SOURCE: Online News Association

Online News Association

Online News Association

August 31, 2011 14:49 ET

2011 Online Journalism Awards Finalists Announced

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 31, 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.

Launched in 2000, the OJAs are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism. This year's award 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

The judges of this year's awards were:

  • Rosental C. Alves, Director, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas
  • Chris Anderson, Assistant Professor of Media Culture, College of Staten Island
  • Rich Beckman, Professor John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, University of Miami School of Communication
  • Paul Brannan, Senior Program Editor, Independent Television News (ITN)
  • Paul Bucci, Deputy Managing Editor Digital, The Vancouver Sun/
  • Jeanne Carstensen, Managing Editor, Bay Citizen
  • Ron Coddington, AME Visuals, Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Joshua Hatch, Online Content Manager, Sunlight Live
  • Vera H-C Chan, Senior Editor Special Projects, Yahoo!
  • Burt Herman, Founder, Hacks/Hackers, and CEO and Co-Founder, Storify
  • Johanna Hoadley, Senior Project Manager and Social Media Product Manager,
  • Elise Hu, Editorial Coordinator Digital, NPR
  • Rich Jaroslovsky, Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg News/Businessweek
  • Mark Katches, Editorial Director, Center for Investigative Reporting and California Watch
  • Gary Kebbel, Dean, College of Journalism and Mass Communications University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Katie King, Senior Product Manager, Portal and Partnerships, MSN UK
  • Vadim Lavrusik, Journalist Program Manager, Facebook, and Adjunct Professor in Social Media, Columbia University
  • Tetyana Lokot, Head of New Media Sequence, Mohyla School of Journalism, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
  • Jacqui Maher, Senior Developer, The New York Times
  • Julie Moos, Director, Poynter Online and Poynter Publications
  • Shazna Nessa, Director Interactive, Associated Press
  • Michelle Nicolosi, Executive Producer,
  • Angela Pimenta, Exame
  • Ju-Don Roberts, Vice President and Editor in Chief, Revolution Health
  • Eric Scherer, Director of Future Media, France Televisions
  • Dan Sinker, Project Lead, Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership
  • Brian Storm, Founder and Executive Producer, MediaStorm
  • Mario Tedeschini-Lalli, Content Editor,, Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso
  • Matt Thompson, Editorial Product Manager, Project Argo / National Public Radio
  • Ryan Thornburg, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina
  • Wendy Warren, Vice President and Editor,
  • Lisa Williams, CEO and Founder,
  • Nick Wrenn, Vice President of Digital Services, CNN International
  • Chrys Wu, User Engagement Strategist, Matchstrike LLC

Judges were recused from discussing categories in which their own organizations were entered.

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

About ONA
The Online News Association is the world's largest association of online journalists. ONA's mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers, academics, students and others who produce and distribute news for digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association annual conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

About the University of Miami School of Communication
The University of Miami School of Communication prepares analytical and responsible communication professionals for success in a global society. The School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism, broadcasting, advertising, public relations, visual journalism, communication studies and motion pictures. The School's state of the art, all-digital facilities and resources are among the most advanced in the country. Approximately 1,500 students are enrolled.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change.

About the Gannett Foundation
The Gannett Foundation is a corporate foundation sponsored by Gannett Co., Inc. whose mission is to invest in the future of the communities in which Gannett does business, and in the future of our industry. It supports projects that take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Jane McDonnell
    Executive Director
    Email Contact