2015 Online Journalism Awards finalists announced

By on August 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, SMALL

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, MEDIUM

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, LARGE

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

BREAKING NEWS, SMALL

BREAKING NEWS, MEDIUM

BREAKING NEWS, LARGE

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, SMALL

  • No finalists

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, MEDIUM

PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS, LARGE

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, SMALL

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, MEDIUM

EXPLANATORY REPORTING, LARGE

TOPICAL REPORTING, SMALL

TOPICAL REPORTING, MEDIUM

TOPICAL REPORTING, LARGE

ONLINE COMMENTARY, SMALL

ONLINE COMMENTARY, MEDIUM

  • No finalists

ONLINE COMMENTARY, LARGE

FEATURE, SMALL

FEATURE, MEDIUM

FEATURE, LARGE

SPORTS, SMALL

  • No finalists

SPORTS, MEDIUM

SPORTS, LARGE

STUDENT PROJECTS, SMALL

STUDENT PROJECTS, LARGE

STUDENT PROJECTS, PRO-AM

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, SMALL

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, MEDIUM

THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD, LARGE

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, SMALL

  • No finalists

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, MEDIUM

EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING, LARGE

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

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AWARD IN INVESTIGATIVE DATA JOURNALISM, LARGE

*The judges for the final round of awards were:

  • Kainaz Amaria, Supervising Editor, NPR Visuals
  • Florencia Coelho, Digital Research & Training Manager, LA NACION (Argentina)
  • Amanda Cox, Graphics Editor, The New York Times
  • Jenn Crandall, Freelance Video Journalist
  • Amy Eisman, Director Media Entrepreneurship, American University
  • Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content, SmartNews, Inc.
  • Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor, Boston University Department of Journalism
  • Mitra Kalita, Managing Editor, The Los Angeles Times
  • Scott Klein, Assistant Managing Editor, ProPublica
  • Martin Kotynek, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Zeit Online
  • Rhyne Piggott, Senior Executive Producer, Multimedia, Al Jazeera America
  • Rhonda Prast, Assistant Managing Editor/Digital, The Kansas City Star
  • Scott Smallwood, Managing Editor, Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Mallary Tenore, Executive Director, IVOH Media
  • Jessica Yu, Global Head of Visuals, The Wall Street Journal

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.

Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah is ONA's Digital Manager. He's responsible for ONA's collection of websites, including journalists.org, conference websites, the membership center, awards platforms and more. Before joining ONA in 2012, he served as a web producer and content developer at The Wildlife Society, maintaining the organization’s website, email marketing and other online services. An Ohio native and media enthusiast, Jeremiah grew up with a deep interest in video production and graphic design. He now focuses in user experience and human-centered design.