World Digital Media Awards winners announced at Expo in Berlin

World Digital Media Awards
This year's World Digital Media Awards winners. Photo: IFRA/DCX 2017 - Christian Laukemper.

The IFRA World Publishing Expo and Digital Content Expo (DCX) kicked off on 10 October 2017 with a convincing optimistic tone in the day’s opening keynotes and the announcement of the World Digital Media Awards winners and projections of a solid turnout in Berlin.

Michael Golden, vice chairman of The New York Times Company and WAN-IFRA President, opened the day’s events talking about how any publisher in the world can thrive, not just the iconic publisher, if they focus on their audience. “An audience-first approach is at the heart of our entire strategy,” he said.

Mathias Döpfner, chairman and CEO of Axel Springer in Germany, told moderator Jeff Jarvis in a Q&A session that he is encouraged by steps from the likes of Google to engage more with publishers. “I’m optimistic that it’s going in the right direction. Is there peace yet? Perhaps not, but I am encouraged by the progress being made.”

The World Digital Media Awards recognise publishers that have created ground-breaking digital products that engage readers while increasing online business. This year’s winners are:

1. Best News Website: The Guardian News and Media, United Kingdom
Project: Constant investment of resources and imagination have paid off once again for the Guardian News & Media, UK, and its flagship site,

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: 6×9: A virtual experience of solitary confinement – 6×9, 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.×9-a-virtual-experience-of-solitary-confinement

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’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. And, 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 ( 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: – The oldest women’s title in Norway showed it has a full hand of new cards as Aller Media’s 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 a major newspaper in Malaysia, decided to get rid of their 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.

About the awards
Winners are drawn from WAN-IFRA regional digital media awards in Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as India, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The awards are part of WAN-IFRA’s wide variety of awards programs, designed to recognise and share best publishing cases across the global news publishing industry.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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