Star Media Group (SMG) emerged as the winner for the Best Print Media Coverage at the first Local Government Media Excellence Award 2023.
The event was launched by Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming who expressed his heartfelt acknowledgement and appreciation to the press for their contributions.
Bavani Mahalingam won the Best Print Media Coverage for the Local Council reporting.
She bagged RM3,000, a trophy and a certificate.
Among the issues highlighted in her reports were on the City Hall’s body cameras worn by enforcement officers for transparency while carrying out their duties and parking bay hoggers in the city.
“I am grateful for the win at this inaugural award.
“It’s wonderful that there is a platform for journalists to highlight pressing issues affecting the local government and ministry,” said the veteran journalist from SMG’s StarMetro team.
Separately, chief reporter Aida Ahmad won the consolation award under the multimedia category.
She was awarded a certificate of appreciation.
Meanwhile, SMG photographer Mohd Faihan Ghani came in third under the best photo journalism award.
He took home RM1,000 cash, a trophy and a certificate.
The Minister’s Award went to Sinar Harian and Sin Chew Daily, and both organisations took home RM10,000 each with a trophy and a certificate.
“Media reports enable the public to know about the local government initiatives and programmes.
“The media is also a good avenue for the public to express their grievances. We appreciate this close relationship between the public, media and the government,” Nga said.
He said at present, Malaysia is at the 73rd spot on the World Press Freedom Index, based on the report by Reporters Without Borders.
“This is a jump by 40 spots. Malaysia also sits on the highest spot among the Asean countries,” Nga added.
Also present at the event was SMG chief content officer Esther Ng.