A small fish swimming proudly in a big pond, the Orlando Weekly netted a glass-cut Digital Edge Award -- or Edgie -- at the Newspaper Association of America's CONNECTIONS 99 annual electronic-media conference, held July 16 in Chicago.
The award, given for Best Feature Presentation, recognizes "outstanding achievement, accomplishing the most with the means at hand, and expending heroic efforts in leading their newspapers into interactivity and breaking ground in a hotly competitive market."
Included in the judges comments was this excerpt: "The Orlando Weekly was impressive, particularly considering the paper's circulation size (50,000). Doing the most with the least resources is a key criteria, and this fun, funky entertainment-oriented site was created, and until recently, maintained by two full-time and one part-time staff members."
The Weekly took its honors in the company of such major players as The New York Times, awarded in several categories including Best Online Newspaper (large market), and Chicago Tribune, Best Interactive Feature.
In all only 15 awards were given, selected by a board of industry experts, recommended by the sponsoring NAA New Media Federation. Nonprofit NAA represents more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.
"In an industry full of well-funded city guides, I'm thrilled that the NAA recognized an alternative newsweekly for this award," says Jennifer Kijek, Orlando Weekly's online manager. "We set out to create Orlando's most comprehensive and interactive resource for news and entertainment and this award validates that we've done just that."