ScribbleLive Clients Clean Up at the 2015 Online Journalism Awards

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It’s no secret that in our ‘always on’ culture social media and digital publications are changing the way we consume the news. Some would even go so far to say that we’re in a “newspaper crisis.” However, as traditional newspapers increasingly find it difficult to keep afloat, “statistics suggest that the interest in news has never been greater” and “internet users spend more time than ever reading newspapers online.” It seems that the digital sphere isn’t killing the news, but allowing it to flourish.

The world’s leading news organizations are now looking at this new media landscape as an opportunity to innovate and change the way we craft stories and deliver the news. Social media alone has forever altered the way we report and keep onlookers informed on major events like the Charlie Hebdo shootings, the Ebola outbreak, the Baltimore Riots, the Parliament Hill shootings, and the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe at this very moment.

In the rapidly changing world of digital journalism, the Online News Association serves as a “catalyst for innovation and storytelling across all platforms.” At the end of September the Association hosted their annual Online Journalism Awards to formally recognize the news outlets that are innovating the future of journalism and thinking outside of the box. This year ScribbleLive is proud to see several of our clients recognized by the ONA for their contribution to digital news coverage, and we are honoured to be working with a community of digital journalists that are innovating the way teams deliver the news.

What is the Online News Association?

The Online News Association (ONA) is a non-profit membership organization and the world’s largest association of digital journalists who are “creating and refining the online medium at breakneck speed.” The ONA was “founded on the belief that there are no limits to journalism and that through innovation and evolution we can find new ways to tell the stories that shape our world.”

The association serves as a network for a community of digital journalists that are looking to share their stories and expand the boundaries of digital news. Every year the ONA organizes and oversees the Online Journalism Awards, “the only awards honouring excellence in digital journalism.”

The 2015 Online Journalism Awards

The 2015 Online Journalism Awards winners and finalists were announced during the ONA’s annual conference in Los Angeles on September 26th, 2015. The ONA stresses diversity in both the way people approach reporting and in the tools and technologies they use to connect people with the news. Several of this year’s finalists regularly use ScribbleLive technology to share their stories with the world and keep audiences updated on events as they unfold.

The Online Journalism Awards honoured ScribbleLive client The Baltimore Sun with two awards for its digital coverage of the Baltimore Riots and Freddy Gray case. The Sun used ScribbleLive technology to provide onlookers and participants with the latest updates on the Baltimore unrest and Freddie Gray case. The Baltimore Sun Staff took home the win for Breaking News for their coverage of the events, as well as the Explanatory News Award for The 45-Minute Mystery of Freddie Gray’s Death. The paper was also recognized for its investigation of police settlements related to brutality, civil rights violations, and excessive force during arrests. This outstanding article was recognized as a finalist for the “The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award.”

The Globe and Mail also took home a few awards, winning the award for breaking news coverage for its reporting on the Parliament Hill shooting in Ottawa on Oct 22, 2014. Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove ran towards the sound of bullets and caught the final shootout on camera, a video that has now been viewed by more than 4.5 million people. The Globe and Mail was also an Explanatory Reporting finalist for their piece “Saving Cyla,” which followed Cyla Daniels into the operating room as doctors “opened her skull and burrowed into her brain in search of a deep-seated tumour.” The long-form article integrates video and interactive graphics to give readers a more complete story. The Globe was also a finalist for the Feature category for “Kim’s Choice,” an article profiling a woman suffering from Huntington’s who decides to starve herself to death before she is too ill to take care of herself. The Globe’s innovative approach to online storytelling not only gives readers great stories, but also pushes the boundaries of how content is delivered.

The Boston Globe is no stranger to award-winning coverage. The daily newspaper’s internet subsidiary, Boston.com, won a Pulitzer Prize for its live coverage of the boston bombings in 2013. We don’t want to brag, but we’re pretty proud to have supplied the platform that helped Boston.com serve as a lifeline to the City of Boston during the bombing and its aftermath.

This year, The Boston Globe maintained its reputation as a leader in digital reporting. The site was a finalist for the large feature category for “Chasing Bayla,” an article documenting biologist Michael Moore’s attempts to preserve the endangered right whale population. The Boston Globe’s online sports coverage also landed them a spot amongst finalists for the sports category, and their exceptional news quality qualified the news organization as a finalist for the General Excellence in Online Journalism award (alongside heavy-hitters like the New York Times and The Washington Post).

We were also delighted to see ScribbleLive client Al Jazeera nominated for several categories. The news organization’s American channel was a finalist for the medium planned news/events category for their Midterm Election Coverage, as well as the Breaking News category for their coverage of the Amtrak crash in May. Al Jazeera’s Susie Cagle and the Al Jazeera America Online Community also earned a spot amongst the finalists for the Online Commentary Award. Finally, Al Jazeera’s Open Source Comics Platform, Pulp, earned them a spot amongst the finalists for the Gannet Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism. Like ScribbleLive, Al Jazeera shows a commitment to improving storytelling across new platforms and changing the way we access the news.

National Public Radio (NPR) was in good company, placing alongside National Geographic and the LA Times as finalists for their coverage of the Ebola Outbreak in the Topical Reporting category. The ScribbleLive client snagged a win for their visuals in Election Party! as well as The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award for Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections. The news outlet was also recognized for their innovation in digital storytelling for Look At This, a tumblr project showcasing “stories about people and the things they make.”

ScribbleLive was also proud to see that The Los Angeles Times was a Topical Reporting finalist for their article on Vaccinations in L.A. County, as well as a Sports finalist for their coverage of The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight.

Finally, Minnesota’s The Star Tribune also landed amongst the finalists for their explanatory reporting on Bees at the Brink.

ScribbleLive is honoured to be partnered with digital news outlets and journalists that are working to innovate the way we tell stories and consume news online. Congratulations on your awards and thank you for your contributions to digital journalism.

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