Online Journalism Awards Categories

The category descriptions for the 2014 Online Journalism Awards are listed below.

Please read entry requirements carefully. Entries in some categories require more information. For detailed eligibility requirements, see the Rules & Eligibility.

After filling out entry forms for all of your entries across all categories, pay for all of your entries with one payment. Make sure all information is correct before submitting.



1. BREAKING NEWS

This category honors digital coverage throughout an unplanned breaking-news event or development. Judges will weigh evidence of exceptional journalism, quality of writing, use of other media and creative use of digital and mobile platforms under deadline pressure. All work submitted must have been produced while or immediately following the originating news event. In addition to content produced during the event, entrants are strongly encouraged to provide screenshots, or other evidence, from the first minutes and hours after the event to clarify what was published at what time and how coverage developed over time.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

2. PLANNED NEWS/EVENTS

This category honors excellence in covering a story that was known or planned ahead of time (i.e., an election, sporting event, awards show, etc.). Judges will consider the quality of the journalism, design, creative and appropriate uses of media, and the ways in which digital and mobile platforms are maximized to engage and inform audiences.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

3. EXPLANATORY REPORTING

This category honors excellence in explanatory journalism through digital means. Entries should explain a relevant, meaningful and complex subject to audiences through clear storytelling and presentation. Judges will consider the quality of the journalism, design, creative and appropriate uses of media, and the ways in which digital and mobile platforms are maximized to engage and inform audiences.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

4. TOPICAL REPORTING

This category honors regular reporting by an individual or team on a specific topic or beat. The work should display regular success at breaking news online and ongoing watchdog coverage. In addition to the high quality of journalism, the best entries use social tools to coalesce a participatory, online community around the topic being covered. Additionally, judges will consider the quality of the journalism, design, creative and appropriate uses of media, and the ways in which digital and mobile platforms are maximized to engage and inform audiences. Entries should consist of up to five sample works.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

5. ONLINE COMMENTARY

This category honors a unique and powerful voice of commentary original to the web. The journalism should display freshness of insight and explanation, as well as demonstrate a creative use of the medium and platforms, including mobile. Judges will give added weight to use of social tools to attract user response or action, or to form and sustain a community. An entry may consist of up to three examples, including columns, blog posts, videos, graphics, podcasts, etc. (Print syndication after initial digital posting does not disqualify an entry; however, entries consisting of online publication of print-first content are not eligible.)

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

6. FEATURE

This category honors excellence in online feature journalism (such as profiles, analyses, reviews, etc.). Successful entries not only demonstrate the highest standards of journalism, but also make creative and appropriate uses of media and design, and maximize digital and mobile platforms to engage and inform audiences.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

7. STUDENT PROJECTS

This category honors an excellent student package or project that expertly uses digital storytelling to inform its audience regarding a specific story or topic. Judges will consider the quality of the journalism, design, creative and appropriate uses of media, and the ways in which digital and mobile platforms are maximized to engage and inform audiences.

Two awards:

  • Small
  • Large

 

8. THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AWARD FOR INVESTIGATIVE DATA JOURNALISM

This award, made possible by the estate of Lorraine Dingman, honors work that best features and presents data journalism on digital and mobile platforms. The award will focus on the effectiveness of the data to tell a story, how well the data are presented to users, the journalistic impact and relevance of the data, and the design and functionality of the data presentation. Judges will also take into account the difficulty in acquiring the data. Winners will be asked travel to the University of Florida (expenses paid) to lead full-day workshops.

Two awards, $15,000 in total prize money:

  • Small/Medium ($7,500 prize)
  • Large ($7,500 prize)

 

9. EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN VISUAL DIGITAL STORYTELLING

This award honors exceptional and innovative efforts in telling stories through visual means: photos, graphics, illustrations, video, etc. Judges will consider the quality and impact of the visuals, the selection of media, and the effectiveness of the visuals. Furthermore, judges will give special attention to the originality, innovation and creativity being brought to bear to tell stories that are truly of digital and mobile platforms.

Three awards:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

 

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

This award honors a person or company, journalistic in focus or not, that has built a digital tool or platform significantly enhancing the practice of online journalism. Entrants will be judged on the extent to which the technology serves online and mobile news gathering, production, presentation or distribution. In addition to providing a URL that explains the tool, entrants are strongly encouraged to submit up to three URLs where the tool is in use and an explanation, if necessary.

One award $5,500 prize

11. THE AL NEUHARTH INNOVATION IN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD

This category, supported by the Gannett Foundation, honors a single story or a series of stories that uncover major news that advances and serves the public interest based on the reporters’ own investigations. Clear presentation through user interface and interactivity, creative use of the medium and platforms, including mobile, use of social tools and evidence of the impact of the publication will be considered. An entry will consist of a single piece, series or package on the same subject, including an explanation detailing the investigation’s impact. An entry may consist of up to three examples, including articles, blog posts, videos, graphics, podcasts, etc.

Three awards, $12,000 in total prize money:

  • Small ($4,000 prize)
  • Medium ($4,000 prize)
  • Large ($4,000 prize)

 

12. KNIGHT AWARD FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

This award recognizes digital journalism that performs a public service for a defined and specific geographic community through compelling coverage of a vital community issue or event. Entries will be judged on their use of new media techniques to gather, compile, analyze and/or present information vital to the story. They also will be judged on their use of varied digital and mobile techniques and resources to engage the community by reporting on the issue or event in question. Journalism that makes a difference and motivates people to act to improve the place in which they live will be emphasized. The impact of the coverage on the community will be a major factor in the judging. Entries may be a single package or continuing project and may consist of one main URL and up to five supporting URLs. Evidence of the project’s public service impact should be provided either as one of the supporting URLs or in the entry description.

One award $5,000 prize

13. GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM

This category, supported by the Gannett Foundation, honors an ongoing publication/app that successfully fulfills its editorial mission, effectively serves its audience, maximizes the use of digital tools and platforms, and represents the highest journalistic standards. Entries will be judged on quality of journalism, use of social tools, creative use of the medium and platform, user interface and interactivity.

Three awards, $15,000 in total prize money:

  • Small ($5,000 prize)
  • Medium ($5,000 prize)
  • Large ($5,000 prize)