Source: Online News Association

2017 Online Journalism Awards finalists and James Foley recipient announced

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - August 24, 2017) - Finalists for the 2017 Online Journalism Awards, representing a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media and emerging technology organizations from around the globe, were announced today by the Online News Association.

Thirteen of the awards now 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.

In 2017, two new categories have been added to honor evolving forms of journalism, both of which received a number of impressive entries: Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, which honors exceptional efforts in telling stories through digitally-focused audio, including podcasts, audio-centric online works and other emerging media; and Excellence in Immersive Storytelling, which honors exceptional efforts in telling stories through digital, immersive media: virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, 360 video and other emerging media.

A special selection committee also granted the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting to photojournalist and multimedia producer Tara Todras-Whitehill. She is the third recipient of the award, which honors journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions. Todras-Whitehill has been documenting stories of vulnerable populations -- especially women and refugees -- in the Middle East region for over a decade.

"The selection committee felt Tara's work sets a sky-high bar for digital journalism that's practiced in challenging conditions and takes on critical stories and issues," said Eric Carvin, Social Media Editor at The Associated Press and chair of the committee. "She's exhibited a rare combination of bravery, digital savvy and eye-catching visual skills, and her work as co-founder of Vignette Interactive has driven storytelling in exciting new directions across the Middle East."

The winners will be announced at the 2017 Online News Association Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Washington, D.C. Joshua Johnson, host of WAMU and NPR's 1A, will emcee the awards ceremony.

A group of 119 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to screen 1,166 entries and select semi-finalists. Thirty judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners.

The finalists, many of whom push the envelope of innovation and excellence in digital storytelling and distribution, are:

Breaking News, Medium Newsroom

The Dallas Shootings, KERA
Tragedy in Dallas,
Gatlinburg Fire, The Knoxville News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK - TENNESSEE

Breaking News, Large Newsroom

Dallas Police Ambush, Dallas Morning News /
Orlando, The New York Times
Terror Attack in Nice, France, The New York Times

Breaking News, Small Newsroom

No finalists

Planned News/Events, Small Newsroom

The Colorado Voter's Guide to the 2016 Election, Colorado Public Radio News
CrossCheck France, First Draft

Planned News/Events, Medium Newsroom

OPB Election 2016, OPB, Oregon Public Broadcasting
Election 2016, WBUR

Planned News/Events, Large Newsroom

NPR's Coverage of Election Night 2016, NPR
Electionland, ProPublica and the Electionland Coalition
WSJ: Election Graphics, The Wall Street Journal

Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom

Middle East Lobbying: The Influence Game, Al-Monitor
The Refugee Archipelago: The Inside Story of What Went Wrong in Greece, Refugees Deeply / News Deeply
Game of Genomes, STAT
Sold Out, The Texas Tribune

Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom

Trans in Iowa: Fighting for Visibility, Des Moines Register
What Happened to Us?, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Draining Oregon, The Oregonian / OregonLive
Under Our Skin, The Seattle Times

Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom

The Voters Who Gave Trump the White House, Bloomberg News
Vanishing, CNN Digital
Weigh Anchor, The Globe and Mail
Mobile Power, Human Toll, The Washington Post

Topical Reporting, Small Newsroom

Truckbeat, Localore: Finding America at WUOT
Opioid Coverage, STAT
Sold Out, The Texas Tribune

Topical Reporting, Medium Newsroom

Who Is Steve Bannon?, NowThis
Breaking the Black Box, ProPublica
Standing Rock and Beyond, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and Inside Energy
Bridging the Divide, The Baltimore Sun

Topical Reporting, Large Newsroom

ISIS from All Angles, CNN Digital
Guardian US: Outside in America, Guardian News & Media
Bullied By the Badge, HuffPost and the Hechinger Report
Trump Charities, The Washington Post

Online Commentary

Honoring Those Lost to the Oakland Warehouse Fire, KQED
Make It Stop, The Boston Globe
Race/Related, The New York Times
Vox First Person, Vox Media

Sports, Small/Medium Newsrooms

Berlin Marathon 2016 - How Fast Your City Runs, Berliner Morgenpost
The Gravity-Defying Physics of Simone Biles, Quartz

Sports, Large Newsroom

The Art of Letting Go, ESPN The Magazine
Francesco Totti King of Rome, La Repubblica
Rio Olympics, The New York Times
Marc Spears Sports, The Undefeated

Feature, Small Newsroom

Dope Sick, STAT
AMERICA RELOADED: The Bizarre Story Behind the FBI's Fake Documentary About the Bundy Family, The Intercept | First Look Media
The Accusation, The Marshall Project
Wear and Tear, Undark

Feature, Medium Newsroom

A Year At Encina, Capital Public Radio
The Business of Inequality, Harvard Business Review
My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard, Mother Jones
A Search for Life on Roads of Death, San Antonio Express-News

Feature, Large Newsroom

Inside the Massive Tunnel 60 Feet Below L.A., Los Angeles Times
Central African Republic, National Geographic
The Fine Line, The New York Times
Understanding Hillary Clinton, Vox Media

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small

City of Smoke: Air Pollution in the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
A Town Divided, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large

Death Denied, The Medill Justice Project
Cuba's New Wave, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism

Pro-Am Student Award

Surviving the City, International Reporting Program, University of British Columbia, The Guardian, BBC News, Toronto Star
Turning Tides: The Story of the Salton Sea, USC/JOVRNALISM and The Desert Sun staff

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

Boomtown, Flood Town, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune
Shoot to Kill, The Baltimore Sun
Trial and Terror, The Intercept | First Look Media

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

Big Money, Unlikely Donors, Los Angeles Times
Bias on the Bench, Sarasota Herald Tribune
Why Cops Shoot, Tampa Bay Times /
Unfounded, The Globe and Mail
Unnatural Causes, The Washington Post

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom

Future Cities, Future Cities
TruckBeat, Localore: Finding America at WUOT

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium

Titletown, TX, McClatchy
Boomtown, Flood Town, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune

Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom

Bound. Tortured. Killed., Toronto Star
Fragments of a Life: A Curbside Mystery, The New York Times
A New Age of Walls, The Washington Post

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Small

Frontier of Change, Independent | Producing Station: KNBA
The Long Shot, Science Friday
Signal Podcast, STAT

Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Medium/Large Newsroom

Containers, Fusion Media Group
The Wall, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Stand at the Edge of Geologic Time, NPR

Excellence in Immersive Storytelling

Cash Cow, Al Jazeera English
After Solitary, FRONTLINE
Fight for Falluja, The New York Times

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

BBC News Labs: Stitch, BBC
APIs and Data from ProPublica's Represent, ProPublica
Live Notifications, The Guardian US Mobile Innovation Lab

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small Newsroom

Drinks, Dinners, Junkets and Jobs: How the Insurance Industry Courts State Commissioners, The Center for Public Integrity
Code of Silence, The Intercept | First Look Media
Jay Peak's Path to Fraud,

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium Newsroom

The Rent Racket, ProPublica
Against Their Will: Sexual Exploitation in Pot Country, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Lax Safety at the Shipyards, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Toxic Armories, The Oregonian / OregonLive
Quantity of Care, The Seattle Times

The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large Newsroom

Car Insurance, ProPublica and Consumer Reports
Maternal Mortality, ProPublica and NPR
Doctors & Sex Abuse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Unfounded, The Globe and Mail
Unlawful Coercion in Psychiatric Wards, VG

Knight Award for Public Service

Death Behind Bars, Reno Gazette-Journal
Doctors & Sex Abuse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Toxic Armories, The Oregonian / OregonLive
Fire and Death in Canada's First Nations, Toronto Star

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Newsroom

Nexo Jornal,
The Marshall Project,
The Texas Tribune,

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium Newsroom

Le Temps,
San Antonio Express-News,

General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom

The Globe and Mail,
The New York Times,

The judges for finalists were:
Chris Amico, Interactive Editor, FRONTLINE
Ted Anthony, Director of Asia-Pacific News, The Associated Press
Trushar Barot, Digital Launch Editor, BBC Indian Languages
Heather Bryant, Director, Project Facet
Matt Carroll, Professor, Northeastern University
Flor Coelho, New Media Research and Training Manager, LA NACION
Jenn Crandall, Artist-in-Residence, Alabama Media Group
Meghann Farnsworth, Engagement Editor, Recode
Kim Fox, Managing Editor, Audience, Philadelphia Inquirer/
Joshua Hatch, Assistant Managing Editor, Data and Interactives, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Karin Hedensjo Pettersson, Political Editor-in-Chief, Aftonbladet
Robert Hernandez, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg School of Journalism
Liz Heron, Independent Digital Strategist
Elise Hu, International Correspondent, NPR
Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content & Chief Journalist, SmartNews Inc.
S. Mitra Kalita, VP, Programming, CNN Digital
Scott Klein, Deputy Managing Editor, ProPublica
Martin Kotynek, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, ZEIT ONLINE, Berlin
Jacqui Maher, Head of Interactives, Vogue International
Rebekah Monson, Co-founder, VP product, WhereBy.Us
Miguel Paz, Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York (CUNY)
Andy Pergam, Vice President, Video and New Ventures, McClatchy
Rhyne Piggott Editor, Data and Interactive Journalism @ WNYC
Mariana Santos, Founder, Chicas Poderosas
Michelle Srbinovich, General Manager, WDET, Detroit's public radio station
Nabil Wakim, Director of Editorial Innovation, Le Monde, Paris
Aaron Williams, Graphics Reporter, Washington Post
Hannah Wise, Engagement Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Tim Wong, Sr. Director, UX & Design
Jenny Ye, Data Director, WNYC

*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 also 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

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 Lab and the Online News Association.

Contact Information:

Jennifer Mizgata