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By Kendall Trammell
The New York Times, The Texas Tribune and the Baltimore Sun took home multiple awards at the Online News Association’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday in Los Angeles, and The Washington Post won the award for general excellence among large media outlets.
More than 130 industry professionals screened 994 entries this year and selected the semifinalists. Fifteen judges then selected the finalists and winners.
The New York Times won for online commentary with its transgender community page and sports with a World Cup interactive, and it also received the Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism for AI2HTML.
The Texas Tribune won for explanatory reporting for Undrinkable, a look at water quality in the state, and topic reporting for Hurting for Work in the small organization category, and the Baltimore Sun won for breaking news and explanatory reporting in the medium organization category. Both entries were part of its Freddy Gray coverage.
Other highlights included the inaugural James E. Foley Award for Conflict Reporting, which went to Cengiz Yar, a freelance journalist who reports on Syria. He said winning the Foley Award didn’t only recognize his work.
“Today you honor James,” Yar said, “but you also honor the people he died for.”
The Rich Jaroslovsky Founder Award was awarded posthumously to Dori Maynard, who was head of the Maynard Institute for Journalism when she died. Maynard is known for her efforts to increase newsroom diversity, and was called the “conscience of online journalism.”
Evelyn Hsu, recently named the new Executive Director of the Maynard Institute, accepted the award for Maynard. Maynard’s mother, Liz Rosen, also joined Hsu on stage to accept the award and said how pleased her daughter would to have this award.
“It’s all of you who are going to be the ones who carry on her work,” Rosen said.
The crowd gave standing ovations for both Yar and Maynard.
After announcing The Baltimore Sun as the winner of the Breaking News Award for a medium-sized news organization, an error appeared in the email recognizing its coverage of the Baltimore riots and the Freddie Gray case. It misspelled Gray’s name as “Freddy Grey.”
ONA was unaware of the error, but quickly corrected it after the organization was informed.
“It’s unfortunate that we misspelled that,” said Irving Washington, ONA deputy director, “but we are correcting the error.”
Ten of the awards came with $60,000 in prize money from the Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. The awards recognized stories from data journalism, multimedia, investigative journalism, public service and general excellence.
The OJAs are the only set of honors recognizing excellence in digital journalism since 2000.
The following is a complete list of the winners of this year’s OJAs:
Knight Award for Public Service
BBC WhatsApp Ebola News Service, BBC World Service, BBC News
Breaking News, Small
Breaking News, Medium
Baltimore Riots and the Freddy Gray Case, The Baltimore Sun Staff
Breaking News, Large
Ottawa Shooting, The Globe and Mail
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small
kbia.org, KBIA News
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large
washingtonpost.com, The Washington Post
Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism
AI2HTML, The New York Times
James E. Foley Award for Conflict Reporting
Planned News Events, Small
Planned News Events, Medium
#MakeAlCare — The Evolution of One Voter, Meghan McCarty, KPCC, Southern California Public Radio
Planned News Events, Large
Election Party!, NPR Visuals
Explanatory Reporting, Small
Undrinkable, Alexa Ura, Neena Satija, Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht and Ben Hasson, The Texas Tribune
Explanatory Reporting, Medium (Tie)
The 45-Minute Mystery of Freddie Gray’s Death, Kevin Rector, Greg Kohn, Adam Marton, Catherine Rentz, Amy Davis, Kenneth K. Lam and Christopher T. Assaf, The Baltimore Sun
What Does Gun Violence Really Cost?, Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee, James West, Mother Jones
Explanatory Reporting, Large (Tie)
Bees at the Brink, Star Tribune
Drugging our Kids, Karen de Sá, Dai Sugano, Paul Baca, Qin Chen, San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group
Topical Reporting, Small
Hurting for Work, Jay Root and The Texas Tribune Staff
Topical Reporting, Medium
The Broken Hip, Lauren Silverman, Eric Aasen, Ryan Tainter, Dane Walters, Jeff Whittington and KERA News Staff
Topical Reporting, Large
A Year of Legal Marijuana, The Denver Post Newsroom
Online Commentary, Small
Dispatches From Syria: Marcell Shehwaro on Life in Aleppo, Marcell Shehwaro, Amira Al Hussaini, Lara AlMalakeh and Georgia Popplewell, Global Voices
Online Commentary, Medium
Online Commentary, Large
Transgender Today Community Page, The New York Times
The Martian Diaries: What If the Curiosity Rover Kept a Scrapbook?, Science News: Alex Witze, Cori Vanchieri, Federico Castaneda, Stephen Egts, Erin Otwell, Kate Travis
Stickup Kid, FRONTLINE
Beyond the Border, Melissa del Bosque, The Texas Observer, and The Guardian US Interactive Team
Rich Jaroslovsky Founder Award
Dori J. Maynard
Girls Fight Out, Taffy Brodesser-Akner for Matter
World Cup, The New York Times
Student Projects, Small
Mobile Health: Apps for Every Age and Ouch, Lynne Shallcross, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Student Projects, Large
The Missing, NYCity News Service Staff/CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Student Projects, Pro-Am
Gun Wars: A News21 Investigation of Rights and Regulations in America, Gun Wars News21 Staff, Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small
Profiting from Prisoners, Daniel Wagner, Eleanor Bell and Amirah Al Idrus, The Center for Public Integrity
The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium
The Dark Side of the Strawberry, Bernice Yeung, Kendall Taggart, Andrew Donohue, Michael Corey & Ariane Wu, The Center for Investigative Reporting
The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large (Tie)
Evicted and Abandoned: The World Bank’s Broken Promise to the Poor, The Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Huffington Post and Media Partners
Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections, ProPublica and NPR
Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small
Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium
Space Business, Quartz: Tim Fernholz, Nikhil Sonnad, David Yanofsky, Sam Williams
Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large
Markets & Finance Interactive Graphics, The Visuals Staff of The Wall Street Journal
University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism, Small/Medium
Trouble with Taxes, Raquel Rutledge, Kevin Crowe, Allan James Vestal, Bill Schulz & Erin Caughey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism, Large
Missed Signs, Fatal Consequences: How Texas Missed Deadly Patterns and Key Pieces of Information that Could Have Helped Protect Vulnerable Children, Eric Dexheimer, Andrea Ball, Jeremy Schwartz, Laura Skelding, Kelly West, Andrew Chavez, Gabrielle Muñoz, Eric Webb, Christian McDonald, Austin American-Statesman