First place: Nick Dumont, The Gaston Gazette
About this entry: Nick Dumont’s Hops Street project was created as a response to an increasing interest craft brewing in the Charlotte area and ran as a feature story in print each day for a week. The print articles were a hit, but the project was really designed to appeal to the younger online audience. Dumont designed the landing page, uploaded videos profiling area homebrewers and a photo gallery and created a food page with beer recipes and an interactive map highlighting the best local breweries, all on web pages he coded himself.
Check it out: Hops Street
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These stories tied to Charlotte’s craft-beer boom are enjoyable on their own, but make an especially fun,discoverable and visually appealing package together. Readers might begin by browsing, but then links, maps and galleries will draw them further and further in.
Second place: Nick Dumont and Gabe Whisnant, The Shelby Star
About this entry:“Shelby, North Carolina, is full of Revolutionary and Civil War history. This history is reflected in the city’s streets, which are named after local legends and national figures.
Local history can be a dry topic, so we wanted to build a unique and appealing presentation. We created a landing page with an interactive map for readers who like visuals, and an interactive book for old-school readers who just want to turn pages and read.” — Nick Dumont
Check it out: The Streets of Shelby
This is an appealing, evergreen project that brings bits of Civil War history to life for Shelby readers. The interactive-map point of entry for information about historical street names is especially clean and easy to navigate.
Third place: Nicholas Hughes, Pocono Record
About this entry: Nicholas Hughes successfully enhanced online Friday night football coverage through his use of new graphics, videos and a specially created Twitter hashtag. Articles were created for each game, which featured a live score and galleries of submitted fan photos and video clips from the game and halftime show. After the season was complete, he created a video highlight reel using video shot by members of the Pocono Record sports team.
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The Pocono Record staff understands that readers’ needs are different before, during and after big games. They displayed a smart use of video, social media and live web updates to meet those needs.