The Local Media Association released its slate of 2018 Digital Innovation Contest winners on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, and CBC New Media Group picked up three First Place honors. More than 70 media companies participated in the annual national competition, including, newspapers, TV station, radio stations and digital news sites, submitting entries in 14 categories.
The technology branch of the Capitol Broadcasting Company family, CBC New Media won First Place in the following:
- Best Digital Agency – WRAL Digital Solutions
- Best Digital News Project – “The day ‘Durham stood up’”
- Best Redesign/Relaunch –WRAL TechWire
The faculty at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University judged the entries.
“All of the CBC New Media award winners were team efforts, proving that our best work happens when we collaborate,” said WRAL.com General Manager John Conway.
In sharing the list of winners, Local Media Association President Nancy Lane said, “This is a highly competitive contest that recognizes the best in local media when it comes to digital innovation. There is no other contest like it. The bragging rights are huge for winners.”
More About the Awards and CBC Winning Entries
The Best Digital Agency Award recognizes the best digital agencies owned by local media companies. The entries were required to demonstrate qualities such as revenue growth and structure as well as attributes that make the entry unique.
1st Place: WRAL Digital Solutions
Judges comments: The wide variety of products offered allows the agency to handle any marketing challenge.
WRAL Digital Solutions took home the second place award in 2017.
The Best Digital News Project strives to “recognize journalism that is deep but also designed beautifully,” and can be a single or ongoing story.
1st Place: Capitol Broadcasting – “The day ‘Durham stood up’”
Judges comments: Great use of multiform storytelling techniques. It embedded videos and photos in texts, but it went beyond that and included JS-driven animated text message simulations and Google Earth video plotting the key points on the map. Those two more innovative techniques fit in well with the topic of the story, and showed clearly the tension and frustration that filled in the local area when rumors came in about KKK. The project made clever use of new techniques, which added strength to the narration of the story and gave readers more engaging presentation of what happened at the spot.
WRAL.com Public Records Researcher/Reporter Tyler Dukes, WRAL.com Digital Education Reporter Kelly Hinchcliffe and their team won the Best Digital News Project for sites with 750,000+ monthly unique visitors. Their work on “The day Durham stood up” was the result of public records research, dozens of interviews and the breaking news work done in Durham by the entire WRAL team when rumors swirled that the KKK was coming to town.
The Best Redesign/Relaunch recognizes the “most forward-thinking product relaunches and remakes.”
1st Place: Capitol Broadcasting (WRAL TechWire)
Judges comments: I love the new WRALTechWire. It’s a well-executed issue-specific local site, with clear focus, informative content and clean design. It was smart to remove the paywall, recognizing that for a niche tech site there was more potential for revenue from ads and sponsorships.
The redesign/relaunch for WRALTechWire.com happened in November with a mobile-first design and free access to thousands of articles. The project was a truly cross-divisional effort involving tech, design, product, marketing, content and sales. The new site continues its tradition of being an insider’s guide to the Triangle’s booming tech scene from startups to enterprises. We dropped the paywall to increase accessibility and sharability of the content. Navigation was simplified, and a calendar of local tech events and expanded coverage of NC’s startup ecosystem were other significant additions.
As a result, WRALTechWire has seen growth in page views, unique visitors, contributors and increased engagement on stories.
Thanks to NMG’s John Conway, Chris Weatherly and Laura Worthington for contributions to this capcom story.