The Durango Herald won Best of Show for online excellence Saturday at the annual Colorado Press Association awards in Littleton.
The award means judges liked www.durangoherald.com more than any other newspaper website in the state.
“Landing on the website, the reader immediately feels a sense of openness,” a judge wrote about the website. “All content is nicely integrated, and the over-arching design sense is one of white space that allows viewers to view the site at their own pace, resting their eyes and still giving a lot of choices to follow. I wish more news websites would follow this example.”
The judges also awarded the Herald the Sweepstakes prize in its circulation size in the online category.
The Herald also won first-place for best website in its circulation class from the Colorado Associated Press Editors & Reporters.
“The Durango Herald had the best overall design and story display, shows editorial decision-making and curation and also this site is HTTPS, which is very important and not an easy task,” a judge wrote.
The awards come at a time when the Herald reduced its print circulation from daily to four days a week in response to more readers going online for their news.
The redesigned website, launched in November, was a months-long effort by the Herald’s staff development team to build a site that was easy to use on all platforms, including mobile and tablet. The site is managed and updated as news happens by newsroom staff, and has designated places to showcase videos, galleries and pages for special projects, such as the Gold King Mine spill and aftermath, and annually updated pages for events such Snowdown and the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
The judges for the Colorado Press Association contest awarded the Herald first place in the multimedia category for the Gold King Mine: One Year Later online page. The page also took first place in the CAPER contest in the online special package category.
“I’m very proud of our teams, both on the development side and in the newsroom, for the work they do and the collaboration that goes into the website,” said Doug Bennett, CEO for Ballantine Communications Inc., the parent company of the Herald. “We are responding to the demand for news and information anytime, anywhere and on whatever platform our readers choose to use.”
Other online awards in the CPA contest included first place for best daily website, and first and second places for breaking news videos.
The Herald received numerous awards Friday and Saturday for its editorial content, including:
The General Excellence award in its circulation class from CAPER, for its overall showing in the competition;First place for public service for its ongoing coverage of the aftermath of the Gold King Mine spill and the path to Superfund designation, from the Colorado Press Association, and second place in CAPER for that body of work.Twenty first-place awards from the two competitions for stories, headlines, page design and other categories.A total of 22 second- and third-place awards.The Herald also took 10 awards in the recent Society of Professional Journalists’ multi-state Top of the Rockies competition, including five first-place awards.