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August 27, 2019

Announcing the 2019 recipients of the James Foley Award and ONA Community Award


We are pleased to announce the selection committees have granted the 2019 James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting to Honduran writer and photojournalist Tomas Ayuso, and the 2019 ONA Community Award to the administrators of the Journalists of Color Slack channel (JOC Slack).

Join us in honoring their outstanding achievements at the 2019 Online Journalism Awards Ceremony, Sept. 14 in New Orleans. NPR correspondent and host Sam Sanders will emcee the event — an evening celebrating the most innovative work in digital journalism. Each week on his show It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, he engages prominent personalities in conversation about the news and pop culture. His recent guests include writer Jia Tolentino, filmmaker Erin Lee Carr and R&B singer Syd.

Get to know Foley Award winner Tomas Ayuso

Tomas Ayuso is the fifth recipient of the James Foley Award, which honors digital journalists who produce exceptional reporting under the most challenging conditions. The selection committee was impressed with his unflinching coverage of conflict in Latin America as it relates to the drug war, forced displacement and urban dispossession. 

Tomas’ work includes the ongoing project “The Right to Grow Old,” a series of stories that examine why Hondurans are fleeing their country, how they do it and their displacement in Mexico. He has also covered different fronts of Mexico’s drug war, post-conflict reality in Colombia and the impact of climate change in the Caribbean.

How the JOC Slack community impacts media diversity

Launched in 2018, the ONA Community Award honors an individual or small team that has made outsized contributions to online journalism, particularly by creating tools or work environments that enable digital journalists to do their best work. The selection committee determines the winner from a pool of nominations submitted by ONA members.

This year’s award recognizes the dedication and industry impact of the JOC Slack administrators: Lo Bénichou, Julia B. Chan, Tauhid Chappell, Erik Reyna, Lam Thuy Vo, Sisi Wei and Aaron Williams. As volunteers, this group has helped to create a community that puts journalists of color in the same “room,” forming a support network that travels with them throughout their careers. JOC Slack allows journalists of color to engage in meaningful conversations on a variety of topics and projects, and the community is expanding beyond its online space to in-person meet-ups and connections.

The Online Journalism Awards are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world. Explore inspiring projects from the 2019 finalists, and buy your ticket to join ONA and emcee Sam Sanders at the banquet and ceremony, where we will announce winners in 37 categories that were open for submissions.