Pubmedia and nonprofit news well represented at 2015 ONA Awards

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Public media and nonprofit news organizations were big winners at the Online News Association’s awards ceremony Saturday in Los Angeles.

Awards were given out during a dinner that closed the group’s annual conference. The honors were divvied up by organization size, ranging from organizations with fewer than 25 full-time employees to outfits with more than 100 employees.

NPR, The Texas Tribune and the Center for Public Integrity each won two trophies. Other winners included KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo., which took the award for general excellence in online journalism for a small organization.

NPR won for its “Election Party!” visual about the 2014 Congressional elections, and, in a tie, won the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award with “Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections,” a joint reporting project with journalism nonprofit ProPublica.

The Center for Public Integrity International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Huffington Post and Media Partners were the other winners of the award, for “Evicted and Abandoned: The World Bank’s Broken Promise to the Poor.” CPI also took home the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award among small organizations for its “Profiting from Prisoners” story about financial services targeted at inmates.

The award for feature by a large organization went to the nonprofit Texas Observer and The Guardian US’s interactive team for “Beyond the Border,” which examined deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Center for Investigative Reporting won the Neuharth Award for a medium-sized outlet for its story “The Dark Side of the Strawberry,” a look at pesticide use in California’s strawberry industry.

Also among medium-sized organizations, Southern California Public Radio won for its “#MakeAlCare — The Evolution of One Voter” event, in the category of planned news events. The six-part audio and online series followed KPCC’s efforts to convince an “average Joe” to care about general elections in Los Angeles.

KERA in Dallas was recognized for topical reporting for “The Broken Hip.” The winning story used the experiences of North Texans who suffered broken hips to highlight the the injury’s dangers and to highlight advancements in fall prevention and medical treatment.

Among small organizations, the Texas Tribune won in two categories. It took an honor in explanatory reporting for a story about 90,000 people along the Texas-Mexico border who don’t have running water, and in topical reporting for a look at Texas’s attempt to create jobs by luring companies to the state.

WGBH’s Frontline won for feature reporting for “Stickup Kid,” a multimedia story about a 16-year old sentenced to an adult prison. And First Look Media’s global news venture was recognized for breaking news, winning for real-time coverage of the Charlie Hebdo murders in France.