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2018 Online Journalism Awards finalists and James Foley Award recipient announced

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Finalists for the 2018 Online Journalism Awards, representing a wide range of local and international media, nonprofit, public, academic and emerging technology organizations, were announced today by the Online News Association.

Thirteen of the awards come with $58,500 in prize money, courtesy of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and Journalism 360. These awards honor data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, immersive storytelling, public service, technical innovation, student journalism and general excellence.

This year's awards introduced a new category for Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships, honoring newsrooms and companies who formed innovative partnerships or collaborations to cover a topic or story with a digital focus. In addition, the General Excellence category now has a micro size group for newsrooms with 15 or fewer employees, thanks to the support of the Democracy Fund.

A special selection committee also granted the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting to photojournalist Nicole Tung. She is the fourth recipient of the award, which honors journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions. Tung has covered social and conflict-related issues in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including the conflicts in Libya and Syria, violence against women in Turkey and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"The selection committee was impressed by the power and variety of imagery Nicole has captured in conflict zones on multiple continents, and by her consistent focus on the humanity of her subjects," said Eric Carvin, Social Media Editor at The Associated Press and chair of the selection committee. "Importantly, she's also been deeply involved in advocating for freelancer rights and safety, and has skillfully used her social presence to both bring attention to those issues and showcase her powerful visual journalism. Nicole knew Jim Foley well, and has been committed to carrying his legacy forward. We're proud and humbled to celebrate her stunning work, as well as her dedication to the well-being of journalists toiling under the most challenging of circumstances."

The 2018 winners — including winners of the Rich Jaroslovsky Founder Award and the new ONA Community Award — will be announced at the Online News Association Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Austin, Texas.

A group of 132 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to screen 1,138 entries and select semi-finalists. More than 25 judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners.

The finalists are:

Breaking News, Small Newsroom

  • Austin Serial Bombings, KUT Austin

Breaking News, Medium Newsroom

  • Collapse of the Florida International University Bridge, Miami Herald
  • Wine Country Wildfires, San Francisco Chronicle / Hearst
  • Thomas Fire Coverage, KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Breaking News, Large Newsroom

  • The Search Operation of the Submarine ARA San Juan, LA NACION
  • The Vegas Massacre, The New York Times
  • Horror on Yonge Street, Toronto Star

Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom

  • Three Rivers Rising, PublicSource
  • Nuclear Negligence, The Center for Public Integrity
  • Texas Tribune: Dangerous Deliveries, The Texas Tribune

Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom

  • Dirty Gold, Clean Cash, Miami Herald
  • Walking While Black, Florida-Union Times and ProPublica
  • Project Nora, The Oregonian / OregonLive

Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom

  • California's Power Glut, Los Angeles Times
  • The Wall, The Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Boston. Racism. Image. Reality., The Boston Globe
  • North Korea, The Washington Post

Online Commentary

  • Seven Steps to Save 27,000 Lives, The Boston Globe
  • Nicholas Kristof and Colleagues, The New York Times

Sports, Small/Medium Newsroom

  • No finalists

Sports, Large Newsroom

  • Eight Seconds: The Life and Death of a Cowboy, The Globe and Mail
  • Olympics, The Globe and Mail
  • The Winter Olympics, The New York Times

Feature, Small Newsroom

  • Californians: Here's Why Your Housing Costs Are So High, CALmatters
  • Hot Spots, Ensia
  • First Nations Housing, The Discourse
  • LR9LIVE: Making Civil Rights History Come Alive, Youth Radio

Feature, Medium Newsroom

  • Europe Slams Its Gates, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting / Foreign Policy
  • Marshall Islands: The Poison and the Tomb, Mashable
  • Project Nora, The Oregonian / OregonLive

Feature, Large Newsroom

  • Betrayed: Chicago schools fail to protect students from sexual abuse and assault, leaving lasting damage, Chicago Tribune
  • A Betrayal, ProPublica and New York Magazine
  • The Road, The Globe and Mail
  • The Next Edition, The Washington Post

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small Newsroom

  • Alone, University of California, Berkeley
  • Justice For Who?, University of California, Berkeley
  • Leaving Tracks: The Capture of Wolf No. 1553, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (Arizona State University)

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large Newsroom

  • The Deported: Life Beyond the Border, JOVRNALISM / University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • The Perfect Storm, The Eagle / American University
  • Aftermath, UNC School of Media and Journalism

Pro-Am Student Award

  • More Than a Mascot, Philip Merrill College of Journalism and Capital News Service
  • HEI6MAN EVOLUTION, University of Oklahoma and The OU Daily
  • Troubled Water, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (Arizona State University) and Carnegie-Knight News21

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

  • Too Broke for Bankruptcy, ProPublica
  • Walking While Black, Florida Times-Union and ProPublica
  • The Taking, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica

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

  • Death & Dysfunction, NJ Advance Media
  • Bussed Out: How America Moves its Homeless, The Guardian US
  • The Follower Factory, The New York Times
  • The Number of Students Who Have Experienced Gun Violence at School Since Columbine, The Washington Post

Excellence in Immersive Storytelling

  • Yemen's Skies of Terror, Contrast VR and Al Jazeera
  • Augmented Reality: David Bowie in Three Dimensions, The New York Times

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom

  • Bundyville, Longreads and Oregon Public Broadcasting
  • The New American Songbook, The GroundTruth Project
  • She Says, WFAE – Charlotte's NPR News Source

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Medium/Large Newsroom

  • Strange Bird: Experimental Podcast and Player, Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab
  • Prosecutor Nisman Phone Interceptions Mapped in Playlists, LA NACION
  • Repeat, KPCC Southern California Public Radio
  • In Harvey's Wake, The Texas Tribune and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
  • The Wall Street Journal's Innovation in Audio Storytelling, The Wall Street Journal

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom

  • The Last Generation, FRONTLINE and The GroundTruth Project
  • Gerda, KUER's RadioWest

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium Newsroom

  • No finalists

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom

  • The Uber Game, The Financial Times
  • Thousands Cried for Help as Houston Flooded, The New York Times
  • The Four Days In 1968 That Reshaped D.C., The Washington Post
  • The Waiting Game, WNYC and ProPublica

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships

  • Verificado 2018, AJ+ Español, Animal Político and Pop-Up Newsroom
  • Paradise Papers: Secrets of the Global Elite, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times, The Guardian and more than 90 other media partners
  • Crossing the Divide, The GroundTruth Project and WGBH Boston

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

  • Washington Post ARC Publishing, The Washington Post
  • Trint, Trint

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small Newsroom

  • The Daphne Project, Forbidden Stories
  • Digging into the Mining Arc, InfoAmazonia and Correo del Caroní
  • A Broken System, Injustice Watch

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium Newsroom

  • "On the Fire Line," an Investigation Into Rape, Harassment and Retaliation in the U.S. Forest Service, PBS NewsHour
  • Bombs In Our Backyard, ProPublica
  • Trump Town, ProPublica
  • Benefit of the Doubt, The Oregonian / OregonLive

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large Newsroom

  • From Russia With Blood, BuzzFeed News
  • Betrayed: Chicago Schools Fail to Protect Students from Sexual Abuse and Assault, Leaving Lasting Damage, Chicago Tribune
  • Toxic City: Sick Schools, Philadelphia Media Network
  • The Neglected Bridges, VG

Knight Award for Public Service

  • Taking Cover: How Cops Escape Discipline for Shootings in Suburban Chicago, Better Government Association, WBEZ
  • Lost Mothers, ProPublica and NPR
  • All Work. No Pay., Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Hacking Democracy, The Washington Post

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Newsroom

  • Postdata.club
  • PublicSource
  • The New Food Economy
  • The Trace

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Newsroom

  • Longreads
  • The Marshall Project
  • The Texas Tribune

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom

  • Austin American-Statesman
  • ProPublica
  • Quartz
  • Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Vox.com

The judges for finalists were:

Laura Amico, Senior Editor, Harvard Business Review
Heather Bryant, Founder, Project Facet
Audrey Cerdan, New Formats Editor, L'Obs
Florencia Coehlo, New Media Research & Trainer, LA NACION
Eva Constantaras, Data Journalist, Data Nomads LLC
Meghann Farnsworth, Director of Social Media, WIRED
Tiffany Fehr, Assistant Editor, Interactive Desk, The New York Times
Kim Fox, Managing Editor, Audience, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Ann Grimes, Associate Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Stanford University School of Engineering
Robert Hernandez, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg
Rafael Höhr, News Graphic Editor, Prodigioso Volcán
Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content & Chief Journalist, SmartNews
S. Mitra Kalita, Senior Vice President, News, Opinion & Programming, CNN Digital
Damon Kiesow, Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing, Missouri School of Journalism
Celeste LeCompte, Vice President, Business Development, ProPublica
Marian Liu, Communications Manager, JL Audio, Freelancer, CNN Diversity Fellow
Jacqui Maher, Freelance Journalist, Australia
Nathalie Malinarich, Editor, Mobile & New Formats, BBC Mobile and Online
Rebekah Monson, Co-founder and COO, WhereBy.Us
Kate Myers, Executive Director, Revenue and Operations, First Look Media
Núria Net, Managing Editor, Radio Gladys Palmera
Angela Pacienza, Head of Experience, The Globe and Mail
Miguel Paz, Professor, CUNY Journalism School; Founder of Poderopedia
Eliana Vaca, Dataviz Trainer and Creative Director, Chicas Poderosas
Hannah Wise, Engagement Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Anita Zielina, Digital Media Strategy

*Judges were recused from discussing categories in which their own organizations were entered.

Launched in 2000, the OJAs are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism.

About ONA
The Online News Association is the world's largest association of online journalists. ONA's mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers, academics, students and others who produce and distribute news for digital delivery systems. ONA hosts the annual Online News Association annual 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 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.

Contact: Karolle Rabarison, karolle@journalists.org

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