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SOPA Announces 2024 Journalism Awards Finalists

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Executive Editor of The New York Times, Joseph Kahn, to be featured speaker

HONG KONG SAR 3 May 2024 – The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), a Hong Kong-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to pursuing excellence in journalism, today announced the finalists for the SOPA 2024 Awards for Editorial Excellence (full list here). Global, Regional, and Chinese media outlets submitted more than 700 entries in English and Chinese and a separate category of Bahasa Indonesia.

This year marks the 26th consecutive year of the awards, which were first held in 1999. Winners will be announced Thursday, June 20 at an awards dinner in Hong Kong.

Joseph Kahn, a former China correspondent and past SOPA winner who is now executive editor of The New York Times, overseeing all aspects of The Times’s global newsroom and news report, will be the featured speaker. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Kahn will talk about his priorities for maintaining editorial independence in an age of polarization.

Awards will be given out across 21 categories spanning Women’s Issues, Audio Reporting, Investigative Reporting and Business Reporting and a lot more in between. Several publications who made the finalists list benefited from an entry-fee subsidy for small media outlets or first time entrants. Among those are China Books Review in the global opinion writing category; India’s ThePrint for regional women’s issues; Master-Insight.com for Chinese-language opinion writing; and Magdalene.co in the Bahasa category.

As one of the cohort of 135 volunteer judges —comprised of former and current journalists and journalism academics from around the world— summed up this year’s awards: “From story choice to execution, this is one of the best sets of stories I’ve seen in a long, long time. I hope we continue to have an audience for this kind of journalism.”

Public health was a top theme of coverage, including the fallout from substandard medical syrup made in India and China’s role in the global supply chain of fentanyl.

Public policy in the world’s two most populous nations —India and China— was also a popular topic. Grabbing headlines in India —currently boasting the world’s largest population— was how the nation is trying to raise incomes and improve living standards. Meantime, worries are growing about the weakening of some democratic institutions like the press and the judiciary. In China, the leadership’s propensity to put national security ahead of economic growth drew attention, as well as the country’s unfolding real-estate crisis and the rivalry between the U.S. and China over the procurement of advanced technologies.

The Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong, known as JMSC, has administered the SOPA Awards since 2011.

“SOPA’s status as Asia’s pre-eminent journalism awards is attested by this season’s shortlist, which shows an unprecedented level of diversity and depth in terms of reporting range and reach,” said Ting Shi, Senior Lecturer at HKU who acts as Head of Judges for the awards.

“We’ve also seen an increasing trend of collaborative journalism in the region, where news organizations team up and work together to tackle transnational and cross-discipline topics; media outlets of various sizes and in different places get to play to their specific strength in an encouraging collective journalistic endeavor for the sake of public interests.”

Rita Widiadana, a veteran Jakarta-based journalist and executive board member of the Asia Pacific Media Alliance (APCAT) for Health and Development, is Head of Judges for the Bahasa Indonesia category, which honors stories that set the domestic agenda in politics, business or social/cultural affairs.

“This year’s shortlist captures the evolving geopolitical landscape, as well as the complexity of the region. We extend our thanks to everyone who submitted their outstanding works to the awards, and we look forward to honoring the winners and finalists in June,” said Yi-Shan Chen, Editor-in-Chief of CommonWealth Magazine and co-chair of SOPA’s Editorial Committee.

2024 Award Categories

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Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues
Excellence in Journalistic Innovation
Excellence in Audio Reporting
Excellence in Video Reporting
Excellence in Human Rights Reporting
Excellence in Feature Writing
Excellence in Technology Reporting
Excellence in Magazine Design
Excellence in Arts and Culture Reporting
Excellence in Bahasa Indonesia News Reporting
Excellence in Explanatory Reporting
Excellence in Business Reporting
Excellence in Infographics
Excellence in Reporting Breaking News
Excellence in Opinion Writing
Excellence in Reporting on the Environment
Excellence in Photography
The Scoop Award
Carlos Tejada Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting
SOPA Award for Young Journalists
SOPA Award for Public Service Journalism

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