The Society of Publishers in Asia opens entries for 2023 awards

Madeleine Lim, Senior Executive Editor at Bloomberg News and Chair of the SOPA Editorial Committee

The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), an organization dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in journalism, announced that the SOPA 2023 Awards for Editorial Excellence are open for entries. The deadline for submissions is 3pm Hong Kong time on February 16, 2023.

The SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence are celebrating their 25th anniversary next year. The awards span 21 categories and are divided into three groups according to language and size of the publication: Global and Regional, both in English language, and Chinese language.

What is expected of the 2023 edition?

For the 2023 competition, SOPA is adding a category for Bahasa Indonesia publications; an award for stories that set the domestic agenda in politics, business or social/cultural affairs.

“The SOPA Awards aim to inspire journalists to pursue excellence and innovation, celebrate the best of the best reporting across all platforms, and impress on the public the importance of a free and vibrant press,” commented Madeleine Lim, Senior Executive Editor Asia at Bloomberg News and Chair of the Society of Publishers in Asia Editorial Committee.

The awards give smaller publications across the APAC an opportunity to showcase their reporting. For instance, among the 2022 award winners were Hong Kong-based Ming Pao in Explanatory Reporting with 國安法一周年系列報道 / National Security Law: Year One, and VICE Asia with its take on Reporting on pop culture in Asia in the Arts and Culture category.

As in previous years, Google News Initiative will support media outlets entering the awards for the first time by subsidizing the entry fee. It will assist smaller publications —those with a maximum of 20 full-time staff in total, of which at least 50% are full-time editorial staff— with a subsidy for up to two entries. It means first time entrants or smaller publications will pay only HKD$200 (US$25) per entry. Please apply early to take advantage of this offer.

The University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, now known as HKU Journalism, has administered the awards since 2011. Senior lecturer Ting Shi is Head of Judges for the English- and Chinese-language categories, while Rita Widiadana, a long-time Jakarta-based journalist and director of the Consortium for Press Freedom Indonesia, is Head of Judges for the Bahasa Indonesia entries. See last year’s winner list here.

Details on submissions, eligibility requirements and application information can be found at the website. The finalists will be announced in May 2023, and the winners in June 2023. For a limited time, SOPA is offering a 40% discount on the SOPA Membership fee with a 40% discount on up to five award entries. For the Society of Publishers in Asia membership discount code, please request via email to mail@sopasia.com latest by Friday Feb 10, 2023.

What are the SOPA 2023 categories?

2023 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

NEW: Excellence in Bahasa Indonesia News 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