The sun never sets on the journalism awards season

The finalists for the annual Webby Awards are out, and, as usual, they are well worth a look from any Web publisher in the mood for some inspiration.

Webbys haven’t been at the top of the “most coveted” list for many online journalists, but they do get more attention online than several other awards which honor online news content:

Google search results:

  • 1,660,000 for “Webby Awards”
  • 13,000 for “EPpy Awards”
  • 13,000 for “Online Journalism Awards”
  • 4,500 for “Digital Edge Awards”

    And for comparison:

  • 326,000 for “Pulitzer Prizes”

    (I chose the plural form to get online stories about awards themselves, rather than pages referencing an individual award winner. Using the singular, references to the Pulitzers surge ahead of the others, if for no other reason that they’ve been around so much longer and have so many more winners.)

    The Webbys honor sites to dozens of categories, including websites, video and online advertising. The finalists include personal webpages and viral video, such as this year’s “Obama girl.” But traditional news organizations are making their mark in this competition. The New York Times led all organizations this year with the most finalist honors, with 16. NPR had eight, PBS seven and magazine publisher Conde Net earned six. That tied Conde Net with… The Onion, which also gained 6 nominations.

    (Hey, I’d be willing to argue that the Onion might be the finest opinion journalism publication around today. From teaching on a college campus, I know that it attracts the attention of young readers, and while much of its satire is puerile, many of its pieces are sharp, insightful and perceptive.)

    The Onion’s satire aside, the Webby finalists offer many examples of first-rate, contemporary, non-fiction storytelling. To me, that’s journalism, even if it does not originate from a so-called “news organization.” I find especially interesting the finalists that reflect the work of collective, social media efforts. (Such as best writing nominee Where are the Joneses?.) So, please take a look.

    Miss the Webby entry deadline?

    Like a new British Empire, the sun never sets on the journalism awards season. The Online News Association has opened nominations for this year’s Online Journalism Awards. You can enter online at New this year, the ONA has added a category for outstanding non-English language news sites.

    The awards are open to work first published online between July 1, 2007 and the entry deadline of May 31, 2008. The awards will be presented at the ONA’s annual conference, which is September 11-13 in Washington, DC.

  • About Robert Niles

    Robert Niles is the former editor of OJR, and no longer associated with the site. You may find him now at