Accepts entries starting May 1, 2015
Entry Deadline June 12, 2015
Decision Date
Ceremony Date
Entry Fee (See Details)
Monetary or Material Award (See Details)

About the Award

This category honors digital coverage throughout an unplanned breaking-news event or development. Judges will weigh evidence of exceptional journalism, quality of writing, use of other media and creative use of digital and mobile platforms under deadline pressure. All work submitted must have been produced while or immediately following the originating news event. In addition to content produced during the event, entrants are strongly encouraged to provide screenshots, or other evidence, from the first minutes and hours after the event to clarify what was published at what time and how coverage developed over time.

Tips for Winning:

Keep in mind two important truths:
1. Superior journalism
2. Dedication to maximizing the power of digital platforms.

Additionally, the judges will be asking these questions:
• “What impact did this story have?”
• “How does this entry really take advantage of the web?”
• “Would this piece be any different if it appeared solely in print?”

Lastly, keep in mind that the more you can help judges better understand how your stories best embrace the fundamentals of great journalism — impact, relevance, newsworthiness — and do so by best leveraging the power of digital platforms, the better chance you have of winning an award.

Notable Winners

• Boston University News Service: "Triumph, Then Tragedy: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Boston University News Service"
• WNYC: Superstorm Sandy:
• Boston Globe & "The Boston Marathon Bombing"

• WNYC: Hurricane Iren Threatens New York City:
• Los Angeles Times: Occupy L.A.:


Judges are a group of distinguished online journalists from around the world. Winners are determined by two rounds of judging. A first round of judges will narrow down the entries to a group of semi-finalists. Then a second group of judges will meet online to select the finalists and winners.

Monetary/Material Award Details

Eligibility Requirements

The Online Journalism Awards are open to websites, areas of websites and all digital platforms, including smart phones, e-readers and tablets, where journalists have originated the content or selected and amplified it. Search services, portal sites and wire services may submit content they created that fits the eligibility requirements. Individuals and organizations may enter the contest. Online retailers and advertising sites are not eligible.

Entry Fee Details

Entry fees are $175 per entry for non-members or $100 per entry for ONA members. Entry fees for students are $50 per entry for non-members or $15 per entry for ONA members.

Required Material

Basic requirements include a URL where the entry is live and a username and password if the entry requires a subscription or registration. Requirements can be found on the categories page.

If an entry exists on a platform that is not available via a desktop computer, such as a smartphone or tablet application, entrants should provide a URL to a marketplace page where the application can be downloaded free of charge. If applicants are submitting entries that requires installation of an app or some other technical requirement beyond the typical browser, please note that in your entry.

Entries can be saved and edited at a later date, but corrections cannot be made to entries after submitting. Please verify that all the information in your entry is correct before submitting.

Online Journalism Awards are broken out by size, as determined by the total number of the organization’s employees. If an entry was produced with external resources — contractors, freelancers, etc. — that number must be included when determining size.

Small: For an entrant to be considered “small,” the organization must have 50 or fewer employees.
Medium: For an entrant to be considered “medium,” the organization must have between 51 and 250 employees.
Large: For an entrant to be considered “large,” the organization must have more than 250 employees.

Entry Format

Entries must be submitted through the online awards site. To enter, fill out entry forms for each entry across all categories. Then pay for the total number of awards entries. Entry fees are listed below.

The deadline for submissions was June 20, 2014. Sign up for ONA’s newsletter to find out about the 2015 OJAs.

Contact Information

Entry Links

Entry URL
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