Coconuts nabs Society of Publishers in Asia Award for ‘Hijab Riders’ video on Malaysia’s female motorbikers

Coconuts Media Founder and CEO Byron Perry, left, and Editor in Chief Chad Williams accepted the SOPA Award on Wednesday in Hong Kong.
Coconuts Media Founder and CEO Byron Perry, left, and Editor in Chief Chad Williams accepted the SOPA Award on Wednesday in Hong Kong.

Coconuts Media was recognized with a Society of Publishers in Asia Award on Wednesday night in Hong Kong.

Coconuts TV video “Hijab Riders,” an inside look at how some brave women are shaking up the typically male-dominated world of motorbike riding in Malaysia, took home an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Video Reporting.

The video was produced by Coconuts TV and commissioned by Malaysia-based streaming video app iflix.

The Coconuts TV team of Nazirah Ashari, William Mitchell, Thana Thanapornrapee, Sebastian Perry, and Jacqueline Raposo were acknowledged on the award.

“This is an excellent story on women participating in a male dominated sport in a country that has a poor track record on women’s rights. It is creatively shot with use of drones and action photography and is fast-paced and engaging,”  the society’s judging committee said of the story.

Coconuts Media Founder and CEO Byron Perry and Editor In Chief Chad Williams were on hand to receive the award.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers. We endeavored to shed light on the brave women breaking gender barriers in Malaysia with this video, which I hope we achieved,” Perry said.  

Top winners in the video category included the New York Times and South China Morning Post for documentaries on cancer-stricken children in China and China’s famed “Ice Boy,” respectively.

Reuters took home the most awards of the evening with 12, including top honors in the Public Service Journalism category, which recognized the work of Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were jailed for more than 500 days for their reporting on the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys.

Photo: Society of Publishers in Asia
Photo: Society of Publishers in Asia

Hundreds of senior media executives, editors, journalists and industry affiliates from across the Asia Pacific region attended the 21st annual event, according to SOPA.

The panel of judges was comprised of more than 100 international media professionals from various locations around the globe including journalists, editors, columnists from leading publications, as well as notable academics from media departments of prestigious universities, according to SOPA.

Established in 1982, the Society of Publishers in Asia a nonprofit based in Hong Kong and represents international, regional and local media companies in Hong Kong and around Asia. It also presents the prestigious annual awards to set world-class benchmarks for journalism in Asia.

Watch “Hijab Riders” below and subscribe to Coconuts TV on YouTube here.