05 October 2009

Outstanding Online Journalism Reaps Awards

A collection of linking tools enabling journalists to complement their original reporting, a hyperlocal site covering a Seattle neighborhood and a small site that covers a big city were the winners of the three newest categories at the 2009 Online Journalism Awards Banquet last week.

A complete list of winners is available here.

Publish2, a two-year old startup of collaborative journalism tools, won $5,000 and the first Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism at the 10th annual awards ceremony.

My Ballard, a hyperlocal site covering Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, won the first Community Collaboration award, while the Gotham Gazette was recognized for General Excellence, Micro Site, a new subcategory.

The awards acknowledge the important role of emerging technology, the influence of the independent digital journalist and the growth of community reporting efforts.

My Ballard, for example, is "exactly what newspapers are trying to do with hyperlocal content." the judges wrote. "It's extremely useful for the neighborhood and because it lists cool places to go, it works for others."

"These honorees demonstrate the vitality and innovation of online journalists in a time of tumult and transformation in our industry," said Anthony Moor, deputy manging editor/interactive of the Dallas Morning News and co-chair of the Journalism Awards Committee. "We continue to be impressed by the way journalists are pushing the envelope and serving the public interest at the same time."

ProPublica, LasVegasSun.com and The New York Times also won General Excellence Awards, which include a $3,000 cash prize, also courtesy of the Gannett Foundation.

The Chauncey Bailey Project, a collaboration of more than two dozen reporters, photographers and editors who investigated the death of the Oakland Post editor, won the Knight Award for Public Service and a $5,000 cash prize from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Just a few of the other winners -- and there are lots more, all well worth checking out -- at the 2009 awards ceremony were:

* Breaking News, small, medium and large sites: Pressconnect.com /(Binghamton, New York) Press & Sun-Bulletin for Massacre on Front Street; Knoxnews.com (Knoxville News Sentinel)for coverage of a church shooting; and BBC News for its coverage of the Mumbai attacks.

* Multimedia Feature Presentation, small, medium and large sites: National Film Board of Canada for Waterlife, described by the judges as "crazy good," with a "user experience unlike anything we've seen"; LasVegasSun.com for Quenching Las Vegas' Thirst, with an "awesome coordination" between graphics and video; and Washington Post Digital for Sacred Ground: The Building of the Pentagon Memorial, which makes "excellent use of the technologies and the tools."

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