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2020 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom finalist

Tampa Bay Times

About the Project

The Tampa Bay Times website tampabay.com features some of the best journalism in America, loaded with authoritative writing, deep reporting, exquisite photography and real-time breaking news coverage serving the Tampa Bay area. Our watchdog and narrative journalism is second to none.

Our redesigned site not only showcases our extraordinary journalism, it is elegant, fast, easy to use. And our reach is growing rapidly.

USER INTERFACE AND INTERACTIVE INNOVATION 

Garda
Reporter Bethany Barnes, Connie Humburg and a team of producers integrated alarming photography, documents, data and damning, authoritative investigative reporting to show a pattern of accidents and safety violations at one of the nation’s largest armored truck carriers.

Scientology
Reporter Tracey McManus and data journalist Eli Murray mined public records to show that the Church of Scientology had secretly amassed scores of retail and commercial property in downtown Clearwater, just steps from one of the most renowned beaches in the world. Even city officials had no idea it was happening and the interactive built by Murray is a stunning opener.

Forgotten
No newsroom has found a missing black cemetery until now. Paul Guzzo and James Borchuck’s project uncovered through meticulous reporting hundreds of lost souls buried in Tampa under a housing complex. The Times project, which includes more than 50 stories, prompted legislative action and searches around the region for additional missing graves – leading to more grim discoveries.

EXAMPLES OF CREATIVE USE OF INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY 

COVID dashboard
Our data journalists developed an interactive dashboard that allows readers across the state to see how coronavirus cases are trending in their counties and local neighborhoods.

Scrapbook project
Reporter Jack Evans had the idea to create a scrapbook of life during the pandemic. We solicited pictures, poems, drawings, songs, bedtime stories and even jokes from our readers.

Connect With Us
And don’t forget the smaller details, like our Connect With Us page, which is designed to build bridges between our community and our journalists. Bios all are written in the first person, instead of the stuffy, detached standard bio style. And they are personal statements about who we are and why we serve.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF PEER OR PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT 

The Times has won 12 Pulitzer Prizes. We were Polk Award winners and Pulitzer finalists last year. The Times conceived and launched PolitiFact, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and is now hosted by our nonprofit owner, the Poynter Institute. In the past year we have raised more than $500,000 from foundations and partners that believe in our journalism. We are currently part of the Facebook Accelerator program and a grantee of the Frontline Local Journalism Project. We also have raised more than $160,000 from about 2,000 readers who have contributed from $5 to $5,000 to support our journalism. As a testament to the quality and creativity of our Instagram account, we were selected by Facebook as one of 21 local newsrooms to host an Instagram fellow this year, the second year of the program.