Monday, August 31, 2009

Finalists announced for 2009 Online Journalism Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2009 - Finalists for the 2009 Online Journalism Awards, many pushing the envelope of innovation in digital storytelling and information sharing, were announced today by the Online News Association and its partner, the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

A team of 12 journalists representing a diverse cross-section of the industry met Aug. 27 and 28 at the university's Coral Gables, Fla., campus to select the finalists, which range from independent and nonprofit news and community sites to major media and international organizations. The winners will be announced at the 2009 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Hilton San Francisco.

"We were regularly awed, inspired and delighted by the quality and innovation evident online today," said Anthony Moor, Deputy Managing Editor of The Dallas Morning News, who, along with AP Digital's Director of Online Services Ruth Gersh, co-chairs the Online Journalism Awards Committee.

This year, changes were introduced to acknowledge the important role of emerging technology, the influence of the independent digital journalist and the growth of community reporting efforts. Six awards now come with a total of $30,000 in prize money, courtesy of the Gannett Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the General Excellence in Online Journalism Award was expanded to include "micro sites."

The finalists are:

Knight Award for Public Service
Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Site
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Site
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Site
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Site
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Non-English, Small Site
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Non-English, Large Site
Breaking News, Small Site
Breaking News, Medium Site
Breaking News, Large Site
Specialty Site Journalism, Small Site
Specialty Site Journalism, Large Site
Investigative Journalism, Small Site
Investigative Journalism, Large Site
Multimedia Feature Presentation, Small Site
Multimedia Feature Presentation, Medium Site
Multimedia Feature Presentation, Large Site
Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, Small Site
Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, Large Site
Online Commentary/Blogging, Small Site
No Award

Online Commentary/Blogging, Medium Site
Online Commentary/Blogging, Large Site
Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies, Small Site
Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies, Large Site
Online Video Journalism, Small Site
Online Video Journalism, Large Site
Community Collaboration
Student Journalism, Small Team
Student Journalism, Large Team
The judges of this year's awards were:
  • Rosental Alves, Professor and Knight Chair in Journalism, University of Texas
  • Rich Beckman, Knight Chair of Visual Journalism, School of Communication, University of Miami
  • Paul Brannan, Editor, Emerging Platforms, BBC News
  • Alberto Cairo, James H. Shumaker Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Stephen Engelberg, Managing Editor, ProPublica
  • Rich Jaroslovsky, Technology/Digital Media Columnist, Bloomberg News
  • Keith W. Jenkins, Supervising Senior Producer for Multimedia,
  • Tom Kennedy, Multimedia Journalism Consultant
  • Katie King, Creative and Development Editor, MSN UK
  • Solana Larsen, Managing Editor, Global Voices
  • Suzanne Levinson, Director of Site Operations, Miami Herald Media Co.
  • Michelle Nicolosi, Executive Producer,
  • Eric Scherer, Director of Strategic Planning, Agence-France Presse
  • Tenny Tatusian, Associate Editor,
  • Matt Thompson, Interim Online Community Manager, Knight Foundation
  • Molly Wood, Executive Editor,
Judges were recused from discussing categories in which their own organization or organizations they are associated with were entered.

This year is the first in a partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication, which utilized its state-of-the-art resources to facilitate the judging process. Under Beckman's direction, the school will highlight the work of winners during the awards presentation and continue to share best practices throughout the industry.

"Our partnership with ONA confirms our commitment to cutting-edge journalism education and our support for the online journalism industry," Beckman said. "It was a great beginning to a partnership that benefits everyone and further helps us all define standards for journalism excellence."

Launched in May 2000, the OJAs are administered by the Online News Association, in partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication. This year's honorees will be announced on Oct. 3, the final night of
ONA09, the Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet, held Oct. 1-3 in San Francisco.

For more information, contact:
Jane McDonnell
Executive Director

Sherry Skalko