RTNDAC Recognizes WRAL Online, NCNN and WRAL-TV as the Best

RTNDAC Recognizes WRAL Online, NCNN and WRAL-TV as the Best

Congratulations to both the WRAL OnLine staff for being named best Online News Web Site – Television, and the CN Staff for being named the best Online News Web Site – Radio by the Radio and Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas (RTNDAC). This is the first year that RTNDAC has recognized online journalistic achievements, and we are very proud to take the top awards for our web sites.

WRAL-TV received first place in several other categories, including best political (“Clinton Visit”), series (“Hurricane Mitch Relief”), health (“Decaf Coffee”) and documentary (“The Cape Light” ). WRAL-TV’s David Crabtree has been named North Carolina Reporter of the Year for the fourth year in a row. For a complete list of winners, visit the WRAL web site.

WRAL-Online: Winner, ON-LINE NEWS WEB SITE, Division 1 – Television

The judges’ comments were:

Dan Naden’s comments: “This is a very deep, rich TV station Web site with plenty of news, sports, weather and specialty content. Going beyond newsscripts or terse headlines, the WRAL-TV site presents detailed news stories, complete with crisp and imagery and timely multimedia pieces. I especially liked the Features area. With Health, Food, Schools and Parents information, this area will give the Web surfer something to do when he or she does not want to get the latest news headlines. Most TV station sites are not even tapping into this segment of their audience. Talk about integrating on-air into online. Check out the front page of the WRAL-TV Web site. Towards the bottom of the page is a coming up area, which highlights the segments, stories and programs that are on deck for the WRAL-TV airwaves. No more frustrated news directors who think that the site is driving people away from their newscasts. The station has even made a foray into e-commerce with its WRALMart section. Users can buy station T-shirts, mugs and mousepads. WRAL-TV also has a number of affiliate agreements with Etoys, Barnes and Noble and other Web vendors. NCNeighbors, a free Web page service for community organizations, is a great way to generate interest about WRAL-TV.com from a grassroots standpoint. Schools and community groups are clamoring to be a part of this service. They’ve taken great care and attentiveness to each and every page on this site. Most TV station sites cannot say this.”

Kevin Featherly’s comments: “Easy pick. I’d say at this point they’ve moved in front of Channels 4000 and 2000, et. al., with what they are offering. In fact, their design and functionality puts them on a par with the likes of CBS-TV online and ABCNEWS online. Fabulously designed pages lead to concise, well-written news stories that work well on the Web, and that give credits to both the TV reporters who produced the stories and to the online producers who convert them. Their use of multimedia is positively groundbreaking in their daily broadcast of live news programs each weekday. Their e-commerce section — WRALmart — could make a lot of big newspapers blush. They make excellent use of online polling (though one hopes they restrain themselves from broadcasting the results as news on the air). Obviously, WRAL cannot possibly compete with the equally groundbreaking local newspaper site at the Raleigh News and Observer (NANDOnet) toe to toe for story count and depth, but given the way online users use the Web to obtain information, there is little doubt that WRAL is drawing pretty nearly the same number of eyeballs with their site, which is plainly among the elite few among TV-affiliated Web sites. Sites like this are where convergence undoubtedly begins.”

North Carolina News Network: Winner, ON-LINE NEWS WEB SITE, Division 1 – Radio

The judges’ comments were:

Dan Naden’s comments: “North Carolina News Network Great user of audio on this Web site. . .Great use of outfitting the station with widespread use of streamed content on the site. Many radio stations only experiment with streaming. This station is going at it with guns blazing. The NCNN Daily Courier, a pre-packaged e-mail newscast, is a great idea. There are still many people that just use the Internet for e-mail.”

Kevin Featherly comments: “Another easy pick for me. . . Its strong use of current and hourly news broadcasts and roundups, daily audio weather dispatches, and strong extended audio features puts it over the top compared to its competition. Many of the broadcasts are offered in three bandwidth formats — 14.4, 28.8 and 56K. The site also does a good job by including at least one well-written, sharply formatted text story on each of its main pages, including its news, weather and business pages. The site is nicely designed . . . The navigation, however, reflects smart thinking on the part of the designers. They are stacked according to the importance Web viewers are likely to put on them, rather than according to the vanity of the station operators. . . The In-Depth section is wonderful, spreading some of NCCN’s best on-air features to a wider Web audience. It’s a simple page with only four features, but these are fabulous features, including a weekly audio legislative review, a regular discussion featuring Sen. John Edwards, a half-hour weekly broadcast on issues facing North Carolina and a year-in-review features. Very nice. . .”

Congratulations again for a job well done.

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