Arab News clinches prestigious WAN-IFRA design award in Berlin 

Manfred Werfel, deputy chief executive of WAN-IFRA, noted Arab News’s “innovative” redesign. (WAN-IFRA)
Updated 10 October 2018

Arab News clinches prestigious WAN-IFRA design award in Berlin 

  • Newspaper picks up silver prize at WAN-IFRA Print Innovation Awards
  • Honoured for ‘innovative’ redesign unveiled in April 2018

BERLIN: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, has been honoured with a prestigious design award following the newspaper’s revamp unveiled in April.

The newspaper picked up a silver award in the “redesigned product category” at the WAN-IFRA Print Innovation Awards, held in Berlin on Oct. 9.

The award clinched by Arab News follows its revamp in April 2018, which saw a bold, modern new design across the printed newspaper and website, under the tagline “The Voice of a Changing Region.”

The redesign — part of the newspaper’s “more digital, more global” strategy — reflected a new approach to stories that is better suited to the Internet age. Articles are now supplemented with contextual analysis and elegant graphics and background facts giving richness to the newspaper’s output.

“As part of our strategy to make Arab News a globally recognized brand, we made sure our recent relaunch adheres to the highest industry standards in design. As such, we opted to enter this prestigious WAN-IFRA  international competition as opposed to a regional one; and so, to come out with the silver award is something we are very proud of,” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News. 

“This recognition is dedicated to the Arab News team who has worked extremely hard to guarantee a smooth relaunch, while at the same time ensuring our daily operations didn’t get affected. I’d also like to thank our SRMG board of directors and our relaunch partners Innovation. However, the biggest thanks goes to our readers for their continued vote of confidence and the increase in readership we have witnessed since the redesign,” Abbas added. 

Manfred Werfel, deputy chief executive of WAN-IFRA, noted the newspaper’s “innovative” redesign. 

“In April 2018 Arab News underwent an extensive and ambitious redesign using innovative elements. As ‘The Voice of a Changing Region,’ Arab News developed a new identity and now offers a modern, stylish design,” he said. 

Arab News's Global Creative Director, Simon Khalil said: "To be recognised on a global level with this award is a great honour. There were over 150 entries in the redesign category from all over the world so for Arab News to win silver is a brilliant achievement. We are the voice of a changing region and our design changed, and evolved, to mirror the changes in the Kingdom. This award will inspire the whole team to produce even better design and content for our readers and we are very pleased the industry has recognised our efforts with this prestigious award."

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, is the global organization of the world’s press, and was founded in 1948. 

It organizes several award events, including the World Digital Media Awards and the inaugural Print Innovation Awards held today. The latter event — which attracted 54 registrations from 19 countries — was judged by members of the World Printers Forum Board members.

The other contenders in the “redesigned product category” were the Columbian titles Rediseño de el Tiempo and Rediseño Portafolio.

News anchors join New Zealand women wearing headscarves for mosque attack victims

Updated 22 March 2019

News anchors join New Zealand women wearing headscarves for mosque attack victims

  • The AM Show news anchor Amanda Gillies said the gesture 'shows we are united'
  • Newsreaders began broadcasts with Islamic greetings

CHRISTCHURCH: News anchors in New Zealand joined women across the country in wearing headscarves as a show of solidarity on Friday for the victims of last week’s mosques shooting. 

The newsreaders covering the memorial events for the 50 people killed by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, began broadcasts with Islamic greetings.

They included The AM Show news anchor Amanda Gillies, who said she agonized over whether to cover her hair with a peach-colored scarf.

"There's no way a week ago that I would have, because I would have thought it would have been deemed inappropriate, not right, that I was insulting the Muslim community," Gillies said.

"I'll be honest - I did angst over it today whether I should wear it, because I didn't want to be inappropriate or offend the Muslim community. But I know that they are so welcoming and accepting of it, and I know that a lot of women will wear it today because it just shows that we are united - the solidarity is there, the love and support is there."

Elsewhere, women across the country wore hijabs on an emotional day when the shocked  nation came together to remember those killed.

 A journalist wearing a headscarf as tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks uses her phone before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 22, 2019. (Reuters)

Rafaela Stoakes, a 32-year-old mother of two, said wearing the Islamic head covering gave her an insight into what it means to stand out and feel part of the minority.

On Friday morning she covered all but a few locks of her dark chestnut-coloured hair in a loose red and white scarf, crossed neatly beneath her chin and tucked into a black hiking jacket.

She was one of many women embracing #HeadScarfforHarmony, to make a stand against the hate espoused by the Australian man who killed dozens of worshippers.

Headscarves were also worn as a mark of respect by policewomen and non-Muslim volunteers directing the crowds around the site in Christchurch holding communal prayers on Friday.

Many were wearing a headscarf for the first time.

"It is amazing how different I felt for the short time I was out this morning," Stoakes told AFP.

"There were a lot of confused looks and some slightly aggressive ones," she said.

"I did feel a sense of pride to honour my Muslim friends, but I also felt very vulnerable and alone as I was the only person wearing one."

"It must take a lot of courage to do this on a daily basis."

The gesture caught on nationwide -- in offices, schools and on the streets -- as well as at the ceremonies held in Christchurch to mark one week since the killings at the hands of a self-avowed white supremacist.

Women flooded Twitter, Facebook and other social media -- which played a key role in allowing the gunman to spread his message -- with their images.

Kate Mills Workman, a 19-year-old student from Wellington, posted a selfie on Twitter wearing a green headscarf.

"If I could I would be attending the mosque and standing outside to show my support for my Muslim whanau but I've got lectures and I can't really skip them," she told AFP, using a Maori language term for extended family.

"Obviously this is all spurred on by the terrible tragedy in Christchurch, but it's also a way of showing that any form of harassment or bigotry based on a symbol of religion is never okay," she added.

"As New Zealanders, we have to make a really strong stand."

Although the headscarf has been the subject of contentious debate over gender rights in the Islamic world, for Stoakes the day has been a lesson in how pious Muslim women often do not have the option to melt away into the background when they feel vulnerable.

"We can nod and pretend to agree with people who we are afraid of, or plead ignorance if we feel in danger of confrontation," she said.

"But a Muslim is just right out there. Like a bullseye. Their hijabs and clothing speak before they do."