ThisWeekNEWS.com has been named the best local community news website in its class in North America by the Local Media Association.
ThisWeekNEWS.com earned 14 awards, with six first-place finishes, six second-place entries and two third-place spots.
ThisWeekSPORTS.com, produced by Don Delco, swept the category for best niche site produced by a local newspaper, with Friday Night Live, Hoop It Up and High School Soccer placing first, second and third, respectively.
“These awards reflect a lot of fine work by a lot of talented community journalists in our Editorial Department,” ThisWeek Community News publisher Roy Biondi said.
“I agree with the contest judges: We’re doing a great job of digitally packaging that work — for readers and for advertisers — at ThisWeekNEWS.com.”
ThisWeek assistant managing editor/digital Scott Hummel directs the sites, with Delco and Stefanie Hauck (ThisWeekNEWS.com) serving as producers. The sites feature content from ThisWeek’s 24 community weekly newspapers in central Ohio.
“We have a team of journalists who understand the future of their trade is digital,” Hummel said. “These awards reflect their eagerness to make ThisWeekNEWS.com and ThisWeekSPORTS.com such great sites.”
• First place, best advertising initiative: “I like that you utilized multiple platforms and encouraged retailers to really think about their offer to maximize impact,” judges commented. “It was also good that you included the tree directory as a value to the readers.”
• First place, best use of multimedia, ThisWeekTV: “I like this type of multimedia for a local newspapers,” judges commented. “You have a really good amount of information being presented here in an easily digestible format.”
• First place, best community-service project “Who wins with Walmart-Series”: “ThisWeek ... stepped back and approached the Walmart-ization of America issue with a balanced look, offering statistics and evaluations of the advantages and disadvantages of the retailer. And, the video graphic (produced by Hauck) showing the growth of Walmart is phenomenal.”
• First place, best video initiative, ThisWeekTV, produced by Hauck, Neil Thompson and Jim Fischer.
• Second place, best architecture and overall design: “I really like the amount of thought that’s gone into this site,” judges said. “There’s a good hierarchy, type is used to help tell stories, and navigation is clean, easy to use and sensible.”
• Second place, best local community initiative: Photographer Lorrie Cecil provides a regular video feature on adoptable pets.
• Second place, best social-media initiative: Judges liked the “good output, especially in sports.”
• Second place, best blog initiative, “On the recruiting trail”: Reporter Jarrod Ulrey provides “decent coverage, news-like, of various aspects of the community. Local recruiting blog is innovation,” judges said.
• Second place, best Web/print combination, “Amazing Student Volunteers”: Judges “love that you showered the community with ‘good news’ and were able to monetize the efforts. Like that nominations were done online. Like that you provided a hard copy, which is sure to live in scrapbooks for years to come.”
• Third place, best overall local news site.
Formerly Suburban Newspapers of America, the Local Media Association is a nonprofit, professional trade association specifically serving the suburban and community newspaper industry in North America. The LMA announced its 2012 Web awards Aug. 9.