The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) report on the 1MDB scandal and its Asian edition economics editor Tom Wright have won accolades at tonight’s Society of Publishers in Asia (Sopa) Awards 2016.
The business publication is the Group A winner for the Scoop Award, for its report ‘Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal’ that started the ball rolling on global investigations into the Malaysian state investment fund as well as worldwide media coverage of the matter.
WSJ also received honourable mention for the same article in the Excellence in Investigative Reporting Award. The category honouring reports that exposed corruption or abuses and hold power to account.
Wright was honoured by Sopa as the Journalist of the Year.
He was one of the WSJ journalists instrumental in the 1MDB expose and the series of articles that followed.
Previously the WSJ was a finalist in the International Reporting Category of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize which honours outstanding American journalism, for its 1MDB expose.
Malaysiakini gets honourable mention for Bersih 4 photography
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini also received honourable mention for its Bersih 4 photography, which features use of aerial drone technology to cover the large-scale public demonstration.
It was the first time a media outlet deployed drones for a rally on this scale, for which an estimated 200,000 people turned up at its peak. The drone team produced the earliest bird's eye photographs of this major protest in Kuala Lumpur and gave a clear visual scale of the magnitude of the event.
Meanwhile, the photographs on the ground were captured by Malaysiakini's sole photographer, Lim Huey Teng, who had to endure a gruelling 36 hours to record the images of the mammoth rally.
Another Malaysian news portal, The Star Online, won the Group B Scoop Award for its report ‘Visa Discord’, which details the rising cost of visa fees for Indonesian workers in Malaysia and how that may lead to less legal workers being able to afford to pay the money needed to come and work in the country.
According to Sopa, the entries in the 18 categories in English and Chinese were judged by a panel of 100 judges from all over the world.
Established in 1999, the Sopa Awards is described by its website as dedicated to recognising the editorial excellence in both new and traditional media in the region, designed to both cover Asia’s wide ranging editorial landscape as well as encourage editorial vitality in the industry.
Sopa itself was formed in 1982 to champion press freedom and journalistic excellence in the region.