Statement on the winner of the World Press Photo Interactive of the Year

The award for Battleground PolyU by DJ Clark and his production team was decided by an independent jury of digital storytelling professionals from around the world:

  • Zoeann Murphy (USA) visual journalist at The Washington Post and jury chair
  • Zeina Abi Assy (Lebanon) Director of Interactive Programs at Tribeca Film Institute
  • Inadelso Cossa (Mozambique) director, producer and cinematographer
  • Ksenia Diodorova (Russia) co-founder and art director of Gonzo Design
  • Claudia Hinterseer (the Netherlands) senior video producer at South China Morning Post
  • Guille Isa (Peru) filmmaker
  • Adnaan Wasey (Canada) executive producer of Launchpad at WGBH.

The World Press Photo Interactive of the Year award celebrates the production that creates engaging interactive storytelling, through skilful editing and design and effective synergy of form and content. Battleground PolyU won this award because the story itself is a powerful piece of visual journalism that provides excellent coverage of the protests at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), creating a 360-degree eyewitness account that immerses the viewer in a defining moment in the history of Hongkongers’ struggle for democracy from the perspective of the protestors.

The jury of the 2020 Digital Storytelling Contest was aware of the organisations credited for all the awarded productions. Unlike in the photo contest, where the judging is anonymous, it is not possible for the entries in the Digital Storytelling Contest to have the visual journalists' name and organisation removed from the productions. Zoeann Murphy, the jury chair, said about DJ Clark’s production:

“From the moment Battleground PolyU starts, you’re in the action, running through the streets of Hong Kong with the protesters. It’s an extraordinary experience and fantastic use of 360° video. Filming chaotic protests like this is challenging, but we see how the visual journalist stays steady while navigating the quickly changing dynamics.” (You can read more about why the jury chose Battleground PolyU here).

The World Press Photo Foundation is a global organisation and we want to encourage a diverse range of professionals from around the world to produce a more comprehensive view of the world that we can connect to an international audience. We believe in the power of showing and the importance of seeing high-quality visual stories. We are, of course, aware of the links between China Daily and the Chinese authorities, but awards are given for the quality of stories and to individuals or teams. Awards are not given for the politics of organisations or to organisations. DJ Clark has thirty years of experience as a visual journalist reporting for media organizations across the world. He is currently based in Hong Kong where he is Multimedia Director at China Daily Asia Pacific and a regular contributor to The Economist, BBC radio and National Geographic.

The independent Digital Storytelling Contest jury judged Battleground PolyU to be a fine example of visual journalism, in the same way they believed the South China Morning Post’s production The 'Thin Yellow Line' Standing Between Hong Kong Police and Protesters to be worthy of a prize, and in the same way the 2020 Photo Contest Jury awarded Nicolas Asfouri’s Hong Kong Unrest first place in the General News, Stories category. Each of these winning stories embodies the best of visual journalism from the last year and the World Press Photo Foundation supports the jury's decisions as part of our mission of connecting the world to the stories that matter.