This year, Society for News Design competition sees the legacy of ‘Snow Fall’

Society for News Design

NPR’s “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt” and The Guardian’s “NSA Files: Decoded” won gold medals from the Society for News Design’s Best of Digital Design competition.

Only two golds were awarded this year. Last year, five golds were awarded, said Ryan Sparrow, co-director of the Best of Digital Design competition and a journalism professor at Ball State University.

“We see a gold medal as a piece that defines the state of things,” Sparrow wrote in an e-mail to Poynter. “It pushes the visual and technical boundaries so much that it shows us a path for the rest of the industry to follow.”

The New York Times’ “Snow Fall,” which won a gold last year, is the epitome of this, Sparrow said.

“And during this year’s competition, Snow Fall’s legacy was easy to see as other organizations embraced that new form of long-form narratives,” Sparrow said.

During the past weekend, SND met in Indiana for judging, where Planet Money won in the single story project category, and The Guardian won in the multimedia category. A number of sites also won awards of excellence. SND will announce all the winners, including World’s Best in digital design, in the next few days.

Another 12 silver medals were also awarded. Those silvers, Sparrow said, go “beyond excellent work and should stretch the limits of the medium.” Winners include National Geographic for single story, The Washington Post for interactive stories and The New York Times for overall portfolio.

Correction: SND awarded 12 silver medals, not 16.

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