2015 Online Journalism Awards finalists announced

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Finalists for the 2015 Online Journalism Awards, representing a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media, and emerging technology organizations from around the globe, were announced today by the Online News Association.

 

Ten of the awards now come with $60,000 in prize money, courtesy of Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. These awards honor data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, technical innovation and general excellence.

 

New categories for 2015 include “Sports” and “Pro-Am” within the Student awards. ONA also debuts the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting, which will honor one of the many journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions. A special committee will select the first recipient later in the year.

 

“This year, judges were swayed less by bells and whistles that didn’t add to the content, and instead zeroed in on high-quality journalism that was able to take flight on digital platforms,” said Joshua Hatch, ONA Board member and Online Journalism Awards Committee Chair. “It goes to show what a democratic force technology has become to journalists around the world.”

 

A group of 134 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to screen 994 entries and select semi-finalists. Fifteen judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners.

 

The winners will be announced at the 2015 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 26, in Los Angeles.

 

The finalists, many pushing the envelope of innovation and excellence in digital storytelling and distribution, are:

 

KNIGHT AWARD FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

  • BBC WhatsApp Ebola News Service, BBC World Service, BBC News
  • Criminalizing Kids, The Center for Public Integrity with Reveal Radio
  • Losing Ground, ProPublica and The Lens
  • Till Death Do Us Part, The Post and Courier

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, SMALL

  • civilbeat.com, Honolulu Civil Beat
  • kbia.org, KBIA News
  • minnpost.com, MinnPost
  • texastribune.org, The Texas Tribune

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, MEDIUM

  • propublica.org, ProPublica
  • qz.com, Quartzr
  • evealnews.org, The Center for Investigative Reporting

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, LARGE

  • BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe
  • lanacion.com.ar, LA NACIÓN (Argentina)
  • nytimes.com, The New York Times
  • washingtonpost.com, The Washington Post

 

GANNETT FOUNDATION AWARD FOR TECHNICAL INNOVATION IN THE SERVICE OF DIGITAL JOURNALISM

  • AI2HTML, The New York Times
  • Pulp: AJAM’s Open Source Comics Platform, Al Jazeera America Digital
  • Proximity Alerts, The Breaking News team

BREAKING NEWS, SMALL

  • Amtrak 188 Crash, Billy Penn
  • Charlie Hebdo Real-Time Coverage, reported.ly

 

BREAKING NEWS, MEDIUM

  • Baltimore Riots, Mashable
  • Baltimore Riots and the Freddy Gray Case, The Baltimore Sun Staff
  • Parliament Hill Siege, The Canadian Press

 

BREAKING NEWS, LARGE

  • AJAM’s Coverage of Amtrak Crash, Al Jazeera America Digital
  • The Death of Alberto Nisman, Redacción de Clarín
  • Germanwings, The New York Times
  • Ottawa Shooting, The Globe and Mail
  • Walter Scott, The Post and Courier, postandcourier.com

 

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, SMALL

  • No finalists

 

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, MEDIUME

  • choes from the Jungle, The Virginian-Pilot
  • #MakeAlCare — The Evolution of One Voter, KPCC, Southern California Public Radio
  • The Scar of the City, Berliner Morgenpost

 

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, LARGE

  • Election Party!, NPR Visuals
  • Midterm Election Coverage, Al Jazeera America Digital
  • Midterm Elections, The New York Times
  • The Norwegian Victims of WW2, Verdens Gang, Norway
  • The Senate Report on the CIA’s Interrogation Program, The Washington Post

 

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, SMALL

  • An Impossible Choice, inewsource
  • InfoGuide: The Sunni-Shia Divide, Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma, The Connecticut Mirror, ctmirror.org
  • Undrinkable, The Texas Tribune

 

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, MEDIUM

  • The 45-Minute Mystery of Freddie Gray’s Death, The Baltimore Sun
  • Check 2016, Newsy, NewsyClimate Change in Minnesota, MPR News
  • What Does Gun Violence Really Cost?, Mother Jones

 

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, LARGE

  • Bees at the Brink, Star Tribune
  • Drugging our Kids, San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group
  • Ebola, The New York Times
  • Saving Cyla, The Globe and Mail

 

TOPICAL REPORTING, SMALL

  • The Broadband Industry Beat, The Center for Public Integrity
  • ‘Dark Money’ in America, The Center for Public Integrity
  • Hurting for Work, The Texas Tribune
  • Nieman Journalism Lab, Nieman Journalism Lab
  • NHPR: Abuse And Neglect at Lakeview, NHPR
  • StateImpact Pennsylvania: Energy, Environment, Economy, StateImpact Pennsylvania

 

TOPICAL REPORTING, MEDIUM

  • Alcohol’s Hold on Campus, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • The Broken Hip, KERA News
  • Retronaut: Time Travel Through Photography, Mashable
  • State of Health, KQED News

 

TOPICAL REPORTING, LARGE

  • Ebola Outbreak, NPR
  • The Future of Food, National Geographic
  • Vaccinations in L.A. County, Los Angeles Times
  • A Year of Legal Marijuana, The Denver Post

 

ONLINE COMMENTARY, SMALL

  • Dispatches From Syria: Marcell Shehwaro on Life in Aleppo, Global Voices
  • Informing Public Debate with Knowledge-Based Journalism, Alfred Hermida, Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia

 

ONLINE COMMENTARY, MEDIUM

  • No finalists

ONLINE COMMENTARY, LARGE

  • Susie Cagle and Al Jazeera America Online Community, Susie Cagle & Al Jazeera America Digital
  • Transgender Today Community Page, The New York Times
  • Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff’s Cultural Criticism, Vox.com, Vox Media

 

FEATURE, SMALL

  • Disappearing Rio Grande, The Texas Tribune
  • The Martian Diaries: What If the Curiosity Rover Kept a Scrapbook?, Science News
  • You’re 16. You’re a Pedophile. You Don’t Want to Hurt Anyone. What Do You Do Now?, Matter
  • FEATURE, MEDIUM
  • Betrayed by Silence: The Investigation, MPR News
  • M29 — The Bus Route of Contrasts, Berliner Morgenpost
  • The NRA’s Murder Mystery, Mother Jones
  • Stickup Kid, FRONTLINE

FEATURE, LARGE

  • Beyond the Border, The Texas Observer and The Guardian US
  • Chasing Bayla, The Boston Globe
  • Kim’s Choice, The Globe and Mail
  • Passwords, The New York Times
  • Spain: 253 Billion Euros Under the Table, El Mundo

 

SPORTS, SMALL

  • No finalists

 

SPORTS, MEDIUM

  • Dynasty: UConn Women’s Basketball 10-Title Reign, Hartford Courant
  • Girls Fight Out, Taffy Brodesser-Akner for Matter

 

SPORTS, LARGE

  • Boston Globe Sports, The Boston Globe / BostonGlobe.com
  • Dawn Wall, The New York Times
  • The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight, Los Angeles Times
  • World Cup, The New York Times

 

STUDENT PROJECTS, SMALL

  • Loud Austin – The Live Music Capital with a Loud Music Problem, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University
  • Mobile Health: Apps for Every Age and Ouch, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
  • The Trails of Trash, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California
  • Wiped, Flashed, and Rekitted: The International Black Market of Stolen Cell Phones, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

 

STUDENT PROJECTS, LARGE

Counterfeit Ed, NYCity News ServiceThe Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore Case, The Medill Justice Project

The Missing, NYCity News Service Staff/CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

#WhatAreTheChances?, Journalism Broadcast Sheridan College

 

STUDENT PROJECTS, PRO-AM

  • Assault on Justice, WAMU88.5 News, Investigative Reporting Workshop and Reveal Project TeamsGun Wars: A News21 Investigation of Rights and Regulations in America, Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
  • Powering a Nation: Whole Hog, The Power of Pork, School of Media and Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, SMALL

  • Profiting from Prisoners, The Center for Public Integrity

 

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, MEDIUM

  • The Dark Side of the Strawberry, The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Undue Force, The Baltimore Sun
  • Up in Flames, San Antonio Express-News

 

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, LARGE

  • Evicted and Abandoned: The World Bank’s Broken Promise to the Poor, The Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Huffington Post and Media Partners
  • Game of Chicken, The Oregonian/OregonLive.com
  • The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons, The New York Times
  • Workers’ Comp, ProPublica and NPR

 

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, SMALL

  • No finalists

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, MEDIUM

  • Being 12, WNYCSpace Business, Quartz

 

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, LARGE

  • A Global Guide to the First World War — Interactive Documentary, The Guardian and Kiln
  • Look At This, NPR
  • Markets & Finance Interactive Graphics, The Wall Street Journal
  • The N-Word, The Washington Post

 

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AWARD IN INVESTIGATIVE DATA JOURNALISM, SMALL/MEDIUM

  • Ballot Watch, FRONTLINE
  • Trouble with Taxes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Unsolved Homicides, Los Angeles News Group
  • Who’s Trying to Influence Your Vote?: Tracking TV Ad Wars in the 2014 Election, The Center for Public Integrity

 

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AWARD IN INVESTIGATIVE DATA JOURNALISM, LARGE

  • Medicare Unmasked, The Wall Street Journal
  • Missed Signs, Fatal Consequences: How Texas Missed Deadly Patterns and Key Pieces of Information that Could Have Helped Protect Vulnerable Children, Austin American-Statesman
  • Stop and Seize, The Washington Post
  • Swiss Leaks: Murky Cash Sheltered by Bank Secrecy, The Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Le Monde, The Guardian and 64 Media Partners

 

Launched in 2000, the OJAs are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism.

 

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

 

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 Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org

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.

About the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The strength of its programs, faculty, students and alumni — in research and in practice — has earned the college ongoing recognition as one of the best in the nation among its peers. The college offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. The college’s strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. CJC students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Innovation News Center, which generates content across multiple platforms, and a strategic communication agency with expertise in targeting messages to millennial audiences. The college includes seven broadcast and digital media properties and the nation’s only chair in public interest communications.

For more information, contact: The Online News Association at awards@journalists.org.

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