ONA seeks submissions for engaged journalism award

The Online News Association recently announced the addition of a category for engaged journalism to the 2019 Online Journalism Awards. The Gather Award in Engaged Journalism will feature a total of $15,000 in cash prizes over the next three years.

The award is made possible with support from the Agora Journalism Center, the gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication (UO-SOJC). Gather is a project and platform by Agora that supports community-minded journalists and other engagement professionals.

A first of its kind, the award will honor people and projects that work with a community as part of a story or reporting process. Samples of community engagement projects can be found on Gather’s collection of case studies. Submissions are due June 6, 2019, 11:59 p.m. EDT.

ONA will award two prizes of $2,500 each in 2019:

  • Project: For excellence in a project or limited series
  • Portfolio: Multiple pieces produced by a team or individual during the eligible awards period that may be unrelated, but share a unique approach.

Judges will consider the following criteria:

  • Unique or innovative use of engagement platforms, techniques and approaches that are responsive to the public’s needs and inclusive of the public’s voices and diversity
  • Execution of the project and potential for the approaches to serve as a model that other news organizations can adapt
  • Meaningful outcomes or impact of the engagement and reporting on a community


Submit your engagement projects to the 2019 OJAs


The 2019 OJAs are open to work published between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. To learn more: explore the full list of categories and review the rules and eligibility.

ONA will announce finalists for the awards in August, and winners will be named at the 2019 Online News Association Conference & Awards Ceremony, Sept. 12–14, in New Orleans. Register for the conference by June 7 to get the early-bird rate. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #ONA19 and #OJA19.

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