Finalists of SOPA 2021 Journalism Awards Announced Michelle Bachelet, UN Human Rights Commissioner, to Give Keynote Address

Hong Kong, May 25, 2021 – The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), a Hong Kong-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to pursuing excellence in journalism, today announced the finalists for the SOPA 2021 Awards for Editorial Excellence (full list here). International, regional and local media outlets from around the world submitted more than 760 entries in English and Chinese to the award.

Held annually, the SOPA Awards are the preeminent recognition of outstanding journalism in the region. Winners will be announced on June 24 at the SOPA Awards Gala which, due to the ongoing pandemic, will be held virtually and streamed online on SOPA Asia’s YouTube channel at 7pm.

SOPA is honored to announce that Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will give the keynote address of the evening, which will be emceed by the BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl, Rana Ayyub, Global Opinion Writer at the Washington Post, will discuss the issues facing women reporters on the ground in India with Bloomberg’s Mumbai bureau chief, Jeanette Rodrigues.

The awards this year feature 18 categories, including the new SOPA Award for Young Journalists. The finalists in the Chinese-language category for this award were nominated by Radio Free Asia, Next Magazine and Initium Media; the finalists for the English award are from the Wall Street Journal, Vice World News and the LA Times.

Malaysiakini, Commonwealth, and Radio Television Hong Kong are the finalists for the prestigious SOPA Award for Public Service Journalism for their coverage of the pandemic, industrial pollution in Taiwan and the Hong Kong protests.

The Google News Initiative once again supported first-time participants with entry-fee subsidies to allow them to showcase their journalistic achievements. Several first-time entrants, including Singapore-based Eco-Business and Cambodia’s VOD, are among this year’s finalists.

SOPA will this year also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Diane Ying, founder, chairperson and editor-in-chief of Commonwealth, Taiwan’s leading magazine group, in recognition of her role as a pioneer of modern journalism.

The entries were judged by a panel comprising industry professionals from the region’s most influential media organisations, leading journalism schools, and past award winners.

Madeleine Lim, Senior Executive Editor Asia at Bloomberg News and Chair of the SOPA Editorial Committee, said “It’s exciting to see another rise in the number of submissions and the amazing quality of the entries. The commitment of journalists everywhere to report the news and shed light on what is happening behind the scenes has never been more important than during the upheaval caused by the pandemic. Thank you to all of you – for your hard work and your dedication to your readers. The stories you told will resonate for years to come.”

2021 Award Categories

  • Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues
  • Excellence in Journalistic Innovation
  • Excellence in Video Reporting
  • Excellence in Human Rights Reporting
  • Excellence in Feature Writing
  • Excellence in Magazine Design
  • Excellence in Arts and Culture Reporting
  • Excellence in Explanatory Reporting
  • Excellence in Business Reporting
  • Excellence in Information Graphics
  • Excellence in Reporting Breaking News
  • Excellence in Opinion Writing
  • Excellence in Reporting on the Environment
  • Excellence in Photography
  • The Scoop Award
  • Excellence in Investigative Reporting
  • SOPA Award for Public Service Journalism
  • SOPA Award for Young Journalists

The SOPA 2021 Awards Platinum sponsor is Google News Initiative, PR Partner is Citigate Dewe Rogerson, other Supporting Partners are BBC News and Click2View Asia.

About SOPA
The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) is a Hong Kong based not-for-profit organisation that was founded in 1982 to champion freedom of the press, promote excellence in journalism and endorse best practices for all local and regional publishing platforms in the Asia Pacific region.

Today, SOPA is the voice of Asia’s media and publishing industry, and continues to work to uphold media standards and freedoms while celebrating and supporting professional journalism and publishing. The SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence are the annual, flagship awards, serving as a regional benchmark for quality, professional journalism.