The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), an organization dedicated to best practices in professional publishing, is pleased to announce the call for entries for the “SOPA 2016 Awards for Editorial Excellence”. Entering its 18th year, the premier publishing awards represent the most outstanding journalistic accolade in Asia Pacific. Deadline for entries is February 25, 2016.
The 2015 SOPA Awards received a record number of entries from across Asia Pacific competing in 18 categories among English and Chinese regional, local print or digital publications and wire services. To encourage wider participation, SOPA members who submit entries are eligible for a discount in the submission fee. Other publications are encouraged to join and to support SOPA, a not for profit organization.
The judging criteria for the award category “Journalist of the Year” will remain the same as last year, in which entries from Group A, B and C will be combined for judging resulting in only one winner. Journalist of the Year is designed to honor the journalist who has best demonstrated excellence in editorial achievement.
For the purposes of the awards, Asia-Pacific is defined to include the region of Afghanistan and the Central Asia republics, in addition to the Indian subcontinent, North and East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands.
With the dramatic changes taking place in the media landscape, the news industry is heading towards a dynamic digital world with many traditional media firms shifting their core business on to the Internet and developing an extensive network around smart phones and digital devices.
Meanwhile, the core value of freedom of the press is facing an unprecedented challenge. “Entering SOPA’s 18th year, we are witnessing the challenges traditional media are facing with the transformation towards the digital world. While the quantity of information is expanding infinitely, defending freedom of the press remains to be one of the main concerns of the industry. SOPA is a guardian of free press in Asia Pacific, where fine journalism often fights against powerful forces that seek to suppress its voice. The SOPA Awards is the best forum to celebrate best reporting, writing, photographic and graphic design in publishing in Asia Pacific to gain deserved attention” said Mr. Tom Leander, Chairman of the SOPA Editorial Awards Committee.
The SOPA Awards highlight editorial excellence in both traditional and new media as well as emphasize the importance of freedom of the press. The awards are designed to honor and encourage editorial vitality and innovation throughout the region, and welcome entries from English and Chinese-language publications for Asian journalism.
The awards cover a broad range of categories reflecting Asia Pacific’s diverse geo-political environment and vibrant editorial scene.
The SOPA Awards’ judging panel includes journalists, designers and photo editors from the region’s leading newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, as well as notable academics from the journalism and media departments of prestigious universities.
Judging for the 2016 Awards will be conducted by a team of more than 100 international judges stationed across the globe. The Journalism & Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong has been the Awards Administrator since 2011.
SOPA has started accepting entries. To encourage various entries from both large and small publications, entries are classified by circulation size and language type – either English or Chinese.