Wednesday, August 17, 2011

JRC papers sweep AP awards for online content

When it comes to digital projects, it can be sometimes be hard to evaluate progress. Sure, you can check the growth in your page views, number of visits, and reader comments, but it can still be difficult to know how much of an impact you're really making in your community or the journalism industry as a whole.

Because of this, I have to say I was surprised to take a look at results of the 2010-11 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. In addition to noticing The Record pick up a few awards for writing and photography, I quickly saw that, for the first time in years, if not the first time ever, Journal Register Company newspapers took all three prizes in the awards for Online Content for publications with a circulation under 25,000.

From the AP Award website:
Online content
1st, Daily Freeman, Kingston, Live tweets from the Kingston murder trial, Patricia Doxsey, Ivan Lajara
2nd, The Saratogian, Saratoga Springs, Road to the Title: Saratoga Springs High School Ice Hockey team, James Sherrill
3rd, The Record, Troy, Bringing the World Series trophy home, Kevin Moran, Ed Weaver, Brian Bouyea, Bill Passonno, Tom Caprood, Chris Fitzgerald

Personally, I think this says a lot about the impact the changes at JRC have been having on the industry. People are taking notice that our newspapers are really trying to adopt the Digital-First mandate we've been given and to first and foremost experiment.

While I can't speak for the other NY papers specifically, I know that we at The Record have initially had mixed results with our efforts in crowdscourcing news projects and trying new digital endeavors.

With that being said, we worked our butts off trying to come up with ways to get the 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Trophy to make a trip to Troy, NY in light of the team originally began in the city in the late 1800's. We dug up old archive stories, interviews with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and, most importantly, created an online petition for the public to sign and show the MLB that they wanted this to happen.

After submitting hundreds of signatures to Major League Baseball, we heard word that Troy had been added on the list of stops the trophy would make on it's trip to Cooperstown. In May, the trophy finally arrived and hundred of local citizens turned out for the event.

I have to say that getting the a major league team to bring a World Series trophy 3,000 miles as a result of your efforts is a pretty great feeling. Getting an AP award for it as well is just icing on the cake. [Annnnnd now I want cake.]

Congrats to all JRC properties who took home an award for our hard work and experimentation over the past year!

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