The past few years have been a transitional period for journalism, filled with innovative reporting strategies and interactive presentations that allow readers to get involved in the process of editing and experiencing the news. The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, presented by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, honor those new approaches to journalism, and this year they awarded top honors to The New York Times.
The Times took home a $10,000 prize for its “dynamic body of work” in the past year, including unique tools developed by its digital newsroom like its document reader, which allows users to search, bookmark and annotate docs posted online; custom Times, a prototype tool that gives readers the ability to personalize their news reports across all mediums; “Living with Less,” a special feature on the Times Web site that highlight how people are dealing with recession using audio and photos; and “One Word,” a digital tool that asked Times readers on election day, “What One Word Describes Your Current State of Mind?”
(Members of the Times digital newsroom presented at the mediabistro Circus last month, and you can watch their presentation here.)
Read on for more information about other Knight-Batten Award winners
In addition to the Times‘s award, several $1,000 awards were distributed for special distinction, citizen media and special distinction for nonprofit journalism.
Special distinction awards went to Printcasting, a site that allows people to create niche magazines for their communities from their own blogs or other registered blogs and publications; Apture, a multimedia program that allows Web content creators to embed images and video in articles so that the content pops up in a small window in the same screen; Web application Change Tracker, developed by ProPublica; and Patchwork Nation, a Web site shared by The Christian Science Monitor and “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” that tracks demographic data of each county in the U.S.
Wilmington, N.C. newspaper The Star News won the citizen media prize for its site MyReporter.com, which lets readers ask questions and get answers from reporters that are then cataloged for future reference.
Lastly, the special distinction award for nonprofit journalism went to the Center for Public Integrity for its use of digital tools to track the branch failures of the Bush administration, the tobacco black market and the nation’s top lenders and their backers on Wall Street.
You can read more about the 2009 Knight-Batten Awards at J-Lab’s Web site.