Message from the Acting Chairman of the Editorial Awards Committee
the success of the SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence in 2006,
when the number of entries increased by about 50% to 457, it seemed
possible that growth might slow for a while. In the event, however,
we received a record 508 entries from 82 publications this year,
taking the awards past the milestone of 500 in only their ninth
The continuing growth in the number of entries reflects
increasing awareness of the awards amongst both English and Chinese
language journalists, together with rising interest in their role
in setting a quality benchmark for journalistic excellence across
It would be hard to find a more eclectic range of competitors.
The winners this year included newspapers and magazines circulating
across the continent, English dailies and magazines from Hong Kong,
Singapore and Malaysia, a Chinese language website, and Chinese
language newspapers and magazines from Taiwan and mainland China
as well as Hong Kong.
But the SOPA awards are not just about the prize winners.
Every publication that enters gains through exposure to the best
of Asia's journalism. And SOPA's role in showcasing reporting
on controversial issues such as human rights, government activity
and environmental degradation sends a powerful signal of support
for free speech in a region where the concept is still not universally
These awards take almost a year to plan and prepare.
Most of the work is done by volunteer journalists, with the help
of SOPA's small Secretariat, and one of the issues to be decided
about next year's awards will be whether the process has now
grown too big to be run on this basis. The large number of entries,
while very gratifying, is also putting pressure on our team of volunteer
judges, who are mostly journalists or academics with full-time jobs.
In the meantime, I should like to thank the Secretariat,
the editorial committee members and the judges, headed by David
Plott, for the time and effort that made 2007 another excellent
year in the life of these awards.
Editorial Awards Committee Acting Chairman