The Online News Assiciation is a nonprofit membership organization for digital journalists, connecting journalism, technology, and innovation. Each year, they have finalists and winners of ONA awards. These awards are given out to winners in numerous categories ranging for best feature story for a large media outlet to the best news and and online commentary by a student run publication. For #loweclass #sports, we looked at four of these finalists. 

The first article I chose to look at was 2008 Breaking News winner for a medium outlet, the Kirkwood Shootings by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Being from St. Louis, I remember the news coverage from when it happened. The Post-Dispatch has a rundown of the stories, covering the story from multiple angles. The lead story is about the actual event, while the one below it is about the first time Kirkwood was thrown into the national spotlight because of the discovery of two kidnapped boys. Other articles include remembering those that died, and recounting the life of the man who attacked the city hall.

One finalist for the 2008 award for the large Online Video Journalism was an ESPN's Outside the Lines report on the Youtube Baby. Youtube Baby focus around an 8-year-old boy from Chicago, who is the self-proclaimed "No. 1 kindergarden Prospect" in America. Marquis Walker has met NBA stars such as Steve Jackson, Shawn Marion, Kevin Durant, and even Lebron James. These stars give the number one ranking credibility. 

Not all of the stories are happy stories though. One of 2011's finalist for Breaking News by a small news source was the Vancouver Sun's coverage of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final riots. The Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston bruins, which was also the only game the Canucks lost at home. Their coverage of the story is heavily geared towards photos capturing the event, while also having a story that reads like a live update. The Sun also took raw footage from youtube and paired it with photos that they captured of the same event to give the read two different views of the story. 

However, my personal favorite is Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer by the New York Times. The story is centered around Derek Boogaard, an enforcer for the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers. Boogaard slowly fell into an addiction to pain killers to help cope with the constant headaches from multiple concussions, as well as pain in his hands and joints from repetitive punches thrown. Boogaard died in his sleep on May 13, 2011. The New York Times has three separate parts of the story written, each seven pages long. To accompany this three part feature, they also paired three separate videos that cover the same content. Because of the multimedia project, the New York Times was a finalist for the 2012 Best Feature of a Large media outlet. 

Perhaps just because the story is about hockey, but I love what the New York Times did with the Derek Boogaard story. It talks about a guy who willingly accepts his role on the team and does it the best he can because it was what he loved. The pairing of long form journalism with videos that attract the visual audience is a great way to tell the story. Overall, he ONA does a great job of recognizing the best journalism from around the world, and is a great resource to look for good j

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