A discussion of erotica – Women Don’t Just Enjoy Erotica, Some Even Write It – helped Indian website The Quint to a top place in this year’s South Asia Digital Media Awards.
The Quint also bagged the coveted ‘best news website’ award, while HT Labs, The Hindu, Prothom Alo and BBC News emerged as the other top prizewinners. The award recognises outstanding digital media projects delivered by news publishers from across the region, from September 2022 to August 2023.
HT Labs, The Hindu, Prothom Alo, The Quint, and BBC News emerged as the DMA South Asia 2023 winners among more than 100 entries.
The 2023 competition saw news publishers competing for 12 gold, silver, and bronze awards categories. Trophies will be presented to the winners at the upcoming Digital Media India 2024 conference, being held from March 13-14 in New Delhi. Gold winners go forward to the World Digital Media Awards competition.
The winners re:
Best data visualisation
Gold: How Galle Face became a focal point of protest?, BBC News.
Silver: When Hitler Made a Team Pull Out, The World Cup Without a Final, The Quint.
Bronze: India’s Moonshot, India Today Group Digital.
One jury member commented, “The maps, timeline and pictures are well-paced, and the interactivity is engaging. The mobile-first approach pays off – the mobile experience is enjoyable and smooth. The timeline helps readers to understand the story more clearly. This project doesn’t look like a two-week project; it looks sophisticated.”
Best digital subscription/reader revenue project
Gold: Subscriber engagement & retention program, Hindustan Times Digital Streams Limited.
Silver: OTTplay Premium, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited.
Bronze: Prothom Alo eEdition, Prothom Al.
One jury member noted, “A project founded on a solid strategy about how to treat subscribers best. It is well designed, and the clear communication seems to enhance the effects of this project.”
Another juror commented, “Congratulations on this well-planned and successful initiative. The combination of strategic and tactical work on the user experience, the extreme focus on reader engagement, and a holistic view of the subscriber and user journey have resulted in a successful project. Your results speak for themselves as you have used the best of reader-focused planning and thinking to strengthen your business.”
A juror said, “This entry did what others did not – provided data about the performance of the subscription products and offered information on the tactical steps taken to achieve that performance. Smart use of welcome screens to drive adoption of product features and a solid onboarding experience. A solid entry.”
Best in audience engagement
Gold: The Hindu Made of Chennai, The Hindu.
Silver: Chennai-A-Maze, The Hindu.
Bronze: Slurrp – Community, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited.
Jury Special Mention Award: What’s My Friendship Score?The Daily Star.
Jury Special Mention Award: Engaging the Youth, Prothom Alo.
One jury member commented, “Very strong and confident, it remained true to journalism rather than leaning towards boosterism. Good work, especially on engaging the audience through cryptic crosswords and more.”
Another juror said, “An all-singing, all-dancing approach to audience engagement. What I love most about this project is its combination of online and offline activities. This is truly an attempt to build community and reach audiences wherever they are.”
A juror said, “The stand-out entry demonstrates best-in-class, audience-focused product development. What is particularly positive about the entry is not only the product-market fit but also the business-model product fit. It demonstrates the virtuous cycle possible with a reader-revenue-led newsroom, where the audience is central to business and product development. The entry was also bolstered by a smart use of data, showcasing the increased usage of podcasts and the app itself and how the app contributed to supporting independent journalism.”
One jury member noted, “This project is the most impressive 360-integrated campaign among all the entries. They haven’t just executed a digital campaign; instead, they orchestrated several offline (on-ground) activations over the 45-day campaign period. Each activation has garnered good traction, as evident in the showreel.”
Best news website
Gold: The Quint, The Quint.
Silver: The Hindu, The Hindu.
Silver: Prajavani Revamp & Redesign, The Printers (Mysore) Pvt Ltd.
Bronze: Best News website: Livemint , Hindustan Times Digital Streams Limited.
One jury member noted, “The Quint has strong branding and a good visual signature. Its value proposition lies in original reporting and multimedia storytelling. Overall, the site appears comprehensive without being overwhelming, and the stories are presented in an engaging and shareable manner. It’s good that they seamlessly weave in short-form video and fact-checking in their coverage.”
Another juror said, “The elegant design update translates well to mobile, providing users with vast opportunities to continue content consumption and discovery.”
Gold: Mint Easynomics Newsletter, Hindustan Times Digital Streams Limited.
Silver: Slurrp – Newsletter, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited.
Bronze: OTTplay – Newsletter, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited.
One jury member noted, “I love this idea. Everyone struggles with maths and economics, and having a product to help anyone with an internet connection to navigate money matters is a blessing.”
Another juror said, “A fascinating newsletter that uses the element of surprise. The memes brilliantly lure readers into the product.”
A juror said, “This is a standout entry. The audio quality is flawless, the short and punchy duration is perfect, and the targeted audience and leverage of cross-promotion opportunities are excellent. Congratulations.”
One jury member noted, “This project shows the strategic application of AI in their revenue strategy and is both innovative and effective. The use of AI for dynamic pricing and personalised content recommendation stands out as a particularly strong use case with clear benefits. The entry provides evidence of these models’ positive impact on user acquisition and retention, which are critical metrics for any subscription-based service.”
Best use of AI in the newsroom
Gold: AI in the Newsroom, Hindustan Times Digital Streams Limited.
Silver: Transforming News Consumption, Prothom Alo.
Silver: Meta Description for News Articles using Generative AI, The Hindu.
Bronze: AI & I, Jagran New Media.
One jury member noted, “Shining example of how AI tools can be integrated into newsgathering workflows to find more and better stories, optimise efficiency while keeping a critical eye on not letting AI diminish the publishers’ integrity and trust of the audience. Great work!”
Best use of video
Gold: Women Don’t Just Enjoy Erotica, Some Even Write It, The Quint.
Gold: The Holes In India’s Data Privacy Laws feat Miranda House , Hindustan Times Digital Streams Limited.
Silver: Trapped by Tradition, Deutsche Welle.
Bronze: The Definition, BBC News.
Jury Special Mention Award: Manipur Weeps, MOJO STORY.
Jury Special Mention Award: The Hindu Made of Chennai Song, The Hindu.
A juror said, “Powerful and moving story well told. I would expect to see this type of content in WAN-IFRA digital awards (not advertising campaigns). Overall execution is good.”
Another juror commented, “Great camera work, good editing, wonderful drone shots. People in the comments loved seeing their home like that – it resonated with them.”
The historical winner details of the previous editions are available on the South Asian Digital Media Awardswebpage.
Pictured: A scene from the Quint video