The JMSC has been designated the administrator of this year’s Society of Publishers in Asia Awards; Rusty Todd, Visiting Professor and Director of Business Journalism at the JMSC, will serve as Head of Judges.

This is the second year in a row that the JMSC has been chosen to administrate the awards, and the third time that Todd has led the judging panel.

SOPA is dedicated “preserving freedom of the press in the Asia region and to ensuring that independent, quality journalism is observed, encouraged and acknowledged.”

The JMSC has enjoyed a long partnership with the SOPA Awards and faculty members have served as Head of Judges since 2004.

“The mission of the JMSC is to pursue excellence in journalism and foster Asian voices in the international media,” said Professor Ying Chan, Director of the JMSC. “This aligns with the mission of SOPA and the search for editorial excellence of the SOPA Awards.”

Todd said that since 1999, the SOPA Awards have become “the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes in Asia.”

“The awards encourage and recognise courageous, high-quality journalism in the Asia-Pacific,” he said. “Recognising that kind of coverage helps keep journalism vibrant in a region where critical news coverage is badly needed. I’m always willing to help with the SOPA Awards because they are so important to journalism in this part of the world.”

SOPA’s Awards for Editorial Excellence recognise a range of skills, including Excellence in Investigative Reporting,  Reporting Breaking News, Business Reporting, Human Rights Reporting, Reporting on the Environment, Feature Writing and Opinion Writing.

Prizes are also awarded for News Photography, Feature Photography, Special Coverage, Editorial Cartooning, Information Graphics, Newspaper Design, Magazine Design, Multimedia News Presentation, The Scoop Award, and Journalist of the Year.

As Awards’ administrator, the JMSC’s duties include finalising the rules and entry requirements, establishing judging panels, managing hundreds of entries from all over Asia, and collecting and tabulating results.

Todd and his team are busy assembling the judging panels and receiving entries before the deadline of February 15, 2012. The Awards Ceremony will be held on June 7, 2012 at the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong.

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