The Institute for Interactive Journalism at the University of Maryland has selected five finalists from among 65 entries for the 2005 Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. The awards recognize efforts at establishing new standards for American interactive journalism that advance creativity in digital storytelling and challenge the traditional roles new organizations play in their communities.
- The News & Record of Greensboro, North Carolina’s ‘Town Square‘ was selected as a finalist for its “daring initiative to rethink the role of the newspaper in the community” by letting readers submit news stories.
- ChicagoCrime.org, a public interest site by Web software programmer Adrian Holovaty, was selected for its merging of public crime database with Google’s online mapping technology to allow users to see their neighborhood’s relative safety through an easily searched and navigated interface.
- Minnesota Public Radio‘s Public Insight Journalism was selected for its ‘Idea Generator‘ online software designed”‘to engage people in brainstorming public issues.”
- Interactive Magazine Online was selected for The View, its quarterly magazine full of stories produced by journalists from England, the U.S. and South Africa, who “use video-centric Web tools to tell personalized stories.”
- And Newsday was selected for its online section ‘The Cost of War‘, which is described as “an extravaganza of detailed information and artful graphics about the U.S. effort in Iraq that set a new bar for telling fact-dense stories.”
The main winner will be announced on September 12 during the free Batten Symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and will receive $10,000. Second place will receive $2,000, and the three remaining finalists will receive $1,000 Awards of Distinction.
The symposium will feature a keynote dialogue on participatory news with Michael Kinsley, departing Editorial and Opinion Editor of the Los Angeles Times, and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. The Batten Awards and Symposium are funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and honor the late James K. Batten, former CEO of Knight Ridder.
The Institute for Interactive Journalism offers site showing all five finalists.