Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 | 4:22 p.m.
The websites of the Las Vegas Sun and its sister publications at Greenspun Media Group received four major awards today in a competition against some of the largest media companies in the world.
The 16th annual EPpy awards from Editor & Publisher magazine honor the best in online journalism and advertising. Other winners included CNN, the Boston Globe and NPR.
Greenspun publications were finalists for awards in 11 of the 43 categories in the competition, making it one of the most nominated out of more than 100 news organizations.
The Las Vegas Sun website received two awards: one for best community service on a media-affiliated website and one for best enterprise feature on a website. Both were for "Do No Harm," the Sun's examination of hospital care deficiencies in Las Vegas, spearheaded by reporters Marshall Allen and Alex Richards.
"It is especially pleasing for our digital media efforts to be awarded, once again, with this recognition from Editor & Publisher magazine," said Brian Greenspun, the publisher and editor of the Sun and president and CEO of Greenspun Media Group. "I am proud of our entire team at the Greenspun Media Group for advancing both the interests of our community and quality through our websites and publications and we’re all very grateful to the EPpy awards for recognizing those efforts."
The EPpy awards are judged by Editor & Publisher magazine staff and a panel of 54 judges from throughout the world.
This was the first year the Sun competed in the contest against websites with more than 1 million unique monthly visitors. The Sun’s website has won top honors in a different size class in previous years.
The EPpy for best news website with more than 1 million visitors this year went to Financial Times, the Boston Globe won for best newspaper website and Sports Illustrated was recognized as the best home page. LasVegasSun.com was a finalist in those three categories.
The Sun was also a finalist for best entertainment blog (the Kats Report), best use of photography, best sports website (the Sun’s Rebels site) and best news video for its coverage of the “new homeless” in Las Vegas.
The enterprise feature award was a tie with ESPN. The other finalists in the category were the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Boston Globe and the Arizona Republic.
The other finalists for the community service award were the Boston Globe, CNN, Legacy.com and the Florida Times-Union.
The Las Vegas Weekly website won best entertainment website in the category for websites with 250,000 to 1 million visitors. The winner for entertainment website with more than 1 million visitors was Boston.com.
The website for VEGAS INC won the award for best business/finance website in the 250,000 to 1 million visitor class. The winner for the 1 million-plus category was Bloomberg.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal won an EPpy for best online media advertising/media campaign for websites with an audience of less than 1 million people.
Today's recognition for "Do No Harm" marks the latest in a long list of honors for the Sun's groundbreaking project on hospital care in Las Vegas.
The series, which examined hospital-care deficiencies in Las Vegas, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize this year, won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard, won the top investigative journalism award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, won both the top print journalism award and the best example of innovation in journalism award from National Headliners, and in September won the award for the top piece of digital-based journalism in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists.
In October, the Nevada Press Association honored "Do No Harm" with four top awards: community service, story of the year, investigative or series, and freedom of the press for the newspaper's success in identifying and analyzing 2.9 million patient records that had been provided by hospitals to state authorities but not publicly disclosed.
More important than the awards, the series triggered the Nevada Legislature this year to adopt five new patient-protection laws that require hospitals to be substantially more transparent in the amount of information about hospital quality that is made available to the public.
In 2010 in international competitions, LasVegasSun.com was named best news website by both the Online News Association and by Editor & Publisher, with E&P also naming LasVegasWeekly.com as the best regional magazine-affiliated site that year, as well.
The Editor & Publisher competition has named the Sun's website as the best in its class three times: 2010, 2009 and 2008. The Online News Association also has honored the Sun with its highest honor, the General Excellence in Online Journalism award, three times: 2010, 2009 and 2008.
This year's E&P award for enterprise journalism for the "Do No Harm" series is continuing testimony to the newspaper's success with long-form digital storytelling. Previously, LasVegasSun.com had won both E&P and ONA awards for its investigative package on gambling addiction in Las Vegas, with the ONA naming the Sun's digital package on the future of water in Las Vegas as the industry's top multimedia feature presentation in 2009.
"Bottoming Out: Gambling Addiction in Las Vegas," was the first video produced by a print-based news organization to win Columbia University's duPont Award, generally considered to be the most prestigious broadcast journalism award and its industry's equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize. The Sun's gambling series also was given the top award for feature writing by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, as well as placing second in the National Headliner awards for journalistic innovation, both in 2010.
In 2009, the Las Vegas Sun won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation of construction deaths on the Las Vegas Strip and the failures of government, management and labor unions to protect workers.