Tortoise Media was a double winner at the inaugural Future of Media Awards celebrating excellence and innovation in digital journalism.
The Future of Media Awards event contains nine categories, including podcasts, digital storytelling, newsletters, and growth and innovation, with a focus on how entrants reached their target audiences and whether they had found a strong business model.
The winners were announced at a ceremony at London’s Waldorf Hilton Hotel on Wednesday evening, following on from the Future of Media Technology Conference.
The winners were chosen by a panel of 16 independent judges who scrutinised around 150 entries to choose a shortlist and nine winners.
- Technical proficiency: slickness of delivery and ease of access to information for the audience
- Quality of design
- Journalistic excellence: rigour, revelation and investigation
- Commercial sustainability: is this work that helps create a sustainable future of quality journalism in the digital age?
- Readership: meaningful engagement with the target audience.
Slow news outfit Tortoise pivoted in the past year to put more focus on its audio journalism. Both of its Future of Media Awards wins were for its podcasting: The Slow Newscast won the Growth and Innovation category for its impressive audience reach, while the “blockbuster success” Sweet Bobby won Podcast of the Year.
The FT-backed website Sifted, the visual storytelling team at the Financial Times and The Sun’s Fabulous brand were all given plaudits for their excellence in digital media.
The Future of Media Awards were sponsored by: AdvantageCS, Auddy, Glide Publishing Platform, Lineup Systems, NLA Media Access, Outbrain, PressReader, Pugpig, and TCE Exchange.
Future of Media Awards 2022 winners
Data Journalism – sponsored by TCE Exchange
WINNER: The Economist – The Pandemic’s True Death Toll
The judges said: “The Pandemic’s True Death Toll from The Economist was a ground-breaking investigation, months ahead of its time, which was widely cited by governments and official bodies around the world and will no doubt find its place in the history books of this period.”
Digital Media Excellence: Specialist/B2B – sponsored by Advantage CS
The judges said: “Sifted is a great example of using strong, multi-platform journalism to create a community and build a sustainable business.”
Growth and Innovation – sponsored by Pugpig
WINNER: Tortoise Media – Slow Newscast
The judges said: “Tortoise has shown impressive growth since its pivot to audio last year and today claims some three million listens per month. Its flagship product has helped to reach over 50,000 paying members. It is thoughtful, sustainable and grounded in journalistic rigour.”
Digital Launch of the Year – sponsored by PressReader
WINNER: TES – Tes.com/magazine relaunch
The judges said of the winner: “The TES is doing proper journalism and providing essential reading for its target audience.”
Digital Media Excellence: News and Current Affairs – sponsored by NLA Media Access
WINNER: The Financial Times
The judges said: “The FT’s digital coverage of the Ukraine war expertly explained the conflict and combined frontline journalistic bravery and rigour with innovative digital storytelling.”
Newsletter of the Year – sponsored by Glide Publishing Platform
WINNER: Inkcap Journal – Weekly digest
The judges said: “Inkcap Journal has shown that high-quality coverage of a niche subject can quickly be turned into commercial sustainability on the newsletter platform.”
Digital Media Excellence: Lifestyle – sponsored by Outbrain
WINNER: The Sun – Fabulous
The judges said: “The Sun’s Fabulous has seen impressive audience growth over the last year and served its readers well with strong video and hard-hitting features. The fact its awards attracted some 800,000 votes is testament to its huge brand impact.”
Digital Storytelling – sponsored by Lineup Systems
WINNER: The Times – DVLA staff off work on full pay amid application backlog crisis
The judges said: “This was undercover investigative journalism that shed light on a hugely important national issue and which expertly used a number of digital storytelling techniques.”
Podcast of the Year – sponsored by Auddy
WINNER: Tortoise Media – Sweet Bobby
The judges said: “Sweet Bobby has become a blockbuster success, using great access and expert production skills to tell a fantastic tale. A great example of long-form investigative journalism via podcast.”
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