After sorting through hundreds of excellent finalists, we're happy to announce the winners of the first annual KobreGuide Awards for Best Videojournalism for 2009 -- in 28 categories.
Grand prize goes to New York Times videojournalist Erik Olsen (pictured), who we're delighted to anoint "Videojournalist of the Year." The impressive quantity and quality of his work serves as a beacon to his professional colleagues and to videojournalism students around the globe.
As you can readily tell from Olsen's videos, which are frequently selected for inclusion on KobreGuide.com, they represent excellent video technique, excellent journalism, and excellent storytelling. He has covered stories from Alaska to Haiti, and has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to tackle both serious issues and lighthearted fare.
Olsen has been a New York Times videojournalist since 2005. He helps select others' online videos to showcase on the Times' invaluable Lens blog every Friday. Previously he served as an off-air producer at ABC News, where he developed several of the first Web-only video shows for a major news organization. He contributed a feature article, "From TV News Shooter to One-Man-Band VJ," to the special videojournalism edition of DigitalJournalist.org, which was guest-edited by the KobreGuide staff.
Olsen's prize is one week's lodging in a charming village in Provence, France, where he says he has yet to visit -- so we look forward to seeing visual documentation of his vacation there!
KobreGuide Awards recipients represent a diverse array of journalism Websites, including the Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, St. Petersburg Times, Kansas City Star, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Reading Eagle, and Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Here are some of the top prizes, below. A complete list of the winning videos can be accessed on KobreGuide.com :
VIDEOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR:
(New York Times)
(Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A 52-year-old woman takes on the 131-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley in 125-degree heat -- "the world's toughest footrace."
Video by Justin Yurkanin
BEST VIDEO PACKAGE:
Survivors from an H-bomb test are sent back to radioactive Rondelap island to be used as guinea pigs for research. A 9-part investigative series.
Produced by Thomas Maier and John Paraskevas
BEST AUDIO SLIDESHOW:
Battle of the Blonds
(Los Angeles Times)
Two Marilyn Monroe impersonators compete for attention on Hollywood Boulevard.
Photography and Audio by Mel Melcon
BEST STUDENT PROJECT (SOLO):
Heartwrenching stories of Appalachian women who are struggling to escape from tragic lives of poverty, domestic violence and substance abuse.
Video by Yanina Manolova
BEST STUDENT PROJECT (GROUP):
Student-produced collection of multimedia stories explores the balance between man and nature in the Galapagos Islands. (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Executive Producer: Pat Davison
Multimedia Project by UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism & Mass Communication:
Letters from Iwo Jima
(New York Times)
WWII vet Frank Hobbs seized an envelope from a fallen Japanese soldier and returned its contents to the man's daughters ... 65 years later.
By Erik Olsen & Lizette Alvarez
BEST ADVOCACY VIDEOJOURNALISM:
Nicholas D. Kristof
(New York Times)
BEST HUMOR VIDEOS:
A complete list of 2009 KobreGuide Award winners can be found here:
Congratulations to all winners.
Searching for America (in Europe) - Naomi Harris has been on a trek to visit places where Europeans celebrate what they think is American culture, and vice versa.
5 hours ago