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2019 Online Journalism Awards finalists announced

August 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Online News Association (ONA) today unveiled the finalists for the 2019 Online Journalism Awards (OJAs).

Winners will be announced on Sept. 14 at the 2019 Online News Association Conference & Awards Ceremony in New Orleans. The conference will bring together more than 2,800 digital media professionals for learning and networking and to celebrate ONA’s 20th anniversary.

In 2019, the Online Journalism Awards feature 37 awards, including 15 with a total of $62,500 in prize money, thanks to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, Journalism 360 and the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. These awards honor engaged journalism, data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, immersive storytelling, public service, technical innovation, student journalism and general excellence.

For the second year, Democracy Fund supported entry fees for micro newsrooms — organizations with 15 or fewer employees — to enter the General Excellence category.

This year’s competition introduced a first-of-its kind award to honor people and projects that work with a community as part of a story or reporting process. In evaluating projects for the Gather Award for Engaged Journalism, judges considered unique or innovative use of engagement platforms, execution and meaningful impact on a community. ONA also refreshed sub-categories for the digital audio and video awards.

A group of 159 digital media professionals teamed up to screen 1,078 entries to determine semi-finalists. More than 40 judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners.

The finalists are:

Breaking News, Small Newsroom

-- Austin’s Boil-Water Notice, KUT News -- Event Horizon Telescope, Science News -- Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Strikes Southcentral Alaska, Anchorage Daily News

Breaking News, Medium Newsroom

-- Camp Fire: California’s Deadliest Wildfire, San Francisco Chronicle -- Christchurch Terror Attacks, Radio New Zealand -- The Capital Gazette Shooting, The Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette

Breaking News, Large Newsroom

-- Christchurch Terror Attacks, Stuff -- Fire Mauls Beloved Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, The New York Times -- Massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom

-- Harvesting Peril: Extreme Weather and Climate Change on the American Farm, InsideClimate News -- Hawaii 2040, Honolulu Civil Beat -- La Cuba Que Viene..., El Toque

Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom

-- Jailed in Crisis: Mental illness in America’s Jails, The Virginian-Pilot -- Lessons Lost, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Perversion of Justice, Miami Herald -- Powerless, ProPublica, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom

-- Gone in a Generation, The Washington Post -- Hostile Waters: Orcas in Peril, The Seattle Times -- Solitary Voices, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, NBC News Investigative Unit, The Intercept -- Why Disasters Happen, The New York Times

Online Commentary

-- A Woman’s Rights, The New York Times -- Free Press, The Boston Globe -- Shades of Black, The Guardian US -- The Privacy Project, The New York Times

Sports, Small/Medium Newsroom

-- Dirk’s Domain: The Ultimate Career Retrospective of Dallas Mavericks Superstar Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Morning News -- Titletown, TX: All We Got, McClatchy Studios

Sports, Large Newsroom

-- 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, LA NACION -- Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby, The New York Times -- Paddling for Gold, The Seattle Times

Feature, Small Newsroom

-- All the Presidents’ Meals, Foreign Policy -- Five Days To Vacate: How a Sudden Setback Can Lead to an Eviction in Travis County, KUT News -- “Shocked and Humiliated:” Lawsuits Accuse Customs, Border Officers of Invasive Searches of Minors, Women, The Center for Public Integrity -- Stuck Kids, ProPublica Illinois

Feature, Medium Newsroom

-- 150 Minutes of Hell: Inside Northern California’s Deadly Fire Tornado, San Francisco Chronicle -- Losing Laura, The Boston Globe -- Millions of Women Already Live in a Post-Roe America: A Journey Through The Anti-Abortion South, The Intercept -- The Best Way To Save People From Suicide/I’m Still Here, HuffPost -- The Ghosts of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, BuzzFeed News

Feature, Large Newsroom

-- Artifacts of Injustice, The Seattle Times -- Surrounded, Los Angeles Times -- Visual Investigations: Gaza, The New York Times

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small Newsroom

-- Dirty Business, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism -- Inside Queen’s Unpublished Foreign Investments, The Queen’s Journal -- Follow the Water: Hidden Cost of a B.C. Town’s Water, University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism -- On the Line, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism -- Smoke and Mirrors, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large Newsroom

-- A Different Border Crisis, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication -- Borderlines, Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications -- Native News Honors Project, University of Montana School of Journalism -- Puerto Rico: Restless and Resilient, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication -- Uprooted, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism

Pro-Am Student Award

-- Hate in America, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication -- Homeless Realities, USC / JOVRNALISM -- Since Parkland, A Coalition of Students and Educators, The Trace, Miami Herald, McClatchy

The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Small/Medium Newsroom

-- Free to Shoot Again, The Trace, BuzzFeed News -- Hurricane Maria’s Dead, Quartz, Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism and the Associated Press -- Lessons Lost, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Vanishing Violence: Inside the Staggering Drop in Serious Youth Crime, San Francisco Chronicle

The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Large Newsroom

-- Copy, Paste, Legislate, USA TODAY NETWORK, The Arizona Republic, The Center for Public Integrity -- Heartbroken, Tampa Bay Times -- Murder with Impunity, The Washington Post -- The Force Report, NJ Advance Media

Excellence in Immersive Storytelling

-- 12 Seconds of Gunfire, The New York Times -- SwampScapes, University of Miami -- Remembering Emmett Till: The Legacy of a Lynching, The New York Times

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Ongoing Series

-- 70 Million Podcast, Lantigua Williams & Co. -- Drilled, Critical Frequency -- Throughline, NPR

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Limited Series

-- Believed, Michigan Radio -- Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc., The Boston Globe, Wondery -- Last Seen, WBUR and The Boston Globe -- Infectious: The Strange Past and Surprising Present of Vaccines and Anti-Vaxxers, WBUR

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Use of Audio Storytelling

-- Monumental Lies, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting & PRX, Type Investigations -- Sex Hurts, KCRW

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom

-- Banished, The Marshall Project -- Gimme Props, CALmatters -- Poisoned Cities; Deadly Border, The Desert Sun, The Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK -- Politics Through the Data, WeDoData

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium Newsroom

-- Actual Reality, McClatchy -- Mayberry Texas, KXAN -- The Chatbot Who Loved Me, Dagens Næringsliv

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom

-- Borderline, The Washington Post -- Flood Thy Neighbor, ProPublica -- Susan Potter Will Live Forever, National Geographic -- Touchstones, The New Yorker

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships

-- Broke in Philly 2018, Resolve Philadelphia -- Electionland, ProPublica, Electionland Coalition -- Hurricane Maria’s Dead, Quartz, Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism and the Associated Press -- Implant Files, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, AVROTROS, NBC News Investigative Unit, Associated Press, More than 50 media partners -- Since Parkland, A Coalition of Students and Educators, The Trace, Miami Herald, McClatchy

Digital Video Storytelling

-- Gone in a Generation, The Washington Post -- Operation InfeKtion: Russian Disinformation from Cold War to Kanye, The New York Times -- Real America with Jorge Ramos: Immigration, Univision -- Visual Investigations, The New York Times -- Uncovered, Channel 4 News

Gather Award for Engaged Journalism, Project

-- #FactsMatterPH, Rappler -- Documenters.org, City Bureau -- Florida Voices, Florida Today -- Hospitals Kept ER Fees Secret. We Worked With Patients to Uncover Them., Vox.com -- Three Mile Island Accident’s 40th Anniversary, WITF, PA Post

Gather Award for Engaged Journalism, Portfolio

-- Southern California Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio -- The Bureau Local, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

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

-- 360° Drone, CNN -- Open Government Guide, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press -- TwoTone, Datavized Technologies, Inc.

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small Newsroom

-- Breathtaking, Undark -- Recycling in Chicago, Better Government Association

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium Newsroom

-- Case Cleared: How Rape Goes Unpunished in America, Newsy, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting & PRX, ProPublica -- Investigating the NRA, The Trace, The New Yorker

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large Newsroom

-- Driver’s Notebooks Exposed Argentina’s Greatest Corruption Scandal Ever: 10 Years and Millions of Cash Bribes in Bags, LA NACION -- Parkland: Unprepared and Overwhelmed, South Florida Sun Sentinel -- Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret, The New York Times

Knight Award for Public Service

-- Growing Up Through The Cracks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- Pain and Profit, The Dallas Morning News -- Protecting Voters’ Rights, The Texas Tribune -- The Force Report, NJ Advance Media

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Newsroom

-- Aos Fatos -- Postdata.club -- The Pudding

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Newsroom

-- Better Government Association -- Honolulu Civil Beat -- The Marshall Project -- The Trace

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom

-- ProPublica -- The Texas Tribune

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom

-- The Globe and Mail -- The New York Times -- The Washington Post -- The Wall Street Journal

The judges for finalists included:

-- Chris Amico, Senior Developer for Storytelling, USA TODAY NETWORK -- Anika Anand, Programming Director, LION -- Fergus Bell, CEO, Dig Deeper Media -- Heather Bryant, Founder/Director of Project Facet -- Pedro Burgos, Digital Journalism Program Director, Insper (Brazil) -- Flor Coehlo, Research and Training Manager – Multimedia Development, LA NACION -- Tonia Cowan, Graphic Designer, The Wall Street Journal -- Anjanette Delgado, Senior News Director for Digital, Detroit Free Press and freep.com -- Kat Duncan, Senior Editor, Innovation & Futures Lab, Reynolds Journalism Institute, University of Missouri School of Journalism -- Tiffany Fehr, Assistant Editor, Interactive News, The New York Times -- Melissa Goh, Head of Planning, AJ+ -- Joshua Hatch, Director of Digital Products, The Chronicle of Higher Education -- Robert Hernandez, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg School of Journalism -- Liz Heron, Strategic Advisor -- Michelle Holmes, Head of Partnerships, Alabama Media Group -- Jareen Imam, Director of Social Newsgathering, NBC News -- Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content & Chief Journalist, SmartNews Inc. -- Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor, Journalism, Boston University -- Mitra Kalita, SVP News, Opinion and Programming, CNN Digital -- Damon Kiesow, Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing, University of Missouri School of Journalism -- Anita Li, Director of Communities, The Discourse -- Chip Mahaney, Emerging Talent Leader, The E.W. Scripps Company -- Nathalie Malinarich, Editor, Mobile & New Formats, BBC News -- Carlos Martinez de la Serna, Program Director, Committee to Protect Journalists -- Amanda Michel, Global Director, Contributions, The Guardian -- Angela Pacienza, Head of Experience, The Globe and Mail -- Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional in Residence, Graduate Program in Journalism and Director, Big Local News, Stanford University -- Aron Pilhofer, James B. Steele Chair in Journalism Innovation, Temple University -- Zahra Rasool, Head and Editorial Lead, Contrast, Al Jazeera Digital -- Mariana Santos, CEO Chicas Poderosas -- Thomas Seymat, VR Editor, Euronews NBC -- Versha Sharma, Senior Correspondent and Managing Editor, NowThis -- Hari Sreenivasan, Host, Amanpour & Company -- Reuben Stern, Director, New York Program, University of Missouri School of Journalism -- Vanessa Vancour, Founder and Editor, Noticiero Móvil -- Janine Warner, Executive Director, SembraMedia and ICFJ Knight Fellow -- Hannah Wise, Social Strategy Editor, The New York Times -- Ashley Woods Branch, CEO, Detour Media LLC -- Hannah Yi, Supervising Producer, APAC, The Wall Street Journal -- Anita Zielina, Director of News Innovation and Leadership, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism

*Judges were recused from reviewing entries from their own organizations.

About the Online News AssociationThe Online News Association is the world’s largest association of online journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence in digital journalism. Membership includes journalists, technologists, media executives, academics and other digital media professionals. ONA hosts the annual Online News Association Conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

About Knight FoundationKnight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. 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 chair in public interest communications.

About Journalism 360 Journalism 360 is a global network of storytellers accelerating the understanding and production of immersive journalism. Our mission is to help news organizations, journalists, technologists, content creators and journalism educators experiment with all forms of immersive storytelling, including but not limited to 360 video, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. Its founding partners are the Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative and the Online News Association.

About the Agora Journalism CenterThe Agora Journalism Center at the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) is the University of Oregon’s gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement. Agora works to create and support transformational media innovations in service to civic engagement, and civic engagement that informs media innovation. Agora seeks to articulate a vision and practice of journalism inextricably linked to the health of our democracy. Our projects employ collaboration, experimentation, and public engagement to transform how journalists inform and relate to their communities.

About Democracy FundThe Democracy Fund invests in social entrepreneurs working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the public and able to meet the greatest challenges facing our nation. To learn more visit DemocracyFund.org.

Contact: awards@journalists.org

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