Ahead of the cycle restarting with the Asian Digital Media Awards next Wednesday, WAN-Ifra honoured paramount winners of the World Digital Media Awards in a presentation during the Ifra World Publishing Expo and DCX.
Awards which recognise publishers that have created ground-breaking digital products that engage readers while increasing online business, are chosen from winners of the year's regional competitions.
And while The Guardian was a standout winner, publishers in Asia were strongly represented. Malaysia's Star Media was again recognized for its R.AGE youth project, and two publishers from Hong Kong - the South China Morning Post and WeMedia01 - were also in the top ten.
The Guardian was honoured for best news website, and for 6x9, its first virtual reality experience giving visitors a taste of life in solitary confinement.
1. Best News Website: The Guardian News and Media, United Kingdom
Project: http://www.theguardian.com/ Constant investment of resources and imagination have paid off once again for the Guardian News & Media, UK, and its flagship site, theguardian.com
2. Best in Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Website: The New York Times, USA
Project: Rio Olympics website - The New York Times created a microsite for their broad coverage of the Rio games that included a vast array of content - text, images, graphics, videos and more - covering all aspects of the event.
3. Best Use of Online Video including Virtual Reality: Guardian News and Media, United Kingdom
Project: 6x9: A virtual experience of solitary confinement - 6x9, the Guardian's first virtual reality experience, put the viewer inside a US solitary confinement prison cell to illustrate the psychological damage that can be caused when a person spends an extended amount of time in isolation.
4. Best Data Visualisation: South China Morning Post, HongKong
Project: Belt and Road Initiative - There are many projects being set up as part of the One Belt One Road initiative that are instigating an infrastructure building-boom across Central Asia and into Europe as well as Southeast Asia and the east coast of Africa. Some 65 countries are involved and there are some US$ 1.3 trillion worth of projects already under way. South China Morning Post published its project to coincide with Beijing's 15 May Belt and Road Forum where 28 heads of state and government were in attendance for President Xi to outline his ambitious plans and targets.
5. Best News Mobile Service: (Tie) Media24 South Africa and Arte Radio Televisivo Argentina SA
Projects: News24 Edge is the personalised news app from South African online publication News 24. With content pulled from News24.com's business, leisure, and lifestyle brands, the app allows users to choose the lifestyle areas that they're most interested in, while continuing to deliver daily breaking news.
TN Todo Noticias New Mobile Apps - Aiming to create a new and better mobile experience for its viewers, Todo Noticias, one of Argentina's leading TV news channels, launched a native mobile app focused on breaking news and live video.
6. Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Mobile Services: WeMedia01 Ltd., Hong Kong
Project: 01 run together@Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
Running as an activity has become very popular in Hong Kong, with more and more people joining marathon or running competitions. HK01 came up with the idea to have their photographers take photos of as many participants as possible and upload to their website, identifying them by the number plates pinned on their shirts. Participants can access their photos by using their competition number. HK01 offers this service free to attract people to join their membership through the mobile app.
7. Best Innovation New Product: Grupo América, Argentina
Project: UNO: Argentina's first native mobile media. Designed for millennials, it's a Grupo América spin-off (grupoamerica.com.ar). UNO produces specific content for each platform (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Medium, Twitter, Taringa!, etc), and focuses on audiovisual: short videos, animated GIF, illustrations and memes. It also publishes original video content each day, producing more than 80 videos per month.
A multidisciplinary and agile 10 people team experiments obsessively. They also collaborate with other media (Chequeado, Anfibia, Google, etc) to create new storytelling formats. UNO does not use traditional advertising, but works with brands to create branded content.
8. Best in Social Media Engagement: Grupo América, Argentina
Project: UNO: Argentina's first native mobile media, Grupo América (see above discription).
9. Best Digital Advertising Campaign including Branded Content: Aller Media AS, Norway
Project: www.KK.no - The oldest women's title in Norway showed it has a full hand of new cards as Aller Media's www.KK.no won with a visually compelling full-screen approach.
10. Best Innovation to Engage Youth Audiences: Star Media Group Berhad, Malaysia
Project: R.AGE Documentaries
R.AGE, the youth section of Malaysian English-language newspaper The Star switched from its print section in order to produce in-depth, investigative web documentaries. Each of their documentaries has a call-to-action, allowing the viewer to get involved in solving the issue explored in the documentary. In the past year, they have averaged 550,000 views a month.
Pictured: The R.AGE team with their regional award