The Society of Publishers in Asia casts 2022 journalism awards finalists

Madeleine Lim, senior executive editor at Bloomberg News and chair of the SOPA Editorial Committee

The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), a Hong Kong-based non-profit firm dedicated to pursuing excellence in journalism, announced the finalists for the SOPA 2022 Awards (full list). Global, regional and local media outlets submitted over 750 entries in English and Chinese.

SOPA is celebrating the 40th anniversary since its founding in Hong Kong in 1982. The annual awards recognizing great journalism in the Asia Pacific region have been given out every year since 1999. This year’s winners will be announced on June 16 at the virtual SOPA Awards Gala and live-streamed on SOPA Asia’s YouTube channel from 7pm Hong Kong time.

Who are the headliners of the SOPA 2022 Awards?

The evening will feature Gina Chua, executive editor for media startup Semafor, whose career spans The South China Morning Post, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, in a fireside chat with The Economist‘s Alice Su, the winner of last year’s inaugural SOPA Young Journalist Award. Bloomberg TV‘s Juliette Saly will host the event. There are 20 categories, including the new SOPA Awards for Excellence in Audio Reporting and Excellence in Tech Reporting.

The investigative reporting category has been renamed “Carlos Tejada Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting” to honor the life of our late SOPA Editorial Committee member.

Carlos, who passed away suddenly late last year, spent over a decade in Asia, first for The Wall Street Journal, then for The New York Times, directing coverage of some of the biggest stories — many of which were SOPA Award winners. He joined the committee in 2018.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) this year for the first time subsidized award entrants from small media outlets, including the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

What are the executives’ thoughts on the event?

“The depth of the entries and the ambitious reporting behind them show that the journalistic spirit is alive and well in newsrooms around the world despite increasing restrictions on press freedom. The SOPA Awards have played an important role in honoring these efforts which are essential to ensuring a flourishing civil society across Asia,” said Madeleine Lim, senior executive editor at Bloomberg News and chair of the SOPA Editorial Committee.

The Wall Street Journal, Initium Media and WHYNOT (Radio Free Asia) are the finalists for the SOPA Award for Public Service Journalism for their respective coverage of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, press freedom in Hong Kong and the Chinese feminist movement.

“In a sense, the year 2021 for journalism is the Year of Reporting Dangerously,” said Ting Shi, SOPA Head of Judges and Senior Lecturer at The University of Hong Kong‘s HKU Journalism.

“A considerable number of this year’s entries focus on the aftermath of the Myanmar coup, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the persistent Covid-19 pandemic havoc across the region, and the profound transformation of Hong Kong. The finalists showcase how journalists overcame dangerous situations to produce fearless and rigorous news coverage.”

What are the award categories?

The entries were judged by a panel of industry professionals from leading media firms and prestigious journalism schools from across the world. These are the 2022 Award Categories:

  • 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 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

The SOPA 2022 Awards Platinum sponsor is Google News Initiative; the Gold sponsor is the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas; and the Silver sponsor is WP Engine.