15th March 1999

Online Journalism Awards 1999

I have been lucky enough to be asked to be a judge in the Online Journalism Awards 1999 - the first awards of this type in the UK.

They are closely linked to the annual NetMedia conference, which has been running in London for about three years and is the event to go to for keeping up to date with issues that combine online technologies and the media.

I have covered this conference as a reporter and found it extremely useful professionally, as well as a source of plenty of stories.

These awards are something new. Organiser Milverton Wallace is a passionate believer in the integration of media and the Net, and believes journalism training should include a huge chunk of Internet training as well. Currently, his course at City University is one of the few that teaches people not only how to write good news stories, but put them in HTML, with images, and Javascript navigation bars as well.

OLJA Awards

The upshot is a series of awards which hope to encourage just this kind of journalism - a combination of traditional reporting skills with modern presentation and research skills.

There are several categories for entries, ranging from best online story in a particular field, to best story that actually breaks online, before any of the established media get it.

Any UK journalist can enter, even if they work abroad and have their material published on a foreign web site.

It's an ongoing project - in future years, Milverton plans to extend the reach of the awards and make them international. For the time being, because this is the first year and there are only limited resources, it will be UK-only.

For more information on what you can enter, and how to do it, go here.

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