SMG shines at MPI Awards

KUALA LUMPUR: Star Media Group (SMG) swept top prizes at the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)-PETRONAS Malaysian Journalism Awards (HKM) 2023.

The nation’s premier annual journalism awards night was held in recognition of the outstanding works by journalists from the print, online and electronic platforms.

In attendance were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

In the Best News Report category, SMG’s Fazleena Aziz and Fatimah Zainal won gold for their series of reports on child abuse, which appeared in The Star main paper.

They walked away with RM10,000 and a trophy.

SMG deputy chief designer Hassan Bahri was recognised for coming up with the Best Frontpage Design for StarBizWeek’s “Ringgit in a Corner” feature. He too won RM10,000 and a trophy.

Two others from SMG, Bavani M and Shalini Ravindran, triumphed with their series of reports on flood retention ponds, in StarMetro.

Well done: Ng celebrating with the SMG team at the MPI-PETRONAS Malaysian Journalism Awards 2023 in Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The StarWell done: Ng celebrating with the SMG team at the MPI-PETRONAS Malaysian Journalism Awards 2023 in Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

By clinching gold in the Best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) category, they received RM10,000 and a trophy.

Another win by SMG journalists was the “Colours of Malaysia” series, which got silver in the Best Multimedia Journalism category.

The StarPlus Data team won RM3,000 and a certificate.

Members of the team comprised Sharon Ling, Zulazhar Sheblee, Leanne Hong, Shaniza Shafie, Dorairaj Nadason, Sim Leoi Leoi, Darishini Priyaa Devadas, Chow How Ban, Zulhaimi Baharuddin, Farid Wahab, Muhamad Shahril Rosli, Patrick Chin, Priyatharsini Ramasamy, Ahmad Firdaus Hamid, Carl Lew, Arnold Loh, Lo Tern Chern, Lim Beng Tatt, Sheela Chandran, Ahmad Izzrafiq Alias, SS Kanesan and Ahmad Syukry Mohd Kassim.

SMG chief content officer Datin Paduka Esther Ng said the group’s journalists will continue to provide and present stories for the public.

“I’m so proud of our team, they have been recognised for their dedication and passion to get to the bottom of the story and this is their night.

“The Star will continue giving our best and will not forget that we are the people’s media,” she said at the event held at Majestic Hotel here last night.

Fazleena dedicated the victory to “all the voiceless children in the country”.

“Our stories highlighted their plight and we will continue to be their voice,” she said.

Bavani expressed gratitude to the whistleblowers for their courage and trust in coming forward with crucial information to tell their stories.

“This recognition highlights the critical importance of preserving our flood reservoirs, which are essential for protecting our communities from devastating floods.

“Our hope is that this series will continue to raise awareness of safeguarding these vital resources for future generations,” she said.

The Prime Minister, in his speech, assured the media industry that press freedom in the country will not be compromised.

“I have stressed that I will not step away from my stance to guarantee and defend the rights of press freedom in the country.

“But when it comes to 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues that could divide the people, we will not compromise on them,” said Anwar.

In his opening speech, MPI president Datuk Yong Soo Heong said that 2023 saw the highest number of applications since the awards’ inception in 1980.

“The number of applications increased 21% or 488 applications for 23 categories compared to the previous year,” he said.

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