KUALA LUMPUR: The Star won a slew of prizes at the prestigious Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2022, including the top prize for multimedia category as well as a special award for group advisor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
The multimedia stories team, comprising writers Diyana Pfordten, Farik Zolkepli and Justin Zack, clinched the gold medal, a trophy and RM10,000 in cash prize for their stories Interactive: Suffering in Silence, In the Memory of Our Lost Children, and Interactive: Letting Go – How Parents of Young Autistic Adults are Teaching Independence.
Also in the team are deputy executive editor Ivy Soon, news editor Razak Ahmad and senior news editor Sim Leoi Leoi, as well as artists Foo Chern Hwan and Shaiful Rizwan Mohd Azhar.
The team bested news portals Malaysiakini and Astro Awani for the award, which came in second and third places respectively. This is the third year that The Star team has been nominated for the multimedia category.
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Wong got the special award worth RM5,000 cash, a trophy and certificate, which was received by Star Media Group chief content officer Esther Ng.
Also in the winning list are The Star photographers Chen Soon Ling and Azhar Mahfof, who won bronze awards for the best photo journalism category for Fight against Covid, the Invisible Enemy and the best photo essay category After the Flood respectively.
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StarMetro journalists Bavani Mahalingam and Aida Ahmad brought home another bronze for the company under the best news reporting category, bagging RM1,000 cash and certificates.
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“I’m so proud of our data journalism team – we are such a small and effective team, and the fact that the team is always game to try out new things and new technology is what sets them apart from others.
“We will continue to delve into important and relevant issues because the Star Media Group is all about that – we are big on people issues. This award is proof we are on the right track,” said Ng.
Wong, who is in Penang to speak at a dinner organised by the Penang Medical Practitioners Society, expressed surprise at the award.
“It’s a nice gesture on the part of MPI to recognise a veteran journalist, thank you,” he said.
Soon said the team had always been exploring unique ways of story-telling and was glad that it was recognised with the award.
“We are exploring different and interesting ways and platforms to tell stories. We are happy to be recognised for this effort and initiative,” she said.
Diyana said the recognition would be able to drive more journalists to venture into data journalism.
“I’m happy that our efforts to produce engaging and informative content is recognised. We could not have achieved this without the support and contribution from each team member, including editors and artists.
“I do hope we can produce more quality data journalism, and that more journalists will venture into this field,” she said.
This year’s awards saw 350 participations from newsrooms across the country, with 116 winners in 14 categories and one special award chosen after screening by judges.
In his speech, MPI chief executive officer Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya said the selection of winners was made by a panel of independent judges, who were veteran journalists unaffiliated to any media organisation as well as academicians from local public and private universities.