2016 Online Journalism Awards Finalists Announced

    August 17, 2016

    WASHINGTON, DC - Finalists for the 2016 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.

    Twelve of the awards now come with $53,500 in prize money, courtesy of Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. These awards honor data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, technical innovation, student journalism and general excellence.

    This year's awards reflect a deeper consideration of how newsrooms engage their audiences, focusing on the emerging prevalence of new digital tools, distributions channels and content platforms. The second James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting will again honor one of the many journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions; a special committee will select the recipient.

    "The range of this year's finalists is truly remarkable," said David Smydra, ONA Board member and Online Journalism Awards Committee Chair. "In so many respects -- newsroom size, geography, subject matter, platform, technology, storytelling techniques and more -- judges were extremely impressed by the full scope and achievements of digital journalists across the industry."

    A group of 76 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to screen 1,029 entries and select semi-finalists. Twenty judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners.

    The winners will be announced at the 2016 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Denver.

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

    Breaking News, Medium
    San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Los Angeles News Group and San Bernardino Sun
    An Occupation in Eastern Oregon, OPB - Oregon Public Broadcasting
    Emanuel AME Church Killings, The Post and Courier

    Breaking News, Large
    Paris Terrorist Attacks, CNN
    San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Los Angeles Times
    Paris Attacks, The New York Times

    Breaking News, Small
    No finalists

    Planned News/Events, Small
    Campaign 2016, Council on Foreign Relations
    The New Hampshire Primary, NHPR - New Hampshire Public Radio

    Planned News/Events, Medium
    One Year in Ferguson, St. Louis Public Radio
    For Peshawar, The Express Tribune

    Planned News/Events, Large
    US Election Primaries, The Guardian US
    The Election, The New York Times

    Explanatory Reporting, Small
    Pulp Fiction, Climate Central
    Video Explainers, Grist
    The Population Bomb?, Retro Report
    Unequal Risk, The Center for Public Integrity

    Explanatory Reporting, Medium
    The Circuit: Tracking America's Electronic Waste, KCTS9, OPB - Oregon Public Broadcasting and EarthFix
    Killing the Colorado, ProPublica and Matter
    Shocking Force, The Baltimore Sun
    The Price of Admission, The Texas Tribune and REVEAL, from the Center for Investigative Reporting
    How The Iowa Democratic Caucus Works, Featuring Legos, Vermont Public Radio

    Explanatory Reporting, Large
    What Is Code?, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Digital
    The Upshot, Inequality, The New York Times
    2050 Demographics, The Wall Street Journal
    America's Great Housing Divide, The Washington Post
    An Exploration Into Medical Errors,

    Topical Reporting, Small
    Hawaii Behind Bars, Honolulu Civil Beat
    God & Governing: How Texas Legislators' Religious Beliefs Guide Their Lawmaking, The Texas Tribune

    Topical Reporting, Medium
    Reliving Agent Orange, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot
    Violence in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun
    Student Voices in a Tumultuous Year, The Chronicle of Higher Education

    Topical Reporting, Large
    #OscarsSoWhite, Los Angeles Times
    Missing and Murdered, The Globe and Mail
    The County, The Guardian US

    Online Commentary
    Boston Globe Ideas, The Boston Globe
    The Real Miss America, Mashable
    A Conversation on Race, The New York Times

    Sports, Small
    Blood and Sport, Retro Report
    Disqualified After Concussions, College Football Players Recruited Back Onto the Field, STAT

    Sports, Medium
    Going For Eleven: UConn Women Win The 2016 NCAA Tournament, Hartford Courant
    Becoming Royal, The Kansas City Star - McClatchy

    Sports, Large
    BBC Winners - Silvana Lima, BBC World Service
    Sports Visualization, The New York Times

    Feature, Small
    The Harbor: This Waianae Homeless Camp Is Not What You'd Expect, Honolulu Civil Beat
    The Doctor, The Atavist Magazine

    Feature, Medium
    Inheritance, FRONTLINE
    Unsettled Journeys, The Baltimore Sun
    The Downloaders, Verdens Gang

    Feature, Large
    Cosby: The Women, New York Magazine
    The Life and Times of Strider Wolf, The Boston Globe
    Ground Water, The Desert Sun and USA TODAY
    Taken Hostage, The Wall Street Journal

    The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small
    Chasing Lithium, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
    The Wait: Inside the Lives of Asylum Seekers in Germany, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
    Transplanted: How Undocumented Immigrants With Terminal Kidney Failure Fight To Navigate a Health Care System That Doesn't Acknowledge They Exist, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

    The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large
    NYC Values, NYU Journalism, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
    This is a Canadian Issue: Reflecting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, Ryerson University, School of Journalism
    Bordering on the American Dream, Texas Christian University
    All My Intimate Relations: Stories of Indigenous Sexuality, UBC Graduate School of Journalism

    Pro-Am Student Award
    America's Weed Rush, Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
    Bridging Selma, Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication and West Virginia University Reed College of Media
    Return to Chernobyl, NYU Journalism - Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and FRONTLINE
    Out of the Shadows, UBC Graduate School of Journalism

    The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Small/Medium
    Surgeon Scorecard, ProPublica
    The Drone Papers, The Intercept

    The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Large
    The Tennis Racket, BuzzFeed
    What Went Wrong in Flint,
    Focus on Force: An Investigation In Use of Force by the Orlando Police Department, Orlando Sentinel
    Failure Factories, Tampa Bay Times
    The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election, The New York Times

    Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small
    "Permission to Exterminate" Terror in Central Asia, Coda Story
    Asunción 360, DIVE
    Undercurrent, Steven Johnson School of Media and Journalism, University of North Carolina
    Fatal Extraction: Australian Mining in Africa, The Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

    Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Medium
    Casualties of the Streets, Austin American-Statesman
    Virtual Reality, FRONTLINE

    Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large
    The Yellowstone Issue, National Geographic
    Buying Democracy, Newsy
    6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement, The Guardian and The Mill
    Homan Square: An Interactive Portrait of Chicago's Detainees, The Guardian US
    Visual Digital Storytelling from The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal

    Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism
    Nearby Tipping, Breaking News
    Atlas, Quartz
    Shorthand, Shorthand
    ArchieML, The New York Times
    Autotune, Vox Media's Product Team, Vox Media, Vox Product

    The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Small
    Exxon: The Road Not Taken, InsideClimate News
    Civilian Deaths in Yemen: A Social Media Investigation,
    The Mastermind, The Atavist Magazine

    The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Medium
    The Color of Debt, ProPublica
    Officer Involved, Southern California Public Radio (KPCC)
    Pesticides in Pot, The Oregonian/OregonLive

    The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Large
    Amazon Doesn't Consider the Race of Its Customers. Should It?, Bloomberg News
    Red Cross, ProPublica and NPR
    Insane. Invisible. In Danger., Sarasota Herald-Tribune/Tampa Bay Times
    The Panama Papers: Politicians, Criminals and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash, The Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 media organizations
    Homan Square, The Guardian US

    Knight Award for Public Service
    A Matter of Dignity, Star Tribune
    Clash in the Name of Care, The Boston Globe
    Prisons Reporting, The Huffington Post
    Nuisance Abatement, The New York Daily News and ProPublica

    General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small
    De Correspondent,
    The Intercept,
    The Texas Tribune,
    The Trace,

    General Excellence in Online Journalism, Medium
    Le Temps,

    General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large
    Bloomberg News,
    The Huffington Post's Highline,
    The New York Times,
    Vox Media,

    *The judges for finalists were:
    Matt Carroll, Future of News, MIT Media Lab
    Katelin Chow, Digital Journalist, NPR Code Switch
    Jenn Chang Crandall, Artist-in-Residence, Alabama Media Group
    Kenan Davis, Interactive Journalist, The Guardian US
    Meghann Farnsworth, Engagement Editor, Recode
    Priya Ganapati, Product Director, Quartz
    Mónica Guzmán, Seattle-based journalist & 2016 Nieman Fellow
    Joshua Hatch, Assistant Managing Editor, Data and Interactives, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Chronicle of Philanthropy
    Robert Hernandez, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg School of Journalism
    Liz Heron, Executive Editor, Huffington Post
    Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content, SmartNews, Inc.
    Mitra Kalita, VP Programming, CNN
    Martin Kotynek, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, ZEIT ONLINE
    Jacqui Maher, Interactive Journalist, BBC News Labs
    Miguel Paz, Professor, CUNY Journalism School; founder of Poderopedia
    Rhyne Piggott, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Middle Tennessee State University.
    Robert Quigley, Innovation Director and Senior Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism
    Nabil Wakim, Director, Editorial Innovation, Le Monde
    Sisi Wei, News Applications Developer, ProPublica
    Anita Zielina, Editor-in-Chief New Products, NZZ, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung
    Launched in 2000, the OJAs are the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism.

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

    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 supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. 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.

    Online News Association