The AOP Online Publishing Awards 2007: a review of the Cross-Media nominees

As part of the Online Journalism Blog’s experiment in crowdsourcing, Online Journalism student Azeem Ahmad takes a look at the Association of Online Publishers nominees for the category of ‘Cross-Media’

Now in its fifth year, the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has released its shortlist of contenders for its annual AOP awards. There are 16 categories in total, ranging from launches of new services, such as 4oD, and My Telegraph, to Podcasting and Digital Creativity.

My eye is on the ‘Cross-media project category’ however, as there are some very strong contenders in the eight that are short-listed.

BBC Sport has been nominated for its Ashes coverage of the 2006-2007 series. As one sided as it was, the way it was reported had a whole makeover from the previous years. Users were able to access an interactive and live, regularly updated scorecard, as well as live match commentary, and a constant flow of pictures and reaction from fans via its 606 message boards.

The BBC has also been nominated for its ‘Play it Again’ series which included a website and a six episode television series in which celebrities such as Frank Skinner and Bill Oddie learnt how to play instruments they used to play in their childhood again. The website also urged the public to attend live events held across the UK were music lessons were free.

Channel 4 has been nominated for its ‘Lost Experience – The Hanso Foundation’ website based on the popular US drama Lost. Whilst the website is simple now, featuring a letter from the leader of the foundation, I suspect it was nominated for features that were present earlier on in the year. The website gave fans of the series a chance to work out some of the enigmas from the popular television programme through a series of riddles. Successfully completing a riddle would unlock a few minutes of video – completing every riddle and putting all of the videos together would provide the most avid fan with a wealth of information.

The Guardian has been nominated for its BAE Files Investigaton which allows the reader full access to the files that David Leigh and Rob Evans have been working on for the Guardian for the previous four years. BAE, Europe’s biggest arms company, claims there is ‘no evidence’ that it has engaged in massive corruption to sell arms overseas. Leigh and Evans have published all of their investigation material online for viewers to judge for themselves if the company is corrupt.

Next nominee The Insider Business Club is an exclusive online club where executives and high ranking members of financial companies can have various ‘web-conferences’. The Business Club involves “teleconference meetings to promote interaction and knowledge sharing between finance directors, financial controllers and other senior finance staff, as well as the industry experts, suppliers and advisors on whom they rely”.

The Telegraph Media Group has been nominated for its website and coverage devoted to the 2007 Budget. The website is very neatly organised, with updated news stories and various sections that allow the reader to understand what the budget means for them individually rather than other news organisations’ coverage of the topic, which only covered local and national implications. There are also PDFs of various aspects of the budget so the reader has full access to details.

Times Media has been nominated for its series entitled ‘The Best of MBA’. This was a series of podcasts from ten of the world’s leading business thinkers. They provide insights into the latest thinking in economics, management, finance, strategy and marketing. The weekly series of lectures are available as a 30-minute podcast, in text online, and were also available in an abridged version in the newspaper itself.

Finally, Trinity Mirror has been nominated for its ‘Your Gazette Communities’ series of websites. These 20 mini-sites are filled with local news and pictures and presented in an extremely organised way. The main site which links to all 20 is constantly updated with the latest news from all 20 sites, but it would definitely benefit from the inclusion of RSS.

My Winner – Channel 4:
I may be somewhat biased as I am a big fan of Lost, but this award category – Cross Media Project – looks for use of a range of media, and this website utilised text, audio, video, and images extremely well, and deserves to win for that reason. The website had fans hooked, and was clever in the way it was organised. It was deliberately hard to navigate around the site and find various areas and whilst web guru Jakob Nielsen would not have been happy, fans certainly were. Channel 4 have done well to produce a high quality website about a US-produced drama, and deserve to win. I have a feeling however, that The Guardian may pip Channel 4, however.

The results of this category, and the other 15, will be announced on Wednesday 3rd October 2007, at the London Hilton Hotel.

To contribute your own assessment of the AOP award nominees, go to and follow the instructions.

1 thought on “The AOP Online Publishing Awards 2007: a review of the Cross-Media nominees

  1. David Black

    Thanks for the comments on the Gazette Communities hyperlocal sites for 20 postcore areas in Teesside. You mentioned RSS feeds – each of the sites has an RSS feed, so you can get news from your postcode straight to your feed reader. Audience figures and contributions to these sites are continuing to grow. It is also worth adding that printed hyperlocal newspapers are being produced from a selection of the content published to the websites – a good example of print and online together creating a powerful cross-media proposition.


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