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September 15, 2019

Winners announced for the 2019 Online Journalism Awards


The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, Honolulu Civil Beat and The Pudding announced as General Excellence winners at the 2019 Online Journalism Awards

New Orleans, Louisiana — Impressive digital journalism on election integrity, California’s deadliest wildfire and police use of force were among coverage that earned top honors Sept. 14 at the 2019 Online Journalism Awards.

Emceed by NPR correspondent and host Sam Sanders, the ceremony closed the 2019 Online News Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, where ONA also celebrated 20 years of innovation and leadership in digital journalism.”If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 20 years, it’s that the tools available to us to tell stories are constantly changing and evolving,” said ONA founder Rich Jaroslovsky. “ONA has always been at the forefront of those changes and should continue to be. But those tools are only a means to an end, and the end is always journalism — truth, justice.”

The Wall Street JournalProPublica and Honolulu Civil Beat each took home a $5,000 General Excellence in Online Journalism award, courtesy of the Gannett Foundation. The Pudding earned recognition as winner in the micro newsroom category of the General Excellence award, entries for which were supported by Democracy Fund.

The $15,000 University of Florida Awards for Investigative Data Journalism were awarded to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for “Lessons Lost” and NJ Advance Media for “The Force Report.” NJ Advance Media also won a $5,000 prize from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for “The Force Report,” while CNN won the $5,500 Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism for their 360° Drone tool.

ONA expanded categories this year with the Gather Award in Engaged Journalism — a first-of-its kind award and cash prize honoring work with a community as part of a story or reporting process. With support from the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center, prizes of $2,500 each were awarded to Southern California Public Radio‘s portfolio of projects and City Bureau‘s Documenters.org.

ONA also honored Tomas Ayuso as the fifth recipient of the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting, recognizing his moving coverage of conflict in Latin America as it relates to the drug war, forced displacement and urban dispossession.

The Journalists of Color Slack Administrators — Lo Bénichou, Julia B. Chan, Tauhid Chappell, Erik Reyna, Lam Thuy Vo, Sisi Wei and Aaron Williams — were honored with the ONA Community Award. Launched in 2018, it recognizes 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.

Here are the winners in each category:

Sports, Small/Medium Newsroom
McClatchy Studios

Sports, Large Newsroom

LA NACION

Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom
El Toque

Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom
ProPublica, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom
The Seattle Times

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Limited Series
WBUR and The Boston Globe

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Ongoing Series
Critical Frequency

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Use of Audio Storytelling
Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting & PRX, Type Investigations

ONA Community Award
Journalists of Color Slack Administrators

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships
ProPublica, Electionland Coalition

Online Commentary
The New York Times

Breaking News, Small Newsroom
Anchorage Daily News

Breaking News, Medium Newsroom
San Francisco Chronicle

Breaking News, Large Newsroom
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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

Gather Award in Engaged Journalism, Project
City Bureau

Gather Award in Engaged Journalism, Portfolio
Southern California Public Radio

Feature, Small Newsroom
The Center for Public Integrity

Feature, Medium Newsroom
The Boston Globe

Feature, Large Newsroom
The New York Times

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large
Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Pro-Am Student Award
A Coalition of Students and Educators, The Trace, Miami Herald, McClatchy

Digital Video Storytelling
Univision

Excellence in Immersive Storytelling
The New York Times

Knight Award for Public Service
NJ Advance Media

James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting
Tomas Ayuso

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small Newsroom
Undark

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium Newsroom
Newsy, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting & PRX, ProPublica

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large Newsroom
LA NACION

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom
The Desert Sun, The Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium Newsroom
McClatchy

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom
The Washington Post

University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism, Small/Medium Newsroom
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism, Large Newsroom
NJ Advance Media

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Category
The Pudding

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Newsroom
Honolulu Civil Beat

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom
ProPublica

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom
The Wall Street Journal

Launched in 2000, the OJAs are administered by ONA 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.

Find more highlights from the 2019 Online Journalism Awards using #OJA19 on social media and watch the ceremony at awards.journalists.org/live.

About the Online News Association
The 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 Foundation
Knight 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 Center
The 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 Fund
The 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.