia and the Middle-East.
“The journalists at R.AGE have had a long year full of dangerous investigations and undercover work, so I’m incredibly pleased for them to have received this recognition,” said R.AGE editor Ian Yee.
“These awards show that it still pays to do hard-hitting, cause-driven journalism in Malaysia, and we hope more young Malaysians will be inspired to do the same.”
The team won gold in the Best Feature Story and Best in Community Service categories – both for its Predator In My Phone undercover investigation on online sex predators.
The investigation and subsequent campaign for legislative reform contributed to the passing of the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill about two weeks ago.
Yee credited the members of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s child sexual crimes task force (consisting of various NGOs and government agencies), the Royal Malaysian Police’s D11 unit and Permata programmes as the “real heroes” behind the success of Predator In My Phone.
“They are the ones who have been working against the odds for decades trying to protect our children.
“They did so much work behind the scene to push through the Bill, so we’d like to dedicate these awards to them,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was the guest of honour at the event.
Najib said he was delighted to see a few Malaysian names among the winners.
“We recognise the vital role newspapers play in a free society. If you look online and on social media, it’s like the Wild West!
“Your duty as journalists is to maintain the trust of your readers and fight fake news that twists the truth into subjective fact,” he said.
The Asian Media Awards is organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra), a non-profit organisation which represents over 18,000 news publishers in 120 countries.
The over 400 entries to this year’s awards, the 16th edition, were judged by a panel of 25 international media executives.
R.AGE has been on a hot streak in terms of awards, having bagged six major trophies last year, including the World Young Reader News Publisher of the Year title in Washington, DC, the United Nations Malaysia Award and an Asian Digital Media Award.
Find out more about R.AGE’s work at rage.com.my and fb.com/thestarRAGE