Entries open for 2016 Online Journalism Awards

New focus on work from a broader range of platforms

By on May 10, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, today opened the call for entries for the 2016 Online Journalism Awards (OJAs), emblematic of the best in digital journalism, with 35 categories and $53,500 in prize money. The OJAs recognize major media, international and independent sites and individuals producing innovative work in multimedia storytelling.

As in past years, the 2016 OJAs have been modified to keep up with the rapidly evolving media industry:

  • This year’s awards more specifically reflect the shift to producing work for distinct digital platforms and emerging media, as well as increased efforts to include the audience throughout the reporting and storytelling process.
  • The Student award now comes with a $1,000 cash award in the Small and Large categories, thanks to the Gannett Foundation, and has been renamed in honor of the late USA TODAY Managing Editor, David Teeuwen. ONA is honored to be able to encourage and support young journalists in David’s name.
  • A single award now will be given for Online Commentary rather than in three size categories, a change resulting from lower submission numbers in past years, and the observation that great journalistic commentary does not closely depend on a reporter’s resources or size of newsroom.
  • The second James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting will honor one of the many journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions. This honor will recognize a single journalist who has performed exceptional work while covering an ongoing conflict, war zone or other challenging setting. The recipient will be chosen by a committee that includes our 2015 honoree, photographer Cengiz Yar.

Twelve of the awards now come with $53,500 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, student achievement and general excellence.

The 2016 OJAs are open to work published between May 16, 2015, and June 2, 2016. Applicants are invited to submit their work on journalists.org after reading the Rules & Eligibility.

The finalists and winners will be selected through a two-step process. First, industry-leading journalists and new media professionals will screen the awards to determine semi-finalists. In August, a panel of judges will convene to select winners.

The OJAs are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world. Honorees will be announced on the final night of ONA16, the Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet, Sept. 15-17, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

Entries can be submitted here. The deadline is June 3. View the complete list of 2015 winners.

About the Online News Association
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital 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, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

About Knight Foundation
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. The college includes seven broadcast and digital media properties and the nation’s only program in public interest communications.

For more information, contact: awards@journalists.org.

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Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah was ONA's Digital Manager from 2012 to the fall of 2016 and was responsible for ONA's collection of websites, including journalists.org, conference websites, the membership center, awards platforms and more. Before joining ONA, 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.