News

Recognising the heart of what we do best

Not to blow our own trumpet but this is a big week for this small paper.

Early yesterday morning, we were told that this tabloid had won five Awards Of Excellence in the Society for News Design's (SND) 35th Best Of News Design contest.

On a personal level, I'm proud of the individuals, proud of the paper and proud that we are putting Singapore on the map. It is the first time there has been such a big haul in one SND contest by a Singapore newspaper.

It is not an easy contest to win. Thousands of papers from around the world take part - from the old guard of the various Times (London and New York) to new kids on the block.

I guess at 25 years old, you could say we are finally coming of age. (See page 8.)

But the awards are not purely about design for design's sake. It has to work with the story.

And for us, the story is still king.

Take, for instance, this week's feature on cardboard collectors (page 15). It is a look into another - and for many, unfamiliar - world.

Getting the story proved to be a humbling experience for both writer and photographer.

It began when we spotted a small ad offering just 10 cents per kg of cardboard. No age restrictions, but "must have own trolley".

The amount offered astounded us, especially considering so many collectors are aged and frail.

We were humbled to learn how much they had to fetch just to earn what each one of us would easily spend on dinner at the neighbourhood kopitiam.

When we feel ill, we take a day off work. For these folks, a day off means no money. But they remain fiercely independent and work hard for their living.

Compare this to our story on the facing page about people who are in debt and hiding it from their partners and spouses.

We are highlighting this in the wake of a survey which shows that more are hiding their spending and finances. But it is a striking contrast - on the one hand, people who are spending beyond their means on luxury goods and on the other, people eking out a living on very little indeed.

At the very heart of these stories are people like you and me, which is what this little tabloid does best.