The South China Morning Post earned one award and three honourable mentions at the annual Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Editorial Awards this year, the event’s most competitive race ever with a record 850 entries competing in 17 categories. “What happens in the cage, stays in the cage” , a multimedia graphic, by infographic designers Marcelo Duhalde and Dennis Wong , that illustrated the rules and skills used in the combat sport of mixed martial arts, gained the nods of the judges and was chosen for the Excellence in Information Graphics award. Another entry from the Post ’s infographic team in the same category, “What’s in a face” , by infographic designers Marco Hernandez and Marcelo Duhalde , that illustrated how the skull’s overall bone and flesh structure has shaped characteristics unique to the Asian face, also won an honourable mention. A series of exclusive reports by the paper’s China desk last September about Xi Jinping’s thoughts to be enshrined in the Communist Party’s charter , and the new line-up of the country’s leadership, ahead of the all-important national party congress in Beijing in October, also won the honourable mention the Scoop awards category. Also catching the eyes of the judges was the video news report, “Chinese roots” , by video producer Lea Li and culture desk senior writer Bernice Chan , that featured an African-American of New York who found her Chinese grandfather’s family in Shenzhen. It won an honourable mention in Excellence in Video Reporting. Editor-in-chief Tammy Tam welcomed the recognition given to the Post . “Once again, I’m delighted to see our journalists being honoured for their hard work and high standards,” she said. “These accolades are highly encouraging, and we remain committed to seeking excellence in journalism.” The awards were announced on Wednesday at a gala dinner held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. In its 20th year, the annual awards are regarded as the most prestigious in the Asia-Pacific publishing industry and a world-class benchmark of journalistic best practice. It saw the stiffest competition this year, with a record of more than 850 entries. There were about 750 entries last year. The entries were assessed by a judging panel of more than 100 media professionals, including journalists, editors and columnists from some of the region’s most influential publications, along with academics from a number of Asia’s leading journalism schools. Founded in 1982 to promote freedom of the press and excellence in journalism, SOPA is a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong. The Post is represented on its board and also a full voting member of the society.