I’ve been awarded the 2nd place NLGJA/RTNDA Excellence in Online Journalism award for my flash interactive report “Courting the gay vote,” covering the first presidential campaign forum focused on gay issues.
The third place award went to Newsweek. First place was CNN.
Here’s the explanatory essay I wrote in my submission for the award:
“The Yahoo! News “Courting the gay vote” audio slideshow was unplanned. Yahoo! News aggregates its content from a variety of providers, and we planned to treat the presidential candidates’ forum on gay issues just like any other major story – by publishing content from our various sources including wires and newspapers.
“Two hours before the event, I was told that we had acquired a press pass, and to pack gear and head down to the studio in Hollywood.
“Yahoo! News’ original content mission is to create stories that can run in conjunction with, or which compliment, the news we get from our partners. My forum story needed to be different from what our providers would already offer us. So, I had to stay away from the ‘who said what’ aspect of the story.
“At the studio, security prohibited taking photo cameras inside. Meantime, I noticed that reporters were stuck interviewing the studio audience, which seemed to not be a true cross-section of the gay community.
“I decided to leave the epicenter of the story and head to a public viewing party in nearby West Hollywood. The party was one of a few unaffiliated with a candidate.
“The resulting audio slideshow captures the excitement and energy that the forum generated, the honest reactions of the men and women who were watching, and some of the key issues involved. Also, it gives a sense of who won the debate without relying on pundits, ‘experts’ or campaign proxies.”