Al Jazeera’s English edition swept the board at The Drum Online Media Awards last night (1 June), winning both the Grand Prix and the Chairman’s Award for its coverage of the attempted coup in Turkey.
The Doha-based state-funded broadcaster won the awards both for having the Best Website of the Year and for its rolling coverage of Turkey’s failed coup, which saw the broadcaster produce a 25-minute documentary explaining the backdrop to the coup attempt for its UK site.
The broadcaster’s exclusive coverage of the events unfolding in Turkey also scooped the award for Breaking News Story of the Year.
The judging panel - which consisted of senior executives at Channel 4 News, Johnston Press and The New York Times - said Al Jazeera “not only delivered a masterclass in providing detailed, accurate and relevant rolling news and updates, but broke many angles of a major breaking news story ahead of its competitors”.
“Pushing rolling TV coverage to Facebook, smartly marrying its tv and digital coverage and cross-promoting its platforms, this team quickly garnered a huge online audience, appreciative of its rolling - and accurate - news coverage,” said Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press and chair of this year's awards.
“The team skillfully utilised all options available to them in a masterly co-ordinated operation and provided much-needed correct information to concerned family and friends - outperforming the competition in the process.”
Elsewhere Al Jazeera’s Showkat Shafi won best photographer, while the broadcaster’s social media team for its UK site won Best Twitter Feed.
The Drum Online Media Awards, now in their seventh year, identify the best, boldest and most original purveyors of news and views from around the world.
In another win for a broadcaster, Channel 4 News’ digital team won Outstanding Digital Team of the Year, while its editor Jon Laurence was crowned Online Editor of the Year.
Meanwhile ITV won Online Editorial Campaign of the Year for ‘1 Million Minutes with Good Morning Britain’, which asked viewers to volunteer their time over the festive period to the over one million older people in England who are lonely.
The Financial Times won Best Commercial Innovation for leveraging the UK’s vote to the leave the European Union to drive commercial advantage over its competitors.
The publisher has been running a global marketing campaign since April advertising its “unique” political coverage in the wake of Brexit and the Trump Administration by encouraging users to "think beyond black and white".
The Independent won Best National News Site, The Guardian won Best Designed Site as well as Best Site for News-led Journalism, while The Detail won Best Local/Regional News Site. Goal.com scooped this year’s new award as Best Sport News Site.
A full list of the winners can be found on the dedicated website.
The Drum Online Media Awards 2017 were supported by British Journalism Review, The Handbook, National Union of Journalists, Press Association, Parsely, Tint, The Drum RAR and The Drum Network.