Helsingin Sanomat wins top prize at INMA Global Media Awards

Winners unveiled across 20 categories

INMA Global Media Awards 2019

Helsingin Sanomat’s ‘The Land of Free Press,’ a multi-media campaign touting the impact of its journalism amid a rising tide of fake news and misinformation, won the INMA Global Media Awards ‘Best in Show,’ joining 35 companies taking home top prizes in growing brand, audience and revenue.

Produced by the International News Media Association (INMA), the Global Media Awards were presented on 17 May during the INMA World Congress of News Media at the Edison Ballroom in New York’s Times Square.

During the ceremony, 40 first-place winners were unveiled across 20 categories aimed at energizing news brands, creating products, engaging audiences, developing customer insights, growing advertising revenue, and instilling innovation. Entrants were judged in two groups: global/national brands and regional/local brands. INMA has presented awards for media excellence since 1937.

The 2019 Global Media Awards competition garnered 664 entries from 165 news media companies in 34 countries. Participants included newspaper media, magazine media, digital media, television media, and radio media.

An international panel of 46 executives from 15 countries selected 194 finalists, and from those the first place recipients were announced at today’s Global Media Awards Dinner.

Five companies won multiple first-place awards. Jagran Prakashan from India and Schibsted across its diverse brands in Norway and Sweden took home three top prizes, while three others garnered two first places: Amedia from Norway, MittMedia from Sweden, and News Corp Australia.

“This year’s Global Media Awards first place recipients leaned heavily into the science of marketing with emphasis on data, metrics, and return on investment,” said Earl J Wilkinson, executive director and chief executive officer of INMA. “Yet the brand campaigns stood above everything. Judges said the competition was intensively competitive, and the final decisions difficult. All winners and finalists should know that their efforts stand as the world’s best from the past year.”

About the global ‘Best in Show’

The global ‘Best in Show’ campaign, ‘The Land of Free Press,’ was produced by Sanoma Media’s Helsingin Sanomat around the 2018 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. With both presidents expressing a hostility to media, Helsingin Sanomat rented 300+ billboards along three possible presidential routes and projected messages in English and Russian like, “Mr. President, welcome to the land of the free press.”

While it was aimed at two world leaders, the campaign sparked an international conversation about the role of the free press, generating more than 2,500 articles in 47 countries and more than one million social interactions. Helsingin Sanomat estimates that more than 1.2 billion were reached. Google Trends data suggests a massive spike in interest about the free press. Hundreds of news organisations around the world joined an effort to support a free press.

INMA judges called the campaign a “gutsy concept that could have ended up being a generic press campaign, but the brand went big and got all the reward locally and internationally.”

Sanoma Media is a leading news media company based in Finland with operations in various European countries.

Regional winners


Judges selected from finalists the best in six world regions.

  • Best in Africa: Independent Media for “Regional & National High School Quiz”
  • Best in Asia/Pacific, Regional/Local Brands: Singapore Press Holdings for “The Straits Times Asia Report Magazine”
  • Best in Asia/Pacific, Global/National Brands: New Zealand Herald for “#NotForSale”
  • Best in Europe, Regional/Local Brands: Amedia for “Amedia Norway Sports”
  • Best in Europe, Global/National Brands: Helsingin Sanomat for “The Land of Free Press”
  • Best in Latin America, Regional/Local Brands: El Comercio in Perú for “#NoTePases”
  • Best in Latin America, Global/National Brands: Grupo Clarín for “Digital Ecosystem Via País + Cimeco”
  • Best in North America, Regional/Local Brands: Alabama Media Group for “Chasing Corruption”
  • Best in North America, Global/National Brands: The New York Times for “Feeling It: How NYT Targets Emotional Context”
  • Best in South Asia, Regional/Local Brands: Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd. (Times Group) for “The Times of India Flirt With Your City”
  • Best in South Asia, Global/National Brands: Jagran Prakashan for “We, the Daughters of India”

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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