Eco-Business earns three finalist spots at SOPA journalism awards, including for video, infographics

It is one of only a few English language regional publications to score multiple nominations at this year’s awards for its editorial work. The competition received more than 700 entries.

The Decoding Sustainable Finance explainer series launched by Eco-Business last year is a finalist for the Excellence in Explanatory Reporting category at the SOPA 2024 awards. Its special report on Asia’s shipping emissions also landed a finalist spot in the Excellence in Infographics category. Image: Ng Wai Mun / Eco-Business

Eco-Business is a finalist in three categories at the 2024 Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) awards for editorial excellence. 

The media publication is in the running for the Excellence in Explanatory Reporting award for its Decoding Sustainable Finance series launched last year. 

Curated and penned by finance correspondent Gabrielle See, the series includes explainer articles that look into topics such as transition credits, sustainability-linked bonds and blended finance – novel and complex concepts that have emerged in recent years – to inform important discussions for Asia’s businesses, financiers and sustainability practitioners. 

Meanwhile, the publication also scored finalist nods for its efforts at using a variety of visual storytelling tools to present some of the most important sustainability-related stories of the decade. 

A special report that explores and scrutinises whether Asia’s shipowners are doing enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions landed a finalist spot in the Excellence in Infographics category.

The long-form article was published on the back of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) revising its targets to a contentious net zero “by or around 2050” after stalled talks. It includes a series of accompanying maps and charts to present the often underreported topic of shipping in a more accessible way.

For example, collaborating with graphic designer Philip Amiote, Eco-Business’s chief correspondent of the Philippines, Hannah Alcoseba Fernandez, started the story with a set of dynamic maps that zoom in on a specific cargo of cellphones, tracking its journey by sea, according to fact-checked open source estimates, from Shekou, China to Cebu in the Philippines. 

Asia shipowner graphics_SOPA2024

Eco-Business surveyed 10 of Asia’s biggest shipping carriers to evaluate their decarbonisation commitments in its special report. Image: Philip Amiote / Eco-Business

Eco-Business’s latest 360-degree documentary short Wasted: 360, on the other hand, was selected as a finalist for the Excellence in Video Reporting category.

The long form Wasted documentary which explores Asia’s mounting waste crisis premiered in Singapore in November last year. Co-produced by Jessica Cheam, founder and managing director of Eco-Business, and filmmaker Fraser Morton, and supported by assistant producer Roy Ng, it investigates the waste landscapes in four key Asian countries – Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and India – and explores the solutions needed to stem the flow of trash into the environment.

Its accompanying four-and-a-half-minute Wasted: 360, which can be watched either with virtual reality (VR) glasses or on a 360-degree screen, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the waste sector. It leverages the interactive capabilities of the 360-degree video format.

Cities Possibilities_Wasted 360

Invited guests at Eco-Business Cities: Possibilities 2023 viewing the Wasted: 360 documentary short on an expansive 360-degree screen. Image: Roy Ng / Eco-Business

SOPA, founded in Hong Kong in 1982, gives out yearly awards to reward excellence in journalism and to support a free press in Asia. This year, it received more than 700 entries from global and regional media outlets, including well-known names such as Financial Times, The New York Times and Bloomberg News. 

In the regional or local category in which Eco-Business competes in, Yangon-based news and business magazine Frontier Myanmar scored a total of nine finalist nods – the highest number of nominations among English-language regional media outlets – for its investigative work on topics such as labour exploitation in post-coup Myanmar and the country’s “scam factories”. 

Other regional media outlets with three finalist spots included Sydney Morning Herald, Rest of World and CNA. 

Last year, Eco-Business emerged as the winner in the Excellence in Audio Reporting category at the SOPA awards for its podcast on secrecy surrounding sand extraction in Singapore. 

This year’s winners, who will be chosen from the list of finalists, will be announced at an awards ceremony held on 20 June. 


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