Manoramaonline.com and The Wire bag two golds each

WAN-IFRA's South Asian Digital Media Awards

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Manoramaonline.com awarded best news website of the year
Manoramaonline.com awarded best news website of the year

The fourth edition of the WAN-IFRA’s South Asian Digital Media Awards saw more than 80 entries from over 20 South Asian media companies, which were evaluated by an international jury comprising of high ranked professionals from the media industry. Manoramaonline.com won Best News Website of the Year Award. BBC News, The Wire, NDTV Hop, Arre, Sangbad Pratidin, Prothom Alo, and The Hindu featured among winners of the Awards 2019.

The South Asian Digital Media Awards presented by WAN-IFRA recognize publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offering to meet the major changes in how people consume news today. Winners will be presented trophies at the Digital Media India 2020 conference to be held in Dehli on 18 February 2020. The ‘gold’ winners in each category of the Award will compete in the World Digital Media Awards that will be presented at World News Media Congress in Spain, on 17-19 June 2020.

Manoramaonline.com, the online news portal of Malayala Manorama, won the WAN-IFRA South Asian Digital Media Award for the best news website for the year 2019. The digital version of Kerala-based Malayala Manorama newspaper is one of the largest regional language news websites in India. Before this in 2016, Manoramaonline.com had won the award for the best news website at the WAN-IFRA World Digital Media Awards. In the best news website category, the publisher also grabbed the second spot with its ‘Manorama Mobile’ offering.

The award for the ‘Best News Startup’ went to The Wire (English) run by Foundation for Independent Journalism. The Wire also bagged gold in the ‘Best Use of Online Video’ category for its web series Sadak Se Sansad, which covered stories from 55 Lok Sabha constituencies across India.

Two categories – Best Marketing Campaign for News Brand and Best Native Advertising/Branded Content Campaign – saw the Gold Award being shared by two contestants each. Sangbad Pratidin’s Augmented Reality Face Filters during Durga Puja – ‘Pujor Face’ – fetched it the top position for the best marketing campaign. It also won the bronze medal in the same category with its ‘MaaClicks’ campaign. The Hindu’s #UnderMyWatch campaign made it the other top scorer in the same category. The Hindu also emerged winner in the Best Paid Content Strategy with its “The Hindu+” program.

In the Best Native Advertising category, Prothom Alo’s ‘Alor Poth’ bagged gold while ‘Shusthyotar Jonyo’ by ABP Pvt Ltd. took it to the top spot.

Winners were selected from 10 categories including Best Data Visualization, Best Digital News Startup, Best Digital Project to Engage Younger/Millennial Audience, Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services, Best in Social Media Engagement, Best Marketing Campaign for News Brand, Best Native Advertising/Branded Content Campaign, Best News Website or Mobile Service, Best Paid Content Strategy (incl. membership or crowdfunding models), and Best Use of Online Video. Winners in each category are as follows:

1. Best Data Visualization
Gold – BBC News – How many promises did the Narendra Modi government keep?
Silver – The Federal – Chandrayaan 2 mission
Bronze – Prothom Alo – Prothom Alo – Election Portal

2. Best Digital News Startup
Gold – Foundation for Independent Journalism – The Wire English
Silver – The Federal
Bronze – ETV Bharat

3. Best Digital Project to Engage Younger/Millennial Audience
Gold – NDTV Convergence – NDTV Hop
Silver – Sangbad Pratidin – Pujor Face – Augmented Reality Face Filters during Durga Puja
Bronze – BBC News – BBC’s Beyond Fake News Project

4. Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services
Gold – Arre
Silver – The Hindu – Sportstar

5. Best in Social Media Engagement
Gold – M M Publications Limited (Vanitha) – Ivide nalla vishesham campaign
Silver – BBC Media Action (India) Limited – #FlushKeBaad: A social media initiative for public awareness on faecal Sludge Management
Bronze – The Daily Star – Bangladesh in World Cup

6. Best Marketing Campaign for News Brand
Gold – The Hindu – #UnderMyWatch
Gold – Sangbad Pratidin – Pujor Face – Augmented Reality Face Filters during Durga Puja
Silver – ABP Pvt Ltd – Santanan Dehi
Bronze – Sangbad Pratidin – MaaClicks

7. Best Native Advertising / Branded Content Campaign
Gold – Prothom Alo – Alor Poth
Gold – ABP Pvt Ltd – Shusthyotar Jonyo
Silver – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Bold Brunch
Bronze – Times Network Digital – Jan Nivesh

8. Best News Website or Mobile Service
Gold – Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd – Manorama Online
Silver – Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd – Manorama Mobile
Bronze – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Quint

9. Best Paid Content Strategy
Gold – The Hindu – The Hindu+
Silver – Quintype – BQ Blue
Bronze – Vikatan – Appappo

10. Best Use of Online Video
Gold – Foundation for Independent Journalism – The Wire – Sadak Se Sansad
Silver – BBC News – Ink of the Earth
Bronze – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Making of Lynchistan: Killing in the Name of the Cow
Bronze – BBC News – Hand in Hand: A story of faith and friendship at Kumbh
Bronze – Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co Ltd – Mathrubhumi.com fire and flame.

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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