SINGAPORE, 8 September 2004 - The Straits Times Media Club has won one of the region’s most prestigious newspaper marketing awards.
The Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA), which groups members from 14 countries, handed out its top Norske Skog Newspaper Circulation Marketing Award at its annual gala dinner in Brisbane this evening to The Straits Times editorial and circulation departments for starting a newspaper reading programme in Singapore secondary schools.
The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings, beat off competition from fellow-finalists The Courier-Mail/Sunday Mail Brisbane and The West Australian paper in Perth to win the top prize.
The award-winning Straits Times was named the Newspaper of the Year in the Pacific by PANPA in 2002 for its ability to connect with its local community through its Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund programme which helps children from low-income families, and its extensive foreign news coverage and analyses.
The ST Media Club programme kicked off in February this year and resulted in 35,500 copies going out to secondary school students every week. The English daily sees the media club as an effective way of reaching out to young readers and connecting them to real world happenings through the daily newspapers.
In the award citation, the judges said: "This joint circulation and editorial initiative aimed to promote a four-page editorial special every Monday for students, teachers and parents. It has huge impact as it targets readers of the future. The promotion, which set up a media club for schools that order a minimum of 500 copies per week, gave members opportunities to interact with the paper, with student visits to the newspaper plant or by assessing talks by journalists.’’
Mr Peter Khoo, SPH Vice President for Editorial Projects and Branding, who is the programme’s brainchild, said: "We are honoured to have received this award. It is an endorsement as well as a motivation for us to continue to serve our younger readers better.’’
Schools which order 500 or more copies a week – at 50 per cent discount - become members of The Straits Times Media Club.
As members, these schools can request for ST editors and journalists to give regular talks to their students. ST will also help them to start media clubs and make it a co-curricular activity. In addition, ST conducts three-day camps for member schools every June and December holidays.
SPH Senior Vice President for Circulation Mr Chua Wee Phong said that he is grateful to the schools which have signed up for the programme.
"This award goes out to the schools and their students. We will continue to strive to make this programme available to any school which wishes to be a member of The Straits Times Media Club,” he said, adding that there will be an open house at SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh North on 2 October to unveil new development plans for the club.
Schools interested in signing up can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mr Patrick Ang at 9847-1225.
Issued by Singapore Press Holdings
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About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on 15 July 1845, its comprehensive coverage of happenings in Singapore, the region and beyond, makes it the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It has a daily circulation of 390,000 and readership of about 1.3 million.
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It publishes 14 newspapers in the four official languages and seven lifestyle periodicals. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications while the online editions of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million pageviews a month. SPH has ventured into the broadcast medium and operates two popular free-to-air TV channels, Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English. It also operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media. For more information about SPH, please log on to www.sph.com.sg