Winners of The Drum Awards for Online Media announced for 2021

The Drum 30 Apr 2021 04:00

The 2021 results of The Drum Awards for Online Media have been announced, with Mixmag taking home top honours. Channel4, Pink News, Belfast Live, Aljazeera and RT Channel are also among this year’s winners.

The Drum Awards for Online Media honour original, clever and thought-provoking work, as well as the online platforms that make it possible to share those stories. With misinformation a growing concern, and insightful coverage of social, political and public health issues as important as they have every been, this competition looks to celebrate the best in the business.

Anna Doble, digital editor of the BBC World Service English, was the chair of this year’s jury, a diverse group of experts including editors, reporters and senior figures from Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN, Gay Times, Wired UK and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.

The Drum is proud to present these awards with the support of PA Media and the Journalists’ Charity.

Winner: Mixmag

Editorial Campaign of the Year

The magazine’s 18-35 audience is one that particularly demands authenticity. The team needed to create an editorial campaign in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, supporting the movement within the context of their specialist subjects: dance music, club culture and the wider music industry.

What the judges said: We agreed this was an outstanding entry. The campaign wasn’t just a nod to a movement; it actually engaged a community and started conversations. It was powerful and delivered impressive engagement/traffic, and even effected change within their own organisation. A winner in every sense.

The arrest of superstar DJ Erick Morillo sent shockwaves through the music industry when he was charged with sexual battery. Mixmag's exclusive investigation, published six weeks later, uncovered a 30-year history of harrasment and abuse. It was followed by a campaign of interviews with female veterans of the music industry, including Kristen Knight, the woman who first reported Morillo to the police.

Mixmag’s Managing Director Nick Stevenson said the Morillo investigation was very much in the public interest of its audience, as well as the music industry that Mixmag represents. While it may not have the same infrastructure or budget as mainstream media outlets, he believes it is an editorial platform that does not shy away from telling the truth.

Chair Award / Best Pivot Initiative

Work: The Zoe Covid Symptom Study: how an app built in a weekend shaped the UK’s response to Covid-19.

Since then, more than 4.5 million contributors in the UK, US and Sweden have collectively logged more than 285m daily health reports, more than 3.4 million tests and 350,000 vaccines. The app allowed health bodies to monitor the spread of Covid-19 and understand this new disease. It has recruited tens of thousands of people for clinical trials of treatments and vaccines, and supported a schools monitoring programme to keep children and staff safe.

What the Chair said: In a news year like no other, this entry did something really remarkable, both technologically and in terms of its direct impact on our lives and health. This innovation helped build not only better understanding of the pandemic, it also gave millions of people a daily ritual during lockdown. It also allowed 3.4 million people to get tested.

Winner: Channel 4

In partnership with TCO London, they created Unseen Kingdoms, a short form online series exploring the impact homelessness has on young women, using spoken-word poetry as a storytelling tool.

What the judges said: The messaging was compelling, focused on female homelessness and hygiene poverty – both very important issues. The work was shot and edited beautifully, the storytelling was unique. Focused on strong, empowered women, it was both engaging and emotional.

Winner: RT Channel

The team arranged for nine Russian students to visit Auschwitz and learn about the holocaust. The teenagers later used Tilt Brush to draw 3D images and were filmed with volumetric video - a technique capturing three-dimensional space, allowing the images to be transformed directly into 3D where they would later react to sound waves.

What the judges said: Phenomenal creative direction and application of technology which emotionally connects with people. The educational value of ‘Lessons of Auschwitz‘ is hard to put into words. This project did something new with a topic that has been covered extensively. It created a way for the story and legacy to live on and reach new generations.

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MixmagMorilloAnna DobleGay TimesPA Media
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