Last year, after many overseas freelance pieces, Jonah M. Kessel was promoted to the position of contract video journalist covering East Asia for the International New York Times. From that new, solidified vantage point, he authored “Jade’s Journey Marked by Drugs and Death,” a documentary about the heavy toll of Myanmar jade mining that has just been honored with a 2015 Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) award.
Sharing with Kessel in the prize for Excellence in Digital News are article author Dan Levin and photographer Adam Dean. Separately, the paper’s chief diplomatic correspondent in Beijing Jane Perlez and photographer Tomas Munita won individual SOPA awards – Excellence in Human Rights Reporting, Excellence in Feature Photography – for their look at the plight of Myanmar’s Muslim minority Rohingya.
Munita’s photos are breathtaking. From SOPA’s 2015 Journalist of the Year (the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Nancy Carvajal) to the MINT human trafficking series by Ashwaq Masoodi (Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues), the 2015 SOPA honor roll will restore your faith in the future of longform international journalism.