The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism were announced today and I'm thrilled to report that the Tribune was honored with a Special Distinction Award.
The Knight-Batten awards are given for "creative uses of technology to engage citizens in public issues and showcase compelling models for future newsgathering."
The judges singled out our use of data, saying the Trib "has made data fundamental to its journalism, giving users access to robust and contextualized data sets, transparently sourced and beautifully presented." The judges also praised our many "interactive graphics, visualizations, document annotations, budget applications and searchable data sets." The award includes a $1,000 honorarium.
Storify, the social media publishing platform, was awarded this year's $10,000 Grand Prize. Other Special Distinction Awards were given to West Africa Democracy Radio, NPR's Social Media Reporting Tool and Bloomberg Government. Honorable mentions were given to Biblion, NewHavenIndependent.org, Guardian (UK) Data, and the Bay Citizen Bike Tracker.
The awards are funded by the Knight Foundation (which has also awarded a significant grant to the Trib and the Bay Citizen to jointly develop an open-source content management system) and administered by J-Lab, a center of American University's School of Communication. The winners were selected from 123 entries and will be honored at a symposium Sept. 7 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
We continued to be enormously gratified by the response to the Trib from other news, civic and journalism organizations, our members, donors and corporate sponsors and, of course, our readers. Thank you!