First place: Staff, Waxahachie Daily
About this entry: The Daily Light’s submission showed its commitment to the use of digital tools as a means of reporting and audience building, from its coverage of a high-speed chase involving a stolen police vehicle to its extensive coverage of the devastating aftermath of a tornado.
“With videos, slideshows, full, in-depth print coverage and the use of Storify and Soundcloud, we took our readers deep into the chaos in it’s own backyard. With only a circulation less than 5,000, our digital storytelling doubled our readership that day, with more than 8,300 views to the Storify story alone. Because we didn’t let the voices of survivors go unheard or get buried under other major headlines, Ellis County was able to receive an outpouring of help and support, not just financially, but emotionally and physically.” — Shelly Conlon, managing editor
Read online: County was ‘incredibly fortunate’ after tornadoes struck Saturday night, Shields Strong photo gallery, Glenn Heights holds prayer vigil, briefing on New Years Eve photo gallery, Press conference about tornado damage video
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With this entry spanning multiple stories, the Waxahachie Daily Light shows how voice, moving images and still photos can make reporting more immediate and visceral.
Second place: Staff, Hannibal Courier Post
About this entry: “The Mark Twain Band Day is an annual event in the city of Hannibal. The very visual nature of the event — with marching bands going down one of the busiest streets in the town — lent itself to greater use of digital tools. In additional to providing a heartwarming story of how the event is passed down generation to generation with an in-print gallery, the Courier-Post put together three photo galleries and four videos of the event. In addition, the Courier-Post used Storehouse, an app used to tell a cohesive story using still images and videos to create a scrolling stream of visuals. We posted our first Storehouse story to our Facebook page, which got our audience to check out new use of digital tools.” — Eric Dundon, editor
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The Courier-Post took advantage of an event with huge readership potential, drawing in friends and families of marching-band members with videos and photo galleries. Storehouse provided an attractive way to package the highlights for social media.
Third place: Scott Hummel, ThisWeek Community News
About this entry:ThisWeek created a series of online sports video galleries, which they dubbed Video Vaults.
“These vaults in 2015 involved video highlights of high school football games, player and coach interviews for football and a separate one for fall sports in general, and player and coach interviews for all winter sports.” — Scott Hummel, assistant managing editor, digital
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ThisWeek’s Video Vault provides readers a browsable feast of high-school football highlights, plus interviews with the personalities behind the plays.