By Erin Roberts
The School of Visual Communication's Soul of Athens Web site has won Best Use of the Web in the National Press Photographers Association 2008 Best of Photojournalism Web sites division.
The Best of the Web award is the top award in the Web sites division. According to the Best of Photojournalism Web site, the winner of the Best Use of the Web award is chosen from the winners in each of the other categories. The honor goes to the site that represents the overall best Web-based visual journalism.
Soul of Athens was produced under the direction of Visiting Professional Zach Wise, BSVC '01, in consultation with Brian Storm of MediaStorm. The project's multimedia was in part provided by the school's annual Dawn to Dusk photographic event, underwritten by The Athens News. Soul of Athens was launched in May 2007 and has averaged 400 unique hits a day.
While the site has garnered attention internationally, School of Visual Communication Director Terry Eiler said this award represents the cream of the crop.
"In all the award competitions we've entered (Soul of Athens), we've gained recognition," he said. "But this is recognition from fellow multimedia journalists. To win the highest honor -- Best Use of the Web -- in this division over the likes of such successful organizations as The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times is just phenomenal."
Soul of Athens was a finalist after winning the contest's Best Multimedia Package (Independent) award. Other category winners and Best Use of the Web finalists included The Oakland Tribune, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Washington Post, The Roanoke Times, The Anchorage Daily News, The Los Angeles Times, The Raleigh News and Observer, MediaStorm, The Denver Post, The Detroit Free Press and MSNBC.
"This award really represents not only the broad range of programs in our school -- interactive media design, informational graphics and page design, commercial photography and photojournalism -- but the quality of work being done in the way of interactive media in the college," Eiler said. "We could not have done this without the online journalism students from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, the video production students from the School of Media Arts and Studies and our own students in each of our sequences."
Among the judges' comments about the site: "In addition to compelling videos, Soul of Athens used interactive graphics and user interactivity (using a Flickr group) to create the strongest multimedia Web site in this category. Every aspect was very well done."
Soul of Athens recently won second place in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition for best small market multimedia, a 2007 Technology Information Gurus of the Appalachia Region (TIGAR) Award for best non-commercial Web site from the Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio and an Award of Excellence in online multimedia journalism in the 2007 Society for News Design SND.ies awards competition.
To speak with a media representative regarding this story, please contact Scripps College of Communication External Relations Coordinator Erin Roberts at 740-593-0030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.