KBIA Wins Top Award in 2015 ONA Online Journalism Awards

Sep 27, 2015

The KBIA news team. From left: Nathan Lawrence, Bram Sable-Smith, Ryan Famuliner, Kristofor Husted, Sara Shahriari and Rebecca Smith.
Credit Riley Beggin / KBIA

KBIA is honored to have won the General Excellence in Online Journalism - Small award in the 2015 Online News Association's Online Journalism Awards.

The award was announced at a banquet in Los Angeles Saturday night at the end of the annual ONA conference. Stephen Thompson, a writer/editor for NPR Music, was one of the hosts of the event. In presenting the award, he read this note from the judges:

"The judges were impressed that a tiny newsroom staffed largely with college students had such a thoughtful and sophisticated website, from data journalism to crowdsourcing to long form feature storytelling this site punched way above its weight. In a category full of excellent entrants this was a real standout."

KBIA's entry included special projects like Here Say, Access Missouri, Shortage in Rich Land, Heartland, Missouri, and Exploring the Paths of Missouri's Special Education and referenced the fact that KBIA was one of the first stations in the country to adopt NPR Digital Services’ responsive design on its website last year.

University of Missouri School of Journalism Dean David Kurpius (L) and Director of the Futures Lab Mike McKean accepted the award on KBIA's behalf at a banquet in Los Angeles, September 26, 2015.
Credit Online News Association

 You can watch the video of the award banquet here. KBIA's award was announced near the 1:41:00 mark. Dean of the Missouri School of Journalism David Kurpius and Director of the Futures Lab Mike McKean accepted the award on KBIA's behalf.

This is the first time KBIA has been honored in the Online Journalism Awards competition. The general excellence category "honors an ongoing publication/app that successfully fulfills its editorial mission, effectively serves its audience, maximizes the use of digital tools and platforms, and represents the highest journalistic standards. Entries will be judged on quality of journalism, use of social tools, creative use of the medium and platform, user interface and interactivity.

Other finalists included the Texas Tribune, the MinnPost and the Honolulu Civil Beat.

This adds to a long list of honors for KBIA this award season, Including one national and five  regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, three first place awards in the national Public Radio News Directors, Inc. competition, first place in the national audio competition in the Religion Newswriters Association contest, five Missouri Broadcaster's Association Awards, the Missouri Public Health Association Media Award, and runner up in the national Missouri Review Miller Audio Contest. A student reporter at KBIA also placed in the top 10 of the national Hearst Journalism Awards Competition.

KBIA's website has won the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best small market radio news website the last three years in a row, and also won the national Murrow in 2014.