Al Bayan scoops awards for Asia's best online infographics for second year running

November 29, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Media News
November 29, 2012 - Al Bayan's information graphics team bagged two medals at Asia's most important digital media awards, which were officially announced at an awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on November 28, 2012. Like last year, Luis Chumpitaz and his team excelled in the best online infographics category. Only this time, Dubai's leading broadsheet stood out not just for its winning multilingual entries, but also as the only Arabic newspaper to qualify for the finals.

Held by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Asian Digital Media Awards celebrate the work of news designers, journalists and infographics experts from all across the continent. More than 50 media companies from 16 countries across Asia and the Middle East participated in this competition.

"For several years now, we have worked hard to make multi-lingual infographics and visual journalism, which are still in their infancy in most of the Arab press, unique specialties of ours. Winning this prestigious pan-Asian award for the second year in a row is a great honour and an affirmation that our cross-media strategy is bearing fruit. This year's award-winning online infographics are the result of a step-by-step development that began with the introduction of basic print graphics a couple of years ago. Since then, infographics have become a powerful, highly popular element of our editorial strategy. These awards are a welcome encouragement for us to keep innovating in this field," said Dhaen Shaheen, editor-in-chief of Al Bayan newspaper.

Information graphics director Luis Chumpitaz added: "Our world is a multi platform world today. We get information from everywhere; from social networks to mobile applications. In that environment, newspapers should be pragmatic, flexible and multi-channelled. Newspapers need readers, both on screen and on paper. Thus, online graphics, whether interactive or not, should be part of the media strategy of all newspapers. At Al Bayan, we are building this progressively. The new media, although sometime ago in the field, are still such a dynamic area where you can innovate and experiment, and that is where we go now."

Al Bayan is a leading innovator in infographics in the Middle East and one of the few Arabic newspapers investing in visual journalism. The Dubai-based broadsheet is known for its elaborate infographics, which often include cross-media applications and 3D-models of heritage sites.

Fittingly, the jury chose Al Bayan's online infographics of two of the UAE's most cherished landmarks as the winners: the breath-taking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the historical Al Fahidi Fort in Dubai, which received a Gold and a Silver Medal, respectively.

Both graphics were originally also published in print as part of a cross-media project celebrating the 40th anniversary of the UAE's independence. The interactive graphics were linked to a 140-page coffee-table book about the country, bringing the limited-edition print graphics to a wider audience.

Al Fahidi Fort, located in the heart of Dubai's old trading district, dates back to 1787. The infographic of Al Fahidi Fort uses a combination of 3D-animation, motion graphics, photography and interactive media elements to delve into thing's history, which, reflecting the UAE's turbulent past, has served as the ruler's court, a military barracks, a prison and, currently, a heritage museum.

The interactive infographic of Abu Dhabi's landmark Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque takes users on a tour of this impressive monument to the UAE's founding father, His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The graphic utilises 3D-models, mouse-overs, photography and motion graphics to bring the domed, white-and-gold structure to life on screen.

The team behind Al Bayan's award-winning infographics includes infographics print and web editors Liz Ramos and German Fernandez, interactive designers William Navarro and David Macedo as well as infographic reporter Lisa Reinisch. Over the past few years, Al Bayan has racked up more than a dozen international prizes for news design, infographics and visual journalism.

Al Bayan's award-winning interactive infographics can be accessed via the following links:

Infographic of Al Fahidi Fort English

Infographic of Al Fahidi Fort Arabic

Infographic of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque English

Infographic of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Arabic

Winners were:

Best in online media, Newspaper website: Gold (two awards)– Singapore Press Holdings for and South China Morning Post Publishers for; Silver– APN Digital (New Zealand) for; Bronze– NDTV for

Magazine website: Gold– South China Morning Post Publishers for; Silver– Senatus for; Bronze– Mongoose Publishing for

Best in online video: Gold (two awards)– South China Morning Post Publishers for Helene Franchineau, and West Australian Newspapers for After the Flames; Silver– Ming Pao Enterprise Corporation for MediaNet, Top Gear Hong Kong, Top Gear China; Bronze– West Australian Newspapers for Anzac Tribute.

Best in online infographics: Gold Award– Al Bayan Newspaper for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; Silver– Al Bayan Newspaper for Al Fahidi Fort; Bronze– South China Morning Post Publishers for South China Morning Post.

Best in cross media, Cross media editorial coverage: Gold– PT Kompas Media Nusantara for Cincin Api Expedition; Silver– Star Publications (Malaysia) for R.AGE, The Star; Bronze–The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) for Berita Harian, Anugerah Bintang Popular 2012.

Cross media advertising: Gold– Star Publications (Malaysia) for The Star Mobile App iSnap; Silver– Singapore Press Holdings for STJobs; Bronze– Singapore Press Holdings for STAR 2012.

Best in mobile media: Gold– Singapore Press Holdings for STProperty; Silver– Agence France-Presse HK for AFP – Infoplum; Bronze– Malayala Manorama Company for Manorama Mobile.

Best in tablet publishing: Gold– NDTV for NDTV Convergence; Silver– PT Kompas Media Nusantara for Ring of Fire Expedition on Tablet; Bronze– Trend VG3 Co for Thairath for iPad

Best in social media: Gold– The Indian Express for The Indian Express; Silver (three awards)– NDTV for NDTV Convergence, and Singapore Press Holdings for Social Media Fiesta 2012, and Star Publications (Malaysia) for R.AGE, The Star; Bronze– PT Riau Media Grafika for Tribuners & Citizen Journalism.


Al Bayan was founded in 1980 and is one of the leading Arabic broadsheets in the UAE. It is part of Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), a pioneering media organisation focused on innovation, quality and working in line with the strategic objectives of the Government of Dubai. DMI comprises fourteen media brands, including television, print, digital, radio, print production and distribution. All DMI outlets are committed to provide quality media services each according to its competence and in accordance with a comprehensive strategy to meet the aspirations of all segments of the public.

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