2012 Online Journalism Award winners announced

By on September 24, 2012

Update Oct. 2: The winner for the Feature, Medium category has been changed to the Chronicle of Higher Education for “The Education of Dasmine Cathey.” The award was originally given to the Globe and Mail, which placed its entry into the wrong size category. For more details, please see http://journalists.org/2012/10/02/new-winner-for-2012-online-journalism-award-for-feature-medium/

SAN FRANCISCOFRONTLINE, ProPublica, NYTimes.com, France’s Rue 89 and Storify were among the news and technology organizations that took top honors Saturday night at the 2012 Online Journalism Awards Banquet, which ended the Online News Association Conference.

California Watch, the Tampa Bay Times and StateImpact Florida each won $2,500 and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism at the 13th annual awards dinner, sponsored by NBC News Digital. Entries for all awards were open to news produced for any digital device.

Each winner of the five General Excellence Awards took home a $3,000 prize, courtesy of the Gannett Foundation. The Knight Award for Public Service, which went to the start-up Homicide Watch D.C., comes with a $5,000 prize from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The winners in the Breaking News categories were WNYC for its coverage of Hurricane Irene and the Los Angeles Times for Occupy L.A.

Launched in 2000, the OJAs are administered by the Online News Association, now in partnership with the University of Miami’s School of Communication, and are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism, focusing on independent, community, nonprofit, major media and international news sites.

Here are the winners in each category, with links to their winning entries:

Knight Award for Public Service
Homicide Watch D.C.

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large

General Excellence, Non-English, Small/Medium
Rue89 (France)

Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism

Breaking News, Small
No finalist, no winner

Breaking News, Medium
Hurricane Irene Threatens New York City, WNYC

Breaking News, Large
Occupy L.A., Los Angeles Times

Planned News/Events, Small
Congressional Primaries 2012, Knight News Innovation Laboratory, Northwestern University

Planned News/Events, Medium
12:51, Stuff.co.nz and The Press

Planned News/Events, Large
The Reckoning – America and the World a Decade After 9/11, The New York Times

Explanatory Reporting, Small

Explanatory Reporting, Medium
College Completion: Who Graduates from College, Who Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Explanatory Reporting, Large (tie)
Connecting Music and Gesture, NYTimes.com

Gay Rights, State by State (and Beyond), The Guardian

Explanatory Reporting, Student
No finalists, no winner

Topical Reporting, Small

Topical Reporting, Medium
Continuing Coverage: NYPD Stop and Frisk, WNYC

Topical Reporting, Large
Middle East Voices, Voice of America

Online Commentary, Small
Bear 71, National Film Board of Canada

Online Commentary, Medium
Mad Men Coverage, Slate Magazine

Online Commentary, Large
Grantland.com — Bill Simmons, ESPN

Feature, Small
Coal: A Love Story, Powering a Nation

Feature, Medium
The Education of Dasmine Cathey, Chronicle of Higher Education

Feature, Large
Mauritania, CNN

Feature, Student
Slab City Stories, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Small
No Choice: Florida Charter Schools Failing to Serve Students with Disabilities, StateImpact Florida (WUSF and WLRN-Miami Herald News Public Radio)

Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Medium
Broken Shield, California Watch

Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Large
Stand Your Ground, Tampa Bay Times

Non-English Projects, Small/Medium
Mexodus, Borderzine.com (Mexico / U.S.)

Non-English Projects, Large
Portraits of Paraná, Gazeta do Povo (Brazil)

News and Online Commentary, Student
The Red Line Project — NATO Coverage, The Red Line Project, DePaul University

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.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.