2020 Local Media Digital Innovation Award Winners

Winners have been announced!

This contest recognizes the best in local digital media in 15 categories such as best local website, best virtual event, best branded content strategy and more. It is a highly competitive contest designed to recognize both large and small media companies for their outstanding and innovative work.

Local media companies submitted entries for FREE thanks to all of our sponsors.

Special thanks to our judges:

Damon Kiesow, Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Kat Duncan, Director of Innovation, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism


Best Social Media and Engagement Strategy** Sponsored by iPublish Media Solutions

This award recognizes the most successful and creative plans for leveraging social media to expand audience and heighten engagement.

750,000 monthly unique visitors or less 

1st Place
Green Valley News (Wick Communications)
https://gvnews.com         

Green Valley News created NABUR, built with Google funding. It’s a NextDoor-type social media site that doesn’t leave readers with more questions than answers. Why? Because reporters dip in and address issues, offer expertise, background information and links to past stories. They have more than 1,100 users, in a community of about 25,000. And membership to the site continues to grow.

Judge’s note: An interesting experiment building a local social media platform to interact with readers and share news. Builds upon the idea that newsrooms used to provide a lot more – classifieds, events, realtors, etc. This brings that back to being hosted by the news org.

2nd place
The AFRO-American Newspapers
https://afro.com

The AFRO-American set three distinct goals and worked hard to reach them:   

Goal 1: Increase postings on all platforms to build a greater digital community with an emphasis on Facebook and Instagram, and achieve 15% increase in engagement numbers 

Goal 2: Increase Facebook followers by 10%, get to 15,000 Instagram followers, and hit 1,000 Linkedin followers

Goal 3:  Hire a dedicated staff member by end of the first quarter to deliver regular social media and website insight, competitor analyses, and social media campaign reports.

Judge’s note: Loved these open and interactive conversations with their community! A wonderful way to build relationships with readers.

3rd Place
O’Rourke Media Group
www.sheboygansun.com

Up until October 2020, the Sheboygan Sun was a TMC (shopper) product with really no website (just a place to upload classifieds). They hired a news staff in the fall of 2020 and launched a website that offered full coverage of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin market. As part of that effort, they created social media pages with a concentrated effort on our Facebook audience. Their goals in 2020 with their Facebook page was to create an audience, nurture it and make it one of the most important platforms to help get the website off the ground.

Judge’s note: Nice to see the sharing of behind the scenes on assignments, connections to the local community and the people behind the news.

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place
WDIV-TV (Graham Media Group)
Clickondetroit.com

In 2020, their goals really pivoted when the pandemic hit. They decided to shift from referral traffic and engagement goals to offering more clarity and credible information, as well as more access to information, to their audience as the community needed it. They decided to use data to do this and started mining COVID-19 data, creating visualizations to help tell the story, stripped from politics and from any other narrative — just pure data.

Judge’s note: A really interesting and smart engagement strategy at a time when trust in journalism is low and lifesaving information can be seen as divisive. This news org put its focus this year on data through easy to absorb visualizations, fact-checking and transparency to build trust and inform their readers. They provided important information while also engaging their community and building trust. Great work.

2nd place
WDIV-Local 4
www.clickondetroit.com

WDIV wanted to start a Local 4 4Frenzy Instagram page during their fall season of 4Frenzy. They didn’t have a 4Frenzy Instagram page before this year, so they knew it would be a challenge to start from scratch. They wanted to engage with their core audience, which is high school students, and they were mostly Instagram users.                    

Judge’s note: Giving local community members control of the social media and letting them contribute is a great way to engage and build connections with different parts of the community in a real way. They get to be a part of the process!

3rd place
Des Moines Register / HawkCentral / Gannett
www.hawkcentral.com             

Social media is becoming an increasingly toxic place. Younger readers are turning away from organized social media in favor of group texts and more intimate groups. Yet creating communities and dialogue — particularly around superstar sports columnists — is important to a subscriber-focused future. They wanted a way for subscribers to feel connected with the journalists they support, so they launched a test in late 2019 that turned into a fully-featured product throughout 2020. The test uses SMS (text messages) between Chad Leistikow, our star Iowa Hawkeyes columnist, and subscribers to hawkcentral.com

Judge’s note: Interacting directly with readers through a text group is a great strategy I see many newsrooms doing! Would love to see it happen outside of sports fans as well

Best Digital Initiative/Product Development* 

Launching a new digital initiative takes time and resources, so this award showcases the best use of both that drove positive results. This broad category can encompass a digital initiative launched in the last year, such as OTT, podcasting, virtual reality, insight selling, custom CMS, or something new and emerging.

250,000 unique monthly visitors or less

1st place
O’Rourke Media Group
www.riponpress.com

News organizations struggle with follow-ups, as they have done reader advisory boards across our organization, it’s one of the things they hear most often: what happened to that story? In an effort to improve, the Ripon Press, in Ripon, Wisconsin, created a Follow-Up feature. It’s a weekly digital story that looks at an issue and provides an update to it. The format helps guide the reader through what’s new with headings like: Issue, Background, Status, What’s Next.

Judge’s note: Giving readers the opportunity to consistently get their questions answered is a great initiative to listen to and serve the community.

2nd place
O’Rourke Media Group
www.samessenger.com

High school sports is really important for The Messenger, a newspaper in Vermont. But they know that high school sports aren’t relevant for every reader. Luckily, their sports editor, Ruthie Laroche, is an outdoors enthusiast. She runs in the snow, bikes in the snow and just generally loves being outside. They talked with her about building content around this interest and a brand that they would take to video. They didn’t want this to be your typical fishing column but a get-out and do approach by sharing her experiences. The results have truly been amazing. They’re seeing huge numbers every month and the reach on Facebook for the videos has been more than they could have dreamt of.

Judge’s note: Feels very personal and offers not just a first-hand experience story but advice for those who want to also try the experiences. Feels very friendly and engaging. 

250,001 monthly unique visitors or more

1st place
Cascade Public Media
crosscut.com

As part of Crosscut’s mission to inform the broad public about stories unfolding in the Pacific Northwest and to foster civic discourse, they invite news outlets to republish their articles for free. 

At a time when many news publishers are struggling to stay afloat and news deserts are growing rampant, they’re proud to make their journalism free for all to read and publish through a Republishing program launched earlier this year. 

Judge’s note: A great idea! Loved that the ‘republish’ feature offers in-depth journalism to other news sources so readers across the state can have access to it.

2nd place
Record-Journal
www.myrecordjournal.com   

Over the past year, their company made a goal of implementing more reader-listening strategies. They planned to implement the Hearken platform to solicit topics for stories from readers as a new way to connect with the communities. The timing of the launch coincided with election season. They had also planned to adopt the Citizen’s Agenda model for our election coverage – so they put them together. 

Judge’s note: A wonderful initiative that focuses on listening to readers and addressing their questions and suggestions in coverage.

3rd place
USA TODAY Network
www.gannett.com                       

Cincinnati Enquirer editor Amy Wilson approached the USA TODAY Network’s Storytelling Studio with a request to present a re-telling of the Enquirer’s award-winning podcast, “Accused” Season 3, for a digital audience. Specifically, Wilson wanted a graphic novel format. The Storytelling Studio saw an opportunity to not just deliver on Wilson’s vision, but develop a product that would enable all the newsrooms of the USA TODAY Network to create and publish innovative digital graphic novels. The result: A new software application that allows newsroom staff to create, edit and publish long-form illustrated journalism, with features that go beyond the likes of Marvel and DC comics by taking full advantage of web browser technology.

Judge’s note: A creative and unique initiative to engage readers in graphic novel format.

Digital Innovators of the Year

Digital Innovator of the Year for Content and Audience, Sponsored by ppi:

Dustin Block, audience and development lead for Graham Media Group

Dr. Frances Toni Draper, chief executive officer and publisher, The AFRO-American Newspapers

Digital Innovator of the Year for Revenue and Strategy, Sponsored by Admiral:

Penda Howell, formerly with New York Amsterdam News

Digital Innovator of the Year for Sales, Advertising and Marketing, Sponsored by AdmallLogo for AdMall, Powered by SalesFuel

Willy Grant, director of digital for Great West Media in Alberta, Canada

Best Digital Audience Growth Strategy, Sponsored by Lineup

This award recognizes sites that are developing high-quality content, processes, and user experiences that have proven to increase overall audience.

All classifications combined

WINNERS

1st place
Green Valley News (Wick Communications)
www.gvnews.com

Green Valley News built a social media site funded by the Google Innovation Challenge. But NABUR is different. Reporters are part of the conversation, giving readers answers to questions that often are the subject of speculation on other social media sites. They use their in-house expertise, experience, links to previous stories, and access to key contacts to ensure an accurate and clear message delivered by news professionals. NABUR also is an opportunity to engage on lighter topics like gardening or birding. 

Judge’s note: Great to see a strategy that so specifically revolves around the readers.

2nd place
Sheboygan Sun (O’Rourke Media Group)
www.sheboygansun.com

The Sheboygan Sun simply obsesses about what’s best for the reader. Many say it, but they do it. Every story written is framed around how they can best deliver information the reader most needs to know. ‘Don’t make the reader work hard’ is their mantra. For every story, teams discuss the best format, digital tools, and engagement touchpoint possible. What this has resulted in is content that readers are spending time with and clicking around with. In fact, they are seeing readers consuming five pages per session which tells them this strategy is working.

Judge’s note: A wonderful way to approach news – listening to readers and letting them guide the growth of the news org through their engagement.

3rd place
Raleigh Convergence
raleighconvergence.com       

The New Neighbor Project targeted newcomers to growing Wake County with a series of opt-in emailed guides, two rounds of virtual events, and community-specific Facebook groups. 

Best Philanthropy Journalism and/or Fundraising Strategy

Funding important local reporting through philanthropy and fundraising is emerging as an additional pillar to support journalism. This award seeks to highlight creative, effective fundraising efforts that have impacted local publishers’ ability to fund journalism’s critical work.

All classifications combined 

WINNERS

1st Place
Chicago Reader
chicagoreader.com 

In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Chicago Reader lost nearly 90% of its ad revenue, resulting in a financial free-fall. In order to right the ship, the Chicago Reader took a two-pronged approach to raise funds by creating limited, original merchandise and by creating an online individual giving program. Additionally, as a part of this pivot, they secured 501(c)3 status from the IRS, making it possible for them to accept tax-deductible donations. 

Judge’s note: An amazing year-long effort to continue operations in the midst of the pandemic and to shift the revenue focus of the organization to merchandise and membership-driven fundraising.   

2nd Place
Houston Defender Network
www.defendernetwork.com

With the infrastructure provided by the LMA Foundation for the COVID-19 campaign, the Defender was empowered to extend an invitation to their readers to support them financially. Their strategy started with an Easter holiday text coupled with a call to action with COVID-19 threatening their existence. The second phase of the strategy was to approach the leadership of organizations, churches, and institutions that they have continued to serve for 90 years. The third phase was a call to prominent Houstonians to match the funds raised. The fourth strategic push focused on securing contributions from foundations to match what had been raised also.

Best Virtual Event

Just when media companies started to get great at live events, the pandemic forced everyone to pivot again and learn how to take those events online. We’re looking for the best single example of a virtual event to take home this award.

WINNERS

250,000 unique monthly visitors or less
1st Place
Houston Defender Network
www.defendernetwork.com

In Houston, Harris County and the State of Texas, COVID-19 continued to have a devastating impact on the Black community on both the health and economic levels, while the outrage surrounding social injustice mounted and the momentum to increase voter turnout and decrease voter suppression surged.

This was the backdrop for the State of Black; a three-part virtual event series from the Houston Defender Network comprised of the State of Black Houston, State of Black Harris County, and State of Black Texas. The guests included the Houston mayor, Harris County judge, lieutenant governor, and the two Black state senators.

Judge’s note: Impressive community-focused live events focused on issues of deep relevance to residents and which brought together significant collaborations with community organizations and generated considerable corporate sponsorship.          

2nd Place
Michigan Chronicle Publishing Co.
www.michiganchronicle.com

Before the COVID crisis, the Michigan Chronicle hosted four Pancakes & Politics forums each year occurring March, April, May, and June. Hosted at the area’s most prestigious private club, The Detroit Athletic Club, Pancakes and Politics attracts C-level executives, community and religious leaders, and policymakers for frank, intimate discussions centered on the socio-economic topics that are most relevant to the region. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, they could not continue the breakfast forums as live events. The devastating economic and health impact of the virus coupled with the national protests resulting from the racially driven murders of Ahmad Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd made it painfully obvious that these conversations are more important now than ever. To this end, they pushed forward with Pancakes and Politics with a series of virtual events.

3rd Place
The Keene Sentinel
Sentinelsource.com

Radically Rural is a partnership between The Keene Sentinel and the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship. Each year, the event gathers experts who share their rural experiences and insights in the following areas: Arts and culture, entrepreneurship, clean energy, working lands, Main Streets and community journalism.  In 2018 and 2019, the event was live and converted the downtown of Keene, NH, into a conference center with sessions for the six focus areas, or tracks, held at the Keene Public Library, the old Cheshire County courthouse, the Historical Society of Cheshire County, Hannah Grimes, the Alumni Center at Keene State College and a local dance and performing arts center. Keynote and closing speeches were held at the historic Colonial Theatre. 

Then, this year, COVID-19 hit, and the event was threatened. Not wanting to lose the momentum built the first two years, they took Radically Rural online, found a tech platform on which to stage it, and set about organizing all the speakers, content and sessions for a virtual approach. Radically Rural – Remote became the brand, and they started promoting it with a humorous Zoom-like video.

250,000 monthly unique visitors and over

1st Place
WJXT Channel 4 (Graham Media Group)
News4Jax.com

COVID-19 forced nearly all school districts in Northeast Florida to cancel in-person graduation ceremonies. WJXT-Channel 4 partnered with the Duval County school system, St. Johns County school system, and Florida State College at Jacksonville to create “Brightest & Best,” which were virtual graduation ceremonies for 42 total high schools. The programs included speakers such as a representative from the main sponsor, the school district superintendents, dozens of principals, Valedictorians, salutatorians, outstanding members of the senior class and teachers. Some schools submitted video diaries while other schools submitted photos of all of their graduating seniors, including information such as the activities they participated in, their future college and future fields of study. 

Judge’s note: Amazing amount of work dedicated to this project organizing and publishing video and photo collections for 42 local schools to provide a virtual graduation experience for the community.   

2nd Place
Adams Publishing Group
www.adamspg.com

When COVID-19 canceled hundreds of traditional high school graduations across APG’s newspaper markets, they pivoted and created Graduation Galleries across 100+ markets, inclusive of both user-submitted profiles of grads, photos of grads, and some schools used their platform as the video host of their graduation. All of this grad-related content was housed in premium locations on their websites.

3rd Place
Al Día News
aldianews.com

AL DÍA News hosted its inaugural 40 Under 40 Event. The first-time event provides the chance for Philadelphians to recognize up-and-coming leaders in the city. In addition to featuring the judging committee and all 40 honorees within the virtual program, the event featured Loraine Ballard Morrill, iHeart Media, News Director as its emcee, and Raquel Tamez, president & CEO of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, as the keynote presenter.

Best Local Website, Sponsored by Adpay

This award recognizes the best all-around local media websites. Judges will consider all aspects including user and customer experience, site design and organization, brand continuity, content (is it local and relevant?), use of photos, graphics and video, opportunities for user engagement, presentation of advertising, mobile adaptability, and more.

WINNERS

250,000 monthly unique visitors or less 

1st place
InvestigateWest
invw.org
Judge’s note: Visually driven site, easy to navigate, very responsive.

2nd place
Volume One
volumeone.org
Judge’s note: A lot of information but easy to navigate by subject and sub groups.

3rd place
West Texan Media Group lLC
www.bigbendsentinel.com
Judge’s note: Very clean and easy to navigate, doesn’t overwhelm visitors.

250,001 – 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place
Cascade Public Media
www.Crosscut.com
Judge’s note: Clean design, easy to navigate. Interactive and responsive.

2nd place
NowMedia Group
www.KelownaNow.com
Judge’s note: Very nice accessibility options – I liked that you could listen to the articles and it was an easy-to-find option integrated into the design.

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place
OutThere Colorado / Colorado Springs Gazette
www.outtherecolorado.com
Judge’s note: Visually driven site, easy to navigate, very responsive.

2nd place
News 12 Digital
http://www.news12.com       

3rd place
WJXT/News4Jax
www.news4jax.com
Judge’s note: Important information and visualization on the home page, easy to navigate.

Google News InitiativeBest Service to Diverse Audiences, Sponsored by Google News Initiative

This award recognizes a news organization for excellence in serving underrepresented audiences and communities of color. Examples of service journalism can include individual reporting projects, a series of reports, a product or service that specifically serves underrepresented communities, or an ongoing demonstrated commitment to representing diverse voices.

WINNERS

750,000 monthly unique visitors or less 

1st Place
Injustice Watch
https://www.injusticewatch.org            

Consistent with their mission to conduct in-depth research exposing institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality, Injustice Watch considers incarcerated individuals to be underrepresented audience members. Nearly 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States, and about 39,000 in Illinois. Injustice Watch seeks to produce public service journalism and amplify the voices of this underrepresented audience in its reporting. 

Injustice Watch reported on COVID-19’s devastating impact on prisoners and their families; sought to provide its judicial elections guide to inmates in the Cook County Jail; published a four-part investigation into a death in an Alabama prison and subsequent attempts at a cover-up; analyzed the Missouri Attorney General’s repeated efforts to continue to incarcerate innocent individuals who have been exonerated; and developed a new commentary strategy to amplify the voices of impacted community members.

Judge’s note: Injustice Watch did a great job of serving underrepresented readers and community members online and in person. They had a range of coverage in addition to their online COVID-19 tracker, a printout guide for readers to take the voting booth, and postcards to help people understand the importance of the judicial election. This was a great example of a news org engaging with the community in multiple spaces in the ways that can benefit them most.

2nd Place
Substantial Media, LLC
Wearesubstantial.com

Substantial’s primary mission is educating, informing and empowering Black and Brown communities within the state of North Carolina. Substantial has dedicated two digital issues to COVID-19 and the fight for social justice. They continue to provide meaningful content from one of the state’s leading health organizations, “Vidant Health,” creating a campaign titled “Vidant Verified.” They also partnered with “When We All Vote” to do a series of Zoomcasts and share important information regarding voter registration, early voting, and the primary election. They also hosted and will host again this year the Black Lens Symposium which is an opportunity for Black men to convene to talk about important issues, challenges and successes within communities.

Judge’s note: Substantial created a central location to answer readers’ questions about COVID-19, provided help in accessing medical care, and told stories of those who had been infected. It was a very easy-to-use, clear and concise resource. I also liked their page where readers could check if they’re registered to vote and see pertinent numbers related to the election. They showed that they not only cover Black and Brown communities but help them access the information and resources they need.

3rd Place
City Limits
www.citylimits.org

This year marked the first full year of City Limits’ bilingual news initiative, Una Ciudad Sin Limites, an effort to ensure Spanish-speaking readers — which describes nearly 2 million New York City residents — can access and engage with their reporting. They published more than 100 Spanish-language stories in 2020, including pieces that were originally reported and written in Spanish, as well as Spanish-language translations of their English-language articles.

This coverage included an investigation into how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted New York Latino arts groups, how the city fumbled an emergency program intended to provide COVID relief funds to the city’s immigrant residents, and a shortage of language interpreters in the city’s court system.

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place
Democrat and Chronicle (Gannett)
democratandchronicle.com

The Democrat and Chronicle’s audience has traditionally been less diverse than the western New York communities it serves. Greater Rochester has been changing decade after decade, and the news organization had not changed with it. This is why Democrat and Chronicle made the decision to strive to become relevant to all who live in Greater Rochester, particularly the Black and Latino communities the coverage sadly has often overlooked. D&C in 2020 brought on board two diverse Report for America journalists, one covering education through the eyes and experiences of parents, who are vital stakeholders in turning around the Rochester City School District. Another wrote about the lived experiences of Rochester’s growing Latino community and the issues that the community faces.

D&C also focused on newsroom culture, shifting from one focused on page views — which stories of violence and arrests generate in large numbers — to one focused on creating digital journalism reflecting the richness of our communities and potential solutions to the community’s ills. 

Judge’s note: The Democrat and Chronicle not only pledged to serve underrepresented communities by making their newsroom and coverage more reflective of their city, but they did market research to see what resources those communities needed/wanted – and created them. That shows an effort not only to understand, cover and engage with communities of color, but also listen to them and act upon what they’re hearing.

2nd place
KPRC 2 (Graham Media Group)
Click2Houston.com                 

Over the course of the last year, KPRC & Click2Houston.com have strived to serve their audience in new ways with campaigns that expose unfair disparities and highlight efforts to combat the injustices. They’ve also made celebrating the diversity in the area a focus of their digital coverage.  They have launched new content and begun bringing in weekly guests into the newsroom conversations to grow their contact base and make deeper connections with the community they serve.

Judge’s note: A variety of stories, interactives and projects that covered diverse communities in Houston.

3rd Place – Tie
Entravision Communications
www.entravision.com

Immigrant agricultural workers in Monterey, California, have experienced a particular challenge finding vital health and safety information in their native languages of Mixtec, Zapotec, and Triqui from Oaxaca, Mexico. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, their reporters have witnessed the firsthand need of delivering vital emergency information to these communities in their Indigenous languages since many are not fluent in either Spanish or English. Because of this, even major organizations such as the United States Census have historically experienced difficulties reaching them — and Entravision decided to make an effort to change that. 

Judge’s note: A great effort to share important information in multiple languages to reach specific communities that are underserved by local media.

3rd Place – Tie
ABC Owned Television Stations
abcotvs.com

In a time of a global pandemic and the largest civil rights movement in American history, local news played an ever-critical role for Americans. Audiences turned to ABC Owned Television Stations for its trusted, timely, relevant, unbiased news on local issues evolving in their communities. During this time, ABC Owned Television Stations surveyed their audience to receive feedback regarding overall content preference. Those results showed the audience wanted to see more diverse and inclusive storytelling. This led to the station group collaborating to produce the first-of-its-kind weeklong docuseries and hour-long documentary, “Our America: Living While Black.” The special featured stories of multigenerational Black families from across America navigating generations of systemic racism, policing, healthcare, education, wealth, and housing disparities while seeking to build stronger communities and create a better life. The multiplatform docuseries aired daily in the newscast of all eight owned stations and streamed on its 32 connected TV apps, with additional story highlights on the station group’s social media platforms, and a complete localized resource page for the Black community and allies in each market of ABC Owned Television Stations.

Judge’s note: Great to see a collaboration between multiple newsrooms to tell important stories and present them as a cohesive package with data and graphics to provide context and support.

Google News InitiativeBest COVID-19 Local Community Coverage, Sponsored by Google News Initiative

The pandemic’s impact on local communities and the pressing need to get important information into community members’ hands enabled publishers to connect with their audiences in new ways.  This award will honor the best local coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak by looking at multiple examples of community-focused content bringing the reality of COVID-19 to a local area.

WINNERS

250,000 monthly unique visitors or less

1st Place
Detour Media LLC
www.DetourDetroiter.com

Detour quickly pivoted their newsletter-first outlet to provide regular COVID-19 reporting driven by audience needs. They focused on stories about and for vulnerable Detroiters, reporting on the compounding crises of unemployment, housing and food insecurity, mental health struggles, water shutoffs and unsafe working conditions. They highlighted how organizations were adapting to continue service during the crisis. Detour pinpointed the locally-specific problems for leaders of small businesses and nonprofits and tapped those members of our audience for survey-driven analysis and reporting. Finally, they fostered connections by sharing virtual events, creative projects and volunteering and giving opportunities. Detour published more original reporting in three months than in the previous year, while staying true to their mission — providing community-driven reporting for, by, and responsive to city residents that uplifts the efforts of native Detroiters, gives readers context, and equips them to take action. 

Judge’s note: A great listen-to-readers effort coupled with effective service journalism, delivered in an effective newsletter was rewarded by increased in audience and donations.

2nd Place
Village Media
www.collingwoodtoday.ca

Village Media focused their COVID coverage on the daily number. Since the outset of the pandemic, they’ve been posting daily Ontario numbers updates, and regional numbers updates every day they are posted by the health unit. The regional and provincial stories include a breakdown of known cases in the area and the status of the cases (recoveries, deaths, hospitalizations). The main topics in their COVID coverage included situation update, closed/open lists, regular stories featuring the region’s Medical Officer of Health, local people, charities, responding to the pandemic, reader submissions/call outs and video.

3rd Place
Enlace Latino NC
www.enlacelatinonc.org

Enlace Latino NC is North Carolina’s first non-profit digital Spanish-language news organization, established in 2018. Their audience is the first-generation LatinX community. They focus on state and local politics, immigration, and community affairs in the state. Their local community coverage strategy on COVID-19 has focused on offering information, updates and resources (financial, educational and medical aid) in Spanish about COVID-19 for the LatinX community that is under-served and informatively underrepresented.

In addition, they launched “Latinos en la pandemia” and “Del Sol a Sol” podcasts for farm workers. They made strategic alliances with Univision Online, NC Health News, News & Observer and Southerly.

250,001-750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place
Cascade Public Media
crosscut.com 

Crosscut first began in-depth reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in early February. Since then, the nonprofit public media newsroom has reported more than 300 original news stories and opinion columns. 

Their coverage strategies have included written stories and series (Apocalypse: Now What?), video documentaries (The New Normal and Isolation Diaries), podcasts (This Changes Everything) and live event virtual conversations (Northwest Newsmakers with Dr. Vin Gupta). 

 Judge’s note: Amazing cross-platform effort including new video and podcast series, new email newsletter, a reader-focused weekly ‘answers’ column and aligned efforts on social media.

2nd Place
Herald & Review (Lee Enterprises)
herald-review.com

The Herald & Review’s focus has been on telling the human side of this pandemic. They have been flooded with data and knew their role would be to show community members working to overcome the challenges of COVID. 

They wanted to tell their stories and did that in a variety of ways including, selecting a group of people to profile every few months to show how each is dealing in different ways, the creation of a dedicated COVID story hotline and used Google Voice to turn those testimonials into an audio project, roundtable discussions over Zoom, COVID podcast and live video of state and local press conferences and more.

3rd Place
The Aspen Times (Swift Communications)
aspentimes.com

While a rural area in the Colorado mountains with just 17,800 year-round residents, Pitkin County draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every winter for its world-class skiing, high-end shopping, and renowned dining and party scene.

On March 14, Gov. Jared Polis shut down the state’s ski industry, and at the same time, Australian visitors in Aspen were the first to test positive in Pitkin County and caused a stir when they tried to break quarantine at a time when that idea was new and unknown. 

The Aspen Times coordinated and worked with sister papers in other Colorado ski towns (Vail Daily, Steamboat Pilot & Today, Summit Daily News) and others with Swift Communications to follow the news and answer questions in the uncertain days of March, April and May. Through the lull of the summer and then an eerily quiet fall, The Aspen Times staff continued to follow every local government and community meeting and each change in policy and procedure that affected the residents and businesses.

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place
WPRI-TV (WPRI 12) (Nexstar)
wpri.com

Mid-March 2020, the station’s GM, Digital Director, News Director, and Creative Services Director met to plot a full commitment to what they recognized early as a once-in-a-lifetime response to inform and protect the local community in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. 

While reimagining the way they operate their television station to ensure staff health and safety, they architected an all-screens plan to serve up the most comprehensive, news and information and in more and innovative ways. More frequent and concise digital video (branded as ‘Video Now’) served on all digital platforms, more in-depth and data visualization stories on the website, more live streaming of urgent health updates from local and national government and medical leaders, and more direct audience interaction via the website (12 Responds initiative). 

Judge’s note: An all-screens COVID-19 effort including broadcast segments, digital live and on-demand, health dashboards, and significant results by online and traditional ratings measures.

2nd Place
KXLY (Morgan Murphy Media)
kxly.com

Washington was the first state to confirm a case of COVID-19 and as the situation rapidly became dire, KXLY knew that they needed to really analyze how best to convey information to the viewers. KXLY was the first in the market to develop a portion of the website specifically dedicated to COVID-19; they created their own webpage that features the latest headlines, interactive case number maps and COVID-related videos. The page also features series that have stemmed from their COVID coverage, like “Finding the Helpers” which highlights people doing good things in the midst of the pandemic, as well as “The Path 4Ward” which includes stories that look at how the community will overcome this period. In addition to this, they also saw that people needed a break from the constant news cycle, though they learned that people still wanted that to know information about the pandemic. KXLY created a nightly COVID-focused newsletter that emails a handful of new stories per night to subscribers.

3rd Place
KPRC-TV (Graham Media Group)
www.click2houston.com

The KPRC2 team is established as the COVID information headquarters in Houston and beyond. The team hit the ground running on day one, providing extensive COVID coverage in many different formats. They utilized live television coverage, facebook live conversations, live town hall events with community experts and other various social media outreaches. For all of these interactive events, they solicited questions and concerns from the viewers so they could provide answers. 

Best Consumer Revenue Strategy, Sponsored by Marketron

This award recognizes exceptional strategy and execution of a new consumer revenue initiative. This can include digital subscriptions, membership, e-commerce, targeted marketing, data mining, and other local media revenue opportunities.

WINNERS

1st Place
Large company category
Hearst Newspapers

Hearst Newspapers is on track to exceed 300,000 digital subscriptions by the end of 2021, which is three times the number of subscriptions the company had in 2019. There were a lot of factors to the tremendous growth, and one of the key areas was growing digital starts. To grow digital starts, they focused on paywall optimization, lead generation, and omni-channel campaigns. A/B testing was utilized heavily as they made various changes to the paywall design, such as switching from an inline to overlay experience, as well as moving to weekly pricing with better discounted intro offers for their monthly campaigns.  Growing their known users through off-site and on-site newsletter signup tactics also helped them double their prospect pool year over year.

1st Place
Small company category
Chicago Reader

In addition to the successful community-funded journalism campaign, the Chicago Reader launched a members-only book club that runs for 12 months. When they began the Book Club, the idea was to find ways to gather the community during a time when they couldn’t gather in person.  The Book Club really centered around the author interviews that happen at the end of each month. Members are registered for a Zoom webinar each month where the author is in dialogue with an interviewer (sometimes a Reader staffer and sometimes another great Chicagoan) for 90 minutes. Members get to participate in a Q&A session during the webinar and have the opportunity to ask questions of the author that you wouldn’t normally get to. Additional membership perks for the $20 a month program included access to the members-only discussion forum, a curated newsletter, and discounts to participating area independent bookstores.

Best Contest and/or Promotion, Sponsored by Second Street

This award will recognize a contest or promotion that was above and beyond expectations. The entry should include a link to the promotion and detailed information on results, including revenue and ROI for the advertiser. Be sure to include anything else that makes this stand out – did you attach an event to it, for example? Did the experience open the door to other opportunities?

WINNERS

750,000 or less monthly unique visitors

1st place
Dallas Weekly
www.dallasweekly.com               

The Dallas Weekly launched their vote for Best of Black Dallas campaign for two reasons. First, they wanted to highlight the Black-owned businesses in the community. Second, they synced the voting time period and campaign messaging to remind readers to vote in the 2020 election during early voting in Texas (Oct 13-30).

This campaign stands out because they asked their voters to not only pick their favorite local businesses and personalities, but also reminded them to actually vote in the 2020 election.

Judge’s note: Dallas Weekly combined asking their readers to vote for their favorite local businesses with encouraging them to vote in the 2020 election. It was a really smart way of getting the word out to vote in the national election through a contest they knew a lot of their readers would engage with.

2nd Place
Beasley Media Group/WBOS
https://rock929rocks.com/                

102.9 WMGK FM in Philadelphia’s Virtual Dog Walk: The Dog Walk has been a physical event at WMGK for almost two decades. 2020 was the first time that they had to make the difficult decision to go virtual. They did this by creating lots of content on their website including effective and engaging quizzes.

Judge’s note: This was a solid combo of videos, quizzes, voting and interactive opportunities for readers who normally enjoyed this event in person. It also brought in quite a bit of money in sponsor dollars, despite not having it in person and during a pandemic! Great work.

3rd Place
People Newspapers
peoplenewspapers.com

The Park Cities Fourth of July Parade is tradition – but with a pandemic raging, the local rotary club knew it was a bad time to encourage people to crowd the streets to watch a parade. The club reached out to the newspaper, and they helped craft a “reverse” parade of sorts, holding a yard decorating contest that allowed people to drive around and see a parade of decorated homes. They provided a platform for people to vote on their favorite homes. In addition, they also worked with a local artist to create a coloring book for the Fourth of July, and held a coloring contest.

Judge’s note: I really liked this entry because it took an event that the community looked forward to every year and found a way to still have it while being completely safe during the pandemic – without just making it virtual or video etc. It didn’t put anyone at risk and their readers still got an experience where they were able to get involved, decorate and show their holiday enthusiasm.

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place
WDIV-Local 4 (Graham Media Group)
www.clickondetroit.com

Every year the highly anticipated and successful contest Vote 4 The Best allows locals to nominate and vote for their favorite Michigan businesses of all kinds. It allows for a bit of free advertising for area businesses with a spot on the website and the ability to share a direct voting link to their business there. The voting ballot remains a “go-to-guide” of local businesses all year long, with the top five winners being more noticeable but all nominees remaining visible. Additionally, they provide window clings for storefronts and digital graphics for the top 5 winners in each category, which equaled about 940 in the main contest alone.

Judge’s note: They took a yearly contest and added categories that were specific to the pandemic to honor businesses that were doing great work like customer safety. This inclusion of categories that recognized added challenges of the past year led to more engagement and revenue.

2nd place
WDIV-Local 4 (Graham Media Group)
www.clickondetroit.com

The traditional 4Frenzy campaigns have always been about celebrating high school students’ hard work and passion surrounding sports, academics and school spirit (with a nomination and voting period each season) but this year they needed to do something different because the pandemic changed the lives of so many seniors.

Judge’s note: This news org made the effort to change their yearly promotion/contest to highlight seniors who had not gotten their usual chance to sign through graduation and events.

3rd place
Black Press Media
https://www.blackpress.ca/   

Black Press Media’s Amateur Photographer of the Year contest had 29,555 photo submissions this year. This marks the most submissions since the contest started in 2016. Entrants could submit a minimum of 5 photos across six categories including Scenic Canada, West Coast Travel, People, Local Gems. #Instafavs, and Wildlife. Although the contest is promoted to communities in Western Canada, photos were also submitted from Eastern Canada, the U.S., one in South America, and several from Eastern Europe. This promotion provides them with incredible amounts of UGC that they repurpose across their entire network for further engagement. 

Judge’s note: A photo contest that highlighted local people and places through lovely photographs, had great social engagement and nice prizes for those who voted and those who entered photos. As an additional plus, it increased opt-ins for their newsletters!

Best Branded Content Strategy* Sponsored by Legacy.com

Branded content is a powerful way to combine what publishers and local newsrooms do best: storytelling and helping businesses grow. This award showcases the very best in branded content initiatives.

WINNERS
750,000 monthly unique visitors or less

1st Place
The AFRO-American Co. of Baltimore City, Inc dba The AFRO-American Newspapers
afro.com

The entire AFRO staff (from the receptionist to the publisher) joined forces via several Zoom meetings to brainstorm categories and themes for the “We’re Still Here” series. Groups of three staff members from different departments met to define the people, organizations, specific content and potential sponsors or advertisers for their assigned issues. This exercise proved so successful and engaging that one staff member wrote a poem that serves as the background for our sponsor pitch video, as well as the one-page flyer. They were intent on incorporating the many diverse facets of their culture as a means to engage readers throughout the entire year.  The video aims to entertain and connect with consumers emotionally through a strong narrative as a means to further strengthen their brand. In addition, they invited prospective advertisers to a virtual breakfast (the invite included a $10 Starbucks gift card) to introduce them to the  “We’re Still Here”  branded content series.  As a result, several advertisers expressed interest in supporting one or more of the editions.

Judge’s note: An impressive year-long calendar of special editions that are squarely targeted at a broad readership interest but provide ample opportunity for advertisers to support and participate. The introductory video is by itself an effective bit of storytelling and sales pitch.            

2nd Place
NowMedia Group
KelownaNow.com

The team worked with a local Toyota dealership to promote community and lineup of cars. They are doing a 12-episode video series called “Out of Office” that involves KelownaNow staff and local community businesses or attractions. 

3rd Place
O’Rourke Media Group
www.citysuntimes.com

Across O’Rourke Media Group, they began rolling out content marketing offerings to their customers. They were customized for their customers, some taking a package of stories, others taking single stories. Their focus has been on content quality, ensuring they are telling a story that is getting engagement and has value in search. They have professional writers handling this content and you can see those results in the work that is being produced. They attack these stories like any journalist would and that approach has created a good experience for the advertiser and the audience. 

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place
Entravision Communications
www.entravision.com | noticiasya.com

Entravision won this award for two different series that were entered into the contest.

Entravision wanted to connect with their audiences through high-quality informative storytelling. They re-evaluated their offerings and abilities to consolidate their news verticals into one brand named “Juntos” (meaning “Together” in Spanish).

Entravision’s “Juntos” program is a curated branded content platform dedicated to connecting with U.S. Latinos via expert-led educational content, videos, and interviews. The primary mission of the initiative is to bridge the information gap often experienced by the Latino community by providing accessible resources that can both inform and empower them. 

In addition, they created their civic engagement campaign Juntas Votamos (meaning “Together We Vote” in Spanish) to empower and inspire Latina women to register to vote and participate in the 2020 presidential elections. The client, Love Her Shop — a phenomenal leggings shop with a great story out of Sacramento that was interested in a national launch to the Hispanic community — sponsored the segments on different topics. 

August of this year marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote. Juntas Votamos served as a dedicated platform to continue encouraging voter engagement among women by amplifying their voices through uplifting storytelling and highlighting noteworthy achievements made by women.

Judge’s note: Very interesting (and profitable) public-service programming supported through content sponsorship.         

2nd Place
Seattle Times Content Studio
contentstudio.seattletimes.com

The mission was to create deeper connections and foster loyalty with content that goes beyond where ads alone can. The Seattle Times Content Studio taps into content marketing expertise to produce work that resonates and drives results for partners. A modern content agency rooted in a tradition of journalism, they understand what makes a good story. But they’re also on top of the industry’s latest data-driven strategies, and know-how to translate them to work. Their work is highlighted in several formats including interactive graphics, video, written articles, content, social campaigns, print and advertiser content.

3rd Place- Tie
WJXT (Graham Media Group)
News4jax.com

News4Jax partnered with their local Baptist hospital to help bring awareness to a health blog they launched in 2017. Leveraging the strength of their voice in the community, they knew that branded content was the perfect medium to increase awareness around Juice. Their strategy utilized four native articles a month on News4Jax.com to educate the target audience, supported by social posts on the News4Jax Facebook page highlighting a new topic each month. They also ran four native articles a month across the network on social media, and through A/B testing were able to help their client better interact with their intended audience. To further engage the News4Jax audience, they even promoted one topic per month on their Morning Show and encouraged users to take a quiz on their contest page to test their medical knowledge utilizing Second Street.

3rd Place- Tie
Denver Post Media
www.denverpostmedia.com

The Denver Post Media content studio team developed ten custom content series for local advertisers to sponsor. As the year progressed, they developed new series to partner with prospects on, specifically education and sports betting.

Best Digital News Project* Sponsored by TownNews

The award for best digital news project will be given to entries that display captivating, innovative, and intentional storytelling. This can be a single piece, a collection, or an ongoing series. Did you take an investigative story, a big project, or a continuing topic and tell the story as no one else could? Did you build a digital experience that was enjoyable to read and interactive?

WINNERS

750,000 monthly unique visitors and less

1st place
Volume One
http://volumeone.org

As outbreaks of COVID-19 continue to spread across the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin, local farmers, co-op managers, small producers, and growers see the global food system as broken — though they affirm we have the power to change it. This story and documentary video explore those concepts. They saw widespread sharing of this story across social media. In the first two weeks in the small market, the video and its trailer were viewed more than 13,000 times across their website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Judge’s note: An engaging look at the impact of COVID-19 on local farms and food supply. Incorporated video, photos and clean design to tell the story from multiple angles.

2nd place
Record-Journal
https://www.myrecordjournal.com/

As part of their efforts to create more engaging content, Record Journal took an in-depth look at autism in the school system – not just for students with autism but how autism impacts everyone in the community. They had originally planned the series to run in March leading up to Autism Awareness Month. Though most of the reporting was done, the pandemic took over the main news coverage for months, forcing the team to shelve the story and then update it to run in August ahead of children going back to school.  

3rd place
The River Newsroom/Chronogram Media
therivernewsroom.com

For this feature, they investigated how one local hospital system used pandemic orders from NYS as cover to get rid of its costly inpatient mental health and rehab beds—just as those services were most needed. The reporter spoke to nurses who leaked information, patients who were suffering as a consequence, local and state officials, and more. The finished article embedded documents that informed the reporting. At about 3,200 page views, it’s the 4th most-read story The River has published in the year. 

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place – tie
The American South (Gannett)
There is not a dedicated website, but the team focuses on issues in the South and publishes through Gannett newsrooms in the South. One of the central goals of reporting on indigenous communities is to centers on those directly impacted and ensure the challenges reflected in storytelling are illustrated through their lived experience.                       

Judge’s note: An interesting project! Very well presented! It incorporates interactive elements, images, archive content, video and a clean layout to let the reader experience and understand the story easily.

1st place – tie
The Indianapolis Star and the Marshall Project
indystar.com

An Indianapolis Star investigation, alongside the Marshall project, discovered Indianapolis dogs deployed by police in their investigations bit more people than any other city in the United States. More than half the people bitten were Black, and nearly 60% of people bitten were suspected of only low-level or non-violent crimes. Sometimes, the dogs bite the wrong people entirely, such as innocent bystanders on the scene. The investigation forced the Indianapolis Metro Police Department to change how the department used police dogs, which include not deploying police dogs unless a suspect is armed. The investigation pulled in almost 200,000 page views on IndyStar.com and usatoday.com.

Judge’s note: An interesting and well-presented project highlighting an issue we don’t often hear very much about.

2nd place
NBC Owned Television Stations
www.nbcmiami.com (multiple sites)                         

Rebound is a digital video documentary series about small businesses trying to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. They followed six businesses struggling to deal with the pandemic, navigating a social justice movement and trying to remain active in their communities.

Judge’s note: I enjoyed seeing how this series highlighted not only local businesses that were affected by the pandemic, but also presented each story very personally and how different aspects of this turbulent year have affected those business owners.

3rd place – tie
Miami Herald / McClatchy
miamiherald.com

The Miami Herald Investigations team created a database of Florida COVID cases using data leaked to them by state sources. Using that database, they created an algorithm that allows a user to answer some questions, and that customizes an article that illustrates how COVID deaths in Florida look just like them. The project compares outcomes in COVID cases in Florida based on the reader’s input.

Judge’s note: Really interesting way to present a story! Being able to plug in your age, county and other information to make the story find content more relevant to how COVID-19 would impact you personally is a smart and engaging way to connect the health crisis directly with the reader. 

3rd place – tie
WDIV-TV (Graham Media Group)
Clickondetroit.com

When COVID-19 hit, WDIV-TV knew built a data-driven news project from scratch. From the first day of COVID-19 in Michigan, they tracked every ounce of data that they could find and built their own COVID-19 data page and dashboard, offering the first and only hospitalization and testing data visualizations in the market. This data content has accumulated more than 3 million page views in 2020 and has provided visual content to use across platforms, including on TV. They created a newsletter and loyal audience who returns every single day to see the updated data being reported.

Judge’s note: Really great use of data to drive multiple angles and information on the pandemic. Easy to understand and find the information you’re looking for!

Best Local Newsletter / Email Strategy, Sponsored by Letterhead/WhereBy.Us

Letterhead from WhereBy.Us

While the death of email has been long-predicted, it’s turned into one of the most significant growth areas for many publishers, bringing with it new engagement opportunities and ways to bring in additional revenue. This award will honor the best strategies related to email campaigns designed to connect local news consumers with content right in their inboxes.

WINNERS

250,000 monthly unique visitors or less

1st Place
Detour Media LLC
detourdetroiter.com

Detour Detroit is a woman-owned local news startup that inspires users to action through focused journalism and engagement around beats that have disappeared from corporate-owned local media outlets. Their newsletters and guides reach readers in their inboxes and talk to them like equals, breaking down tough topics easily and creatively.

Judge’s note: Very experiment-driven audience strategy that doubled subscribers in a year and created new advertising opportunities. Great monitoring of acquisition costs to enable an effective adjustment of tactics to grow subscribers while optimizing expenses.

2nd Place
6AM City
https://6amcity.com

6AM City is redefining the future of local media as the fastest-growing newsletter-first local media company in the country, delivering the most relevant need-to-know local news and events via a daily email and continuing the conversation online and across social channels.

3rd Place
Mahoning Matters
mahoningmatters.com

“Morning Matters” is the daily morning email newsletter of Mahoning Matters, a start-up, digital local news and information site serving Youngstown, Ohio and the surrounding Mahoning Valley. Mahoning Matters was launched by The Compass Experiment, owned and operated by McClatchy and funded by the Google News Initiative, following the closure of the region’s local paper, The Vindicator, last year. Written and curated by veteran news leader Mark Sweetwood, editor of Mahoning Matters, Morning Matters has quickly become a favorite local morning read, offering a personal and engaging digest of the news, people and history of the Valley as well as providing links to other notable local reporting. In less than a year, and as the first of its kind in the region, Mahoning Matters has become a “go-to” source for news consumers in the Mahoning Valley evidenced by a constantly growing subscriber base and strong open rate. 

Over 750,000 unique monthly visitors

1st Place
WDIV-TV (Graham Media Group)
www.clickondetroit.com

In 2020, even before the pandemic, Click on Detroit’s goal was to build loyal, highly engaged users — and to do that, they needed to overhaul our newsletter strategy. They had newsletters, but it wasn’t where it needed to be. So they got to work. Starting with The Morning Report Newsletter, a daily deep-dive into local topics trending headlines, and branching into several different news topics, WDIV programs and more. All of these newsletters are curated by hand, with different voices, topics, brands and goals, but one overlapping goal remains: to build loyal audience through newsletter engagement as well as to drive traffic to our other digital platforms.

Judge’s note: A comprehensive local newsletter strategy with more than 24 to choose from and many with a specific voice and hand-curated content from fact-checks to weather to Red Wings coverage.        

2nd Place
WKMG-TV News 6 (Graham Media Group)
ClickOrlando.com

Click Orlando offered several newsletters, ranging from breaking news to entertainment, space, and more. Two, in particular, however, are customized, designed to inform, engage and entertain our users.  The daily 4 p.m. Trending newsletter and Strange Florida are our most unique offerings.

3rd Place
KSAT TV (Graham Media Group)
KSAT.com

The KSAT.com Spurs Newsletter is much more than the players, analysis and action on the court. It’s a look at how the Spurs resonate with the community, fan base and are defined within the culture of San Antonio. Subscribers receive player and coach interview video clips, schedule look aheads and predictions from our sports department. But they also receive the lighter side of sports which include what’s trending with the organization, what the fans are discussing online, off the court stories or profiles and a fun segment called “Where in the world is Manu Ginobili,” where they track the social media movements of the beloved former Spurs star. This is truly a newsletter for the hard-core fan and the fan who wants to get some fun, topical news from the city’s NBA franchise. 

Best R&D Partner 

Media companies, this is your chance to share an R&D company/industry provider that helped drive new digital revenue and results for your company.

WINNERS

1st Place: Second Street | secondstreet.com

The comments below are from Second Street customers.

“Second Street continues to provide tools that enable publishers to generate revenue from their sites. They have been committed as a partner to help local media create programs that create excitement for advertisers and publishers.”

“All great companies but Second Street leads in innovation and customer partnership and support Matt Coen and Doug Villard were innovators and set the highest of standards.”

“We couldn’t do it without them! Second Street is always there for us when we need them, constantly developing new ways to help our business. And always available when we have technical questions.”

“Second Street has provided a platform that is not only easy to use but also helps us drive significant revenue and engagement in each of our markets.”

2nd Place: TownNews | townnews.com

The comments below are from TownNews customers.

“TownNews has some of the most modern digital products and services out there today. They are always looking at ways to help their customers grow, whether that is revenue, audience engagement or workflow efficiencies!”

“TownNews has always extended offers of innovation that helps increase my bottom line. They look at ways to develop technology where i don’t have the resources. They act like an high tech employee that I don’t have the expense of hiring but can reap the benefits at a reasonable fee.”

“TownNews was the only group that could help us make the jump from local site to regional site. We have been impressed not only with their level of support but also their commitment to get us up and running in less than 60 days. We’re beyond pleased with their work.”

Meet our 2020 Digital Innovation Awards sponsors.