JOHOR BARU: The New Straits Times won the Best Development News Award for the English category in the 2016 Johor Media Awards here tonight.
NST journalist Abdul Halim Said picked up the award for his article titled 'Ensuring Education For All' and walked away with the RM2,000 prize, trophy and certificate.
He was among five journalists and photographers from the New Straits Times Press Bhd (NSTP) group who were honoured in the annual awards, held at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre.
The other winners were Berita Harian (BH) journalist Mohamed Farid Noh, who won in the Best Development News Award for the Bahasa Melayu category for his article 'Bambangan Bunuh Sel Barah Payudara'.
Another BH journalist, Mohd Fahmi Mohd Yusof, emerged tops in the Best Sports News Award in the Bahasa Melayu category for the article 'The Black Cat jadi hero insiden tebusan'.
NSTP photographer Muhammad Syarafiq Abd Samad also won for the Best Environmental Photography Award for his photo titled 'Banjir Air Pasang' in Harian Metro.
Former NSTP photographer Zulkarnain Ahmad Tajuddin won the Best Human Interest Photography Award for a photograph titled 'Tangisan Paus Sesat' which was also featured in Harian Metro.
Each winner walked away with RM2,000, a trophy and certificate.
The top prize of the night, the Menteri Besar Award, went to Bernama journalist Lucia Terey John, who won RM5,000, a trophy and certificate for an article on Johor's halal industry.
Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat represented Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin as the guest of honour at the ceremony.
Ayub and other dignitaries presented the awards for 34 categories.
Khaled, in a speech read by Ayub, said the media fraternity plays a big role in finding the truth in issues affecting the community.
"Your pages are not meant to blind the people from the truth. Report fairly and with knowledge. Report based on facts that cannot be questioned and based on research and examination.
"This is increasingly important as we face a flood of information through electronic news gathering which challenges the continuity of conventional media," he said.
The Johor Media Awards ceremony is organised by the Johor government and now in its sixth year. A total of 356 entries were received this year compared to 364 entries in 2015.
The print news categories were divided into the four languages for Bahasa Melayu, English, Chinese and Tamil.
There were separate categories for photography, television and radio.
The judging process was handled by the Malaysian Press Institute with a panel comprising experienced journalists and academicians.