World Association of News Publishers

Best Practice in Digital Media – Profiles of the 2017 World Digital Media Awards winners

Best Practice in Digital Media – Profiles of the 2017 World Digital Media Awards winners


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The foreword by Dean Roper, Director of Insights, WAN-IFRA:

"Execution is eating strategy for breakfast," said the chairman of one of the world's most innovative media groups at a recent Investors Day. Clearly, he was paraphrasing, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast," the oft-cited quote attributed to the late business management guru Peter Drucker.

That new twist on an old idea is gaining momentum at those media companies that always seem to be one step ahead of the innovation culture curve. This report highlights some of those companies, based on five different continents. With plenty of regional market differences and having participated in a competition featuring 10 categories across the digital spectrum of publishing, what do they have in common?

• In one way or another, many of these projects, whether new or developments of existing ones, seem to start with a blank canvas: "Why do what we did the last time or last year?"

• They also show publishers' increasing willingness to embrace collaboration across departments such as editorial, commercial, tech, and marketing.

• Development is increasingly taking place in-house, while at the same time embracing new tools and external partners for assistance.

• And while planning is indeed a major part of their success, testing, testing, iterating – or "We are making this up as we go along" – is a mantra.

We, in our industry, can easily fall into the trap of becoming negative about everything that may be going wrong with our business. I have been studying a lot about innovation culture lately. And it might sound banal, but it's prevalent in those companies that succeed: celebrate your successes, both large and small.

These best-practice cases, and many others, deserve to be celebrated. Cheers!

Detailed information about
the winning projects

1. Best News Website: The Guardian News and Media, United Kingdom

Constant investment of resources and imagination have paid off once again for the Guardian News & Media, UK, and its flagship site,

2. Best in Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Website: The New York Times, USA

Project: Rio Olympics website
The New York Times created a microsite for their broad coverage of the Rio games that included a vast array of content – text, images, graphics, videos and more – covering all aspects of the event.

3. Best Use of Online Video including Virtual Reality: Guardian News and Media, United Kingdom

Project: 6x9
A virtual experience of solitary confinement – 6x9, the Guardian's first virtual reality experience, put the viewer inside a US solitary confinement prison cell to illustrate the psychological damage that can be caused when a person spends an extended amount of time in isolation.

4. Best Data Visualisation: South China Morning Post, HongKong

Project: Belt and Road Initiative
There are many projects being set up as part of the One Belt One Road initiative that are instigating an infrastructure building-boom across Central Asia and into Europe as well as Southeast Asia and the east coast of Africa. Some 65 countries are involved and there are some US$ 1.3 trillion worth of projects already under way. South China Morning Post published its project to coincide with Beijing’s 15 May Belt and Road Forum where 28 heads of state and government were in attendance for President Xi to outline his ambitious plans and targets.

5. Best News Mobile Service: (Tie) Media24 South Africa and Arte Radio Televisivo Argentina SA

Project: News24 Edge
The personalised news app from South African online publication News 24. With content pulled from’s business, leisure, and lifestyle brands, the app allows users to choose the lifestyle areas that they’re most interested in, while continuing to deliver daily breaking news.


Project: TN Todo Noticias New Mobile Apps
Aiming to create a new and better mobile experience for its viewers, Todo Noticias, one of Argentina’s leading TV news channels, launched a native mobile app focused on breaking news and live video. 

6. Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Mobile Services: WeMedia01 Ltd., Hong Kong

Project:01 run together@Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
Running as an activity has become very popular in Hong Kong, with more and more people joining marathon or running competitions. HK01 came up with the idea to have their photographers take photos of as many participants as possible and upload to their website, identifying them by the number plates pinned on their shirts. Participants can access their photos by using their competition number. HK01 offers this service free to attract people to join their membership through the mobile app.

7. Best Innovation New Product: Grupo América, Argentina

Project: UNO
Argentina's first native mobile media. Designed for millennials, it's a Grupo América spin-off ( UNO produces specific content for each platform (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Medium, Twitter, Taringa!, etc), and focuses on audiovisual: short videos, animated GIF, illustrations and memes. It also publishes original video content each day, producing more than 80 videos per month.

A multidisciplinary and agile 10 people team experiments obsessively. They also collaborate with other media (Chequeado, Anfibia, Google, etc) to create new storytelling formats.

UNO does not use traditional advertising, but works with brands to create branded content.

8. Best in Social Media Engagement: Grupo América, Argentina

Project: UNO
Argentina's first native mobile media, Grupo América (see above description).

9. Best Digital Advertising Campaign including Branded Content: Aller Media AS, Norway

The oldest women's title in Norway showed it has a full hand of new cards as Aller Media's won with a visually compelling full-screen approach.

10. Best Innovation to Engage Youth Audiences: Star Media Group Berhad, Malaysia

Project: R.AGE Documentaries
R.AGE, the youth section of a major newspaper in Malaysia, decided to get rid of their print section in order to produce in-depth, investigative web documentaries. Each of their documentaries has a call-to-action, allowing the viewer to get involved in solving the issue explored in the documentary. In the past year, they have averaged 550,000 views a month.

About the Awards

Winners are drawn from WAN-IFRA regional digital media awards in Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as India, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The awards are part of WAN-IFRA's wide variety of awards programs, designed to recognise and share best publishing cases across the global news publishing industry.

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2017-12-22 11:30

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