No winner for new student award

The Online Journalism Award committee has a challenge for student websites: Do better.

No award will be given tonight for Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies for Students. Anthony Moor, 2010 OJA committee co-chair and lead local editor for Yahoo!, said there are some categories every year where there is no winner.

“We’re not just going to give an award because it’s a statue we have,” Moor said. “We like to ensure that there’s a certain minimum standard.”

The digital technologies for students award category is new this year and recognizes student organizations that effectively use technology to deliver news and information, such as a mixture of Flash, downloadable applications and data manipulation.

The committee wanted to find another way to acknowledge the great, innovative work students are producing, Moor said. “Some of the best digital journalism we’ve seen has been done by students.”

But this year, the entries weren’t the quality the committee expected. “I think what it is is that it’s new and we didn’t get the word out,” he said. “This is a category that has potential for some real innovation.

“We need to see more students trying out because the entries we had this year just weren’t that strong.”

Two awards will be announced tonight for student online journalism. Finalists for Multimedia Feature Presentation are Syracuse University, UC Berkeley, University of North Carolina and Western Kentucky University. Finalists for Online Video Journalism are Syracuse University and University of Miami.