Asian Media Awards: Local wins delight Malaysia's PM

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Mutual delight saw two Malaysian newspapers collect Asian Media Awards collect prizes from the country's prime minister at a gala industry event tonight.

Star Media Group took gold and local rival the New Straits Times silver for best feature in one of the two categories presented by Najib Razak.

Earlier in a wide-ranging address which emphasised a theme familiar at this event - that with press freedom came responsibility - the prime minister expressed delight that "one or two well-known Malaysian names" were among the winners!

With an audience of media executives, he also took the opportunity to attack the proliferation of fake news and present the government's position on growth and development. Quoting Jonathan Swift that "falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it", he wondered what the 18th century author would make of today's situation, "where so-called news stories, although many of them are nothing of the sort, are casually shared, retweeted, messaged, emailed, texted and so on, and believed by too many, with no checking of their veracity at all."

Despite claims of crackdowns on the press, there was criticism of the government and its ministers and officials in Malaysian newspapers every day, he said: "There is more than enough criticism to go round, and if you look online and on social media... well, it's like the Wild West out there!"

Awards went to:

Design: Newspaper Overall Design: gold- Singapore Press Holdings for The Straits Times/The Sunday Times; silver- South China Morning Post Publishers for Sunday Morning Post; bronze- China Daily for China Daily.

Magazine Overall Design: gold- SPH Magazines for The Peak Selections - Gourmet & Travel; silver- Mongoose Publishing for Esquire Singapore; bronze- E-Quill Media for Strom.

Newspaper Front Page: gold- Singapore Press Holdings for The Straits Times/The Sunday Times; silver- The Post Publishing for Bangkok Post - Design Desk; bronze- PT Kompas Media Nusantara for Bangkit Bersama Lawan Terorisme.

Magazine Cover: gold- Mongoose Publishing for Unsuitable for the Young, May 2016; silver- Malayala Manorama Company for The Week; bronze- India Today Group for India Today.

Editorial content: gold- Singapore Press Holdings for The Straits Times/The Sunday Times; silver- South China Morning Post Publishers for South China Morning Post; bronze- New Straits Times Press for HM - Pulau Naga Merah by Skuad Khas HM.

Newspaper Feature Article: gold- Star Media Group Berhad for R.AGE; silver- New Straits Times Press for NST - Killer cosmetics by Farrah Naz & Aliza Shah; bronze-Singapore Press Holdings for Straits Times/The Sunday Times.

Newspaper Infographics: gold- South China Morning Post Publishers for Bolts From The Blue; silver- Muscat Media Group for Times of Oman - World T20 2016; bronze- Singapore Press Holdings for Engineering Feats at Pasir Panjang a Model for

Tuas.

Magazine Infographics: gold- Muscat Media Group for Times of Oman - The Land of Frankincense; silver- Dubai Media for Traditional wedding - Hospitality UAE; bronze- Dubai Media for Security First - Dubai Customs.

Newspaper marketing: gold- Jagran Prakashan for Crowdsourcing Imagination to Create the Newspaper for the Future by the Future; silver- Jagran Prakashan for A Newspaper on a mission to restore a City's Pride; bronze- Philippine Daily Inquirer for Project OMG.

Community service: gold- Star Media Group for Predator In My Phone; silver-Malayala Manorama Company for Malayala Manorama; bronze- Jagran Prakashan for No more "Going to the Jungle".

Photojournalism: News photography: Malayala Manorama Company for Bull By The Horns; silver- Philippine Daily Inquirer for Lamentation; bronze- Malayala Manorama Company for Nepal's Illegal Kidney Selling Village.

Feature Photography: gold- Philippine Daily Inquirer for Savior to Street Oldies; silver- Singapore Press Holdings Home Sweet Home Birth; bronze- Singapore Press Holdings for Art Get Seriously Fun.

Sports Photography: gold- Jawa Pos Koran for Renang Indah; silver- Malayala Manorama Company for Malayala Manorama; bronze- Kasturi & Sons for The Hindu.

Pictured: Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and World Editors Forum president Marcelo Rech present the gold award for editorial features to Ian Yee of Star Media Group's R.AGE for its 'Predator in my phone' feature; silver went to the New Straits Times Press for 'Killer cosmetics'.

Right: Manila Bulletin's Barbie Atienza - who announced the awards with colleague Badette Cunanan - grabs a selfie with winners (below)

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