Online News Association announces finalists

Online News Association

Among the finalists for ONA awards this year are NPR's Andy Carvin for his coverage of the Arab Spring in the "community collaboration" category, and Flipboard and ScraperWiki for technical innovation. Journalism startups and nonprofits are well-represented on the list. And Arianna Huffington is a contender for online commentary on a large website.

ONA's news release follows:

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 30, 2011 — Finalists for the 2011 Online Journalism Awards, many pushing the envelope of innovation and excellence in digital storytelling and distribution, were announced today by the Online News Association and its academic partner, the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

A group of 34 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to review entrants and select finalists. Twelve of those judges, representing a diverse cross-section of the industry, met at the university’s Coral Gables, Fla., campus and eight more conferred internationally to determine winners from independent, community, nonprofit, major media and international news sites.

The results will be announced at the 2011 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston.

This year, ONA introduced changes to acknowledge the explosion of journalistic innovation on new digital platforms. Entries for all awards were open to news produced for any digital device. Eight awards come with a total of $33,000 in prize money, courtesy of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Gannett Foundation, which also is supporting innovative investigative work with two $2,500 awards.

“We found that excellence in digital journalism today requires not only traditional shoe-leather reporting and engaging storytelling, but also sophisticated use of social tools and multimedia techniques," said Anthony Moor, Managing Editor, Local at Yahoo!, who, along with the Associated Press’ Director of Global Product Operations Ruth Gersh, co-chairs the Online Journalism Awards Committee.

The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Knight Award for Public Service
Assault on Learning – The Philadelphia Inquirer
Barnegat Bay Under Stress – Asbury Park Press
Breach of Faith – Los Angeles Times
Deadly Neglect – Chicago Tribune
On Shaky Ground – California Watch and Center for Investigative Reporting

Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism
Power to the People: Voter Education for All – e-thePeople

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Site
NJ Spotlight
The Tiziano Project
Yale Environment 360

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Site
California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting
The Texas Tribune – Voice of San Diego

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Site
CBC News
Las Vegas Sun
NewsOK / The Oklahoman
The Globe and Mail

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Site
Al Jazeera
BBC News
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Non-English, Small Site
El Nuevo
Il Tirreno

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Non-English, Large Site
G1 – Portal de Notícias da Globo

Breaking News, Small Site
Aggregation Breaking News – Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami 2011 –
A Snow Storm Hits New York and WNYC Listeners Map the Cleanup – WNYC Radio
Slave Lake Wildfires in Northern Alberta – Global News
Stanley Cup Hockey Riots in Vancouver – The Vancouver Sun

Breaking News, Large Site
Congresswoman Shot – The Associated Press
Coverage of the Uprisings in Egypt – Al Jazeera
Japan Earthquake – Wall Street Journal
The Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis in Japan – The New York Times

Specialty Site Journalism, Affiliated
NPR Music – NPR
Pipeline – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/
The Civil Rights Cold Case Project – Center for Investigative Reporting, Paperny Films

Specialty Site Journalism, Independent – Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education
IEEE Spectrum – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Small Site
Dialysis – ProPublica
Dollars for Doctors – ProPublica
Lifesaving Drugs, Deadly Consequences — InvestigateWest
On Shaky Ground – California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting
The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl: Pearl Project, sponsored by Georgetown University and the Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Breakdown: Traveling Dangerously in America – National News 21 and The Center for Public Integrity

Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Large Site
Breach of Faith – Los Angeles Times
OTL: Painkiller Misuse Numbs NFL Pain – ESPN
Top Secret America – The Washington Post
What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince? – Slate

Multimedia Feature Presentation, Small Site
Apart from War – News21 Team at Syracuse University
Crisis Guide: Pakistan – Council on Foreign Relations/MediaStorm
The Poppy File – OpenFile, ninth+crux

Multimedia Feature Presentation, Medium Site
Exile Without End: Palestinians in Lebanon – CBC News, Radio-Canada, ALT Digital Design Studio
The ’60 Bucs (Parts 4-7) – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Multimedia Feature Presentation, Large Site
A Year at War – The New York Times
Quieting Dylan’s Brain – Los Angeles Times
Traumatic Brain Injury: Coming Home a Different Person – The Washington Post

Multimedia Feature Presentation, Student
Global Warning – Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Haiti’s Lost Children – University of Miami
Now What Argentina – University of North Carolina & Universidad Pontifica de Argentina
Vwa Fanm: Stories on Statelessness and Migration – Knight Center for International Media

Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, Small Site
Doctors Behaving Badly: Shedding Light on Poor Doctor Oversight by Medical Boards – William Heisel,
Ecotrope: Fresh Ideas on Nature and Community – Oregon Public Broadcasting and NPR
MindShift: How We Will Learn – KQED and NPR
Persian Letters – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, Medium Site
Casey Anthony Extended Coverage – WESH
Nancy Leson’s All You Can Eat blog – The Seattle Times
The Closing of the Sahara – Las Vegas Sun
Ward Room –

Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, Large Site
CNN Belief Blog – CNN Digital
How Are Local Municipalities Impacted by The Great Recession – Will Alden, The Huffington Post
SciGuy – Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle
Social Media Coverage – Helen Popkin,

Online Commentary/Blogging, Small Site
Online Commentary/Blogging, Medium Site
No finalists selected in either category

Online Commentary/Blogging, Large Site
Arianna Huffington – The Huffington Post
LZ Granderson – CNN Digital
Providing A Voice of Authority for the Everyman – Peter S. Goodman, The Huffington Post
Simon Says – Roger Simon, Politico

Outstanding Informational Graphic or Data Visualization, Professional
California Budget Balancer – Los Angeles Times
Crime L.A. – Los Angeles Times
Tell-All Telephone – Zeit Online

Outstanding Informational Graphic or Data Visualization, Student
No finalists selected

Online Video Journalism, Small Site
Cheap Shrimp, Hidden Costs – The University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
Powering a Nation: Spilling Over – UNC News21
The Price of Gas – Center for Investigative Reporting, California Watch
When the Water Ends – Yale Environment 360

Online Video Journalism, Medium Site
Exile Without End: Palestinians in Lebanon – CBC News, Radio-Canada, ALT Digital Design Studio
Life on the Line – The Toronto Star

Online Video Journalism, Large Site
Caught in the Crossfire: Victims of Gang Violence – Los Angeles Times
Chasing the Swell – Los Angeles Times
Torn Apart – San Jose Mercury News
Video Portraiture – New York Times Magazine

Online Video Journalism, Student
Florida Cowboys – University of Miami
Giants of the Seas: Jamaica Meets the Mega-Ships – University of Miami
Haiti’s Lost Children – University of Miami
Now What Argentina – University of North Carolina and Universidad Pontifica de Argentina
The World Journalism Project – S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Community Collaboration
Hurricane Katrina, Then and Now – CNN Digital
Overtown: Inside/Out – University of Miami School of Communication, University of Illinois School of Media, Stretch Photography, LLC
Social Media’s Arab Spring – Andy Carvin, NPR
The Tiziano Project | 360 Kurdistan – The Tiziano Project

Disclosure: Poynter Online Director Julie Moos was a judge for the contest.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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