NewsNet receives top honors

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BYU NewsNet will be recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists as the “Best All-Around Online Newspaper” in the Mark of Excellence Award Competition on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the third time NewsNet has been nationally recognized for its online news service.

Editor and Publisher magazine named NewsNet best online service for two consecutive years, 1999 and 2000.

Trisha Barker, NewsNet managing editor, said receiving recognition from two different organizations verifies their organization is the best college news site out there.

NewsNet competed against first-place winners in 11 other regions.

A panel of judges with expertise in online services judged the 12 regional winners, said Traci Christler, director of SPJ’s memberships and awards.

Christler said the judges commented on NewsNet’s well put together site, quality, content and easy navigation.

BYU President Merrill J. Bateman praised the efforts of NewsNet.

“This is a significant honor for the BYU NewsNet team and those who pioneered the university’s online news service. It’s gratifying to see our Communications Department lead the way in interactive journalism. Our students and the industry will benefit from this effort, as both adapt to an ever-changing world,” President Bateman said.

John Gholdston, managing director of NewsNet, said BYU was not only recognized for being innovative, but for being the best.

University of Missouri was given millions of dollars by IBM to do the same thing as NewsNet, Gholdston said, but they haven’t had as much success.

“NewsNet is not just another way of delivering news. It is a new concept that is resonating with professionals,” Gholdston said. “It is the substance that makes up the future.”

NewsNet is BYU’s online news service that packages the print and broadcast newsrooms onto the Internet, said Michael Buhrley, NewsNet web director.

If you are in Guatemala, you can access NewsNet and drop into the KBYU newsroom to watch the news live, Gholdston said.

The integrated newsroom was conceived spring 1994.

“We were creating something that simply did not exist,” Gholdston said.

The newsroom is different from other universities because of its integration, Barker said.

“Having 100 people working toward the same goal puts us ahead of other Web sites that just have a newspaper Web site,” Barker said.

The College of Fine Arts and Communications is producing students who are capable of developing the best online content in the country, Buhrley said.

Ryan Rauzon, a recent BYU graduate, will also be recognized by SPJ in October for his piece “Hispanic Markets,” which won the best all-around radio feature.

Gholdston, NewsNet Editorial Director Darla White, Buhrley and Barker will go to Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 26 to receive the award.

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