For the second time in three years, The Times' website, gainesvilletimes.com, has been named the South's best website among papers its size by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest.
The SNPA chose gainesvilletimes.com as the Best Web Site Design for papers in the under 50,000 circulation category.
Publisher Dennis Stockton said he was proud of the newspaper’s website and the quality news coverage it provides.
“We think gainesvilletimes.com provides a great option for those who prefer to get information online instead of, or in addition to, our traditional print newspaper,” Stockton said.
“The quality of the content on our website is indicative of the effort we make to serve as the primary source of credible news and information for the communities we serve,” he said. “To be acknowledged by our peers in the industry as one of the nation’s best is certainly an honor, and a tribute to the hard work of an exceptional team of employees. But the true measure of our online success can be found in the nearly 2 million page views our site receives every month.”
The Times relaunched gainesvilletimes.com in October 2007 as an interactive site with video and other multimedia along with regular news updates 24 hours a day. The site also won the SNPA’s top website award in 2008. The site finished second in 2009.
The site also earned honors as Georgia’s best daily Web site in the Georgia Press Association awards in 2008.
Reporters and editors from all newsroom departments have produced hundreds of videos and audio clips since the relaunch in 2007.
“This award is a testament to the people in our newsroom who are fully committed to producing a vibrant, interactive and up-to-date website,” said Executive Editor Mitch Clarke. “This talented group of journalists believes in our mission to be the best, most respected news organization in Northeast Georgia, and it shows in the quality of both our print and online products. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
The Times has been named the general excellence winner for the past two years by the Georgia Press Association.
According to the SNPA news release, judges didn’t consider how many hits a website attracts but looked at the overall Internet experience that a reader visiting the page should expect to have. Awards were based on ease of navigation, search capabilities, attractive design, a promotional avenue for the print product, plus any extras offered by the site.
Second-place honors in this category recognized the Web site of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate, www.victoriaadvocate.com. Third place went to the New Braunfels (Texas) Herald-Zeitung, www.herald-zeitung.com.