Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 2:01 a.m.
A national media organization has named LasVegasSun.com the best newspaper website in the country, marking the fourth year out of the past five that the Sun’s webpage has won national honors from its peers for its online presentation of news.
The honor came from the National Headliner Awards, one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry. The awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City.
The award was the second won by the Sun in recent days. Photographer Steve Marcus’ jarring image in 2011 of welterweight Filipino boxer Mark Melligen recoiling from a punch from Gabriel Martinez of Mexico during a bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center won the Award of Excellence in the “best single sports photo” category by the Society for News Design. Marcus’ photo appeared only online.
“In a world where an increasing number of readers are finding their news on the screen of a computer, a smartphone or a tablet, we are especially proud of our success and grateful for the recognition of our professional colleagues,” Sun Publisher and Editor Brian Greenspun said.
Last year, the National Headliners Award for best online newspaper website went to the Wall Street Journal.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Las Vegas Sun was honored by the Online News Association with its General Excellence Award for digital journalism.
In 2011, the Sun won two other National Headliner Awards, citing the series “Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas” as the finest example of print journalism and awarding the newspaper with its “Best of Show,” and crediting LasVegasSun.com for the best example of innovative journalism for its pioneering efforts to elevate the level of online discussion among readers.
In winning the innovation award, the Sun was recognized for successfully tackling a problem that has bedeviled online journalism ever since the door was opened for readers to comment about stories. The practice has frequently devolved into vitriolic exchanges among readers hiding behind anonymous handles.
The Sun instituted a two-tiered reader comment system, allowing those who prove their identity and register on the site to comment on stories.