LONDON: Arab News, the region’s leading English language daily, clinched two prestigious awards at the acclaimed 2023 WAN-IFRA Middle East Media Awards, highlighting its excellence in in-depth investigative journalism.
The publication seized the top honor in the Best Data Visualization category for its groundbreaking investigative feature, “The Kingdom Vs Captagon,” showcasing a 14-month research effort that delves into the pervasive drug crisis in the Arab region. This accomplishment emphasizes the team’s unwavering dedication to delivering compelling and informative content, despite the unprecedented competition in this year’s record-breaking event.
Commenting on the successes, Mohammed Sulami, Arab News Jeddah regional officer, remarked: “This award acknowledges one of the myriad accomplishments of the Arab News team, led by Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas.
“We take pride in this recognition and eagerly anticipate further successes at Arab News, striving to fulfill the aspirations of our valued readers.”
Jurors praised the investigation, noting it as a rare find: “It is very rare to find stories that are well-researched and presented in a friendly and engaging way. This story is one of them.”
This year’s competition witnessed a record-breaking number of entries, making it the most competitive season in WAN-IFRA Middle East history.
In addition to the triumph of “The Kingdom Vs Captagon,” the “Saudi Animal Kingdom” deep dive earned a silver medal, showcasing Arab News’ mastery in compelling storytelling and adept data presentation. This research delves into the intricate subject of the Arabian Peninsula’s delicate ecosystem, shedding light on how the leopard plays a pivotal role in initiatives aimed at conserving and regenerating Saudi Arabia’s landscapes and wildlife.
Omar Nashashibi, the head of the design team at Arab News, expressed pride in winning first and second place, describing it as a “fantastic achievement.”
He added: “Data visualisation and digital storytelling are a big part of what we do, and to have that effort recognised by our audience - especially when shedding light on important topics such as Saudi Arabia’s animal conservation efforts and their battle against Captagon - is a very proud moment for the team.
Since its global expansion and digital transformation plan in 2016, Arab News has consistently stood at the forefront of innovation, relaunching as a digital-first, 24/7 platform with an award-winning design. The publication has garnered numerous design and excellence awards, including the Digital Award of Excellence and the Print Award of Excellence at the 2022 Society for News Design.
Arab News has been recognized by international bodies such as the Indigo Design Awards, the Newspaper Design Competition, the Creative Communication Awards, and the European Newspaper Awards over the years.
With the gold and silver medals awarded for the two deep dives, the publication’s award count has now exceeded 100 — a testament to its continuous contribution to innovation in the regional media landscape.