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VOA Website Wins Online News Association Award

Middle East Voices website
Middle East Voices website
Middle East Voices, a collaborative Voice of America social journalism project that combines traditional reporting, commentary, and the stories of people living through the Arab Spring, has been honored with a 2012 Online Journalism Award for “Topical Reporting.”

The awards, which were announced Saturday at the 2012 Online News Association Conference in San Francisco, recognize excellence in digital journalism.

“The competition was very stiff, and we are so proud of what the small but dedicated team at Middle East Voices has been able to accomplish,” VOA Director David Ensor said. “It is an excellent example of how VOA journalists are working with social media and online tools to tell stories in a meaningful way, and to help others share stories about the events that are shaping their lives,” Ensor said.

Middle East Voices emphasizes audience input and engagement. The site features essays from leading thinkers and average citizens. During the final phase of the Egyptian presidential runoff election in June, radio and TV reports from Egypt were supplemented by live-tweeting from events and daily streams of stories and photos using Storify and Facebook to showcase events in real time.

Middle East Voices has sought to tell the stories of the Arab Spring not simply through our own individual voices, but collaboratively, via those who are on the ground living the events,” says web reporter Cecily Hilleary. “Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter are simply a means for us to mine those voices.”

The other finalists in the “Topical Reporting, Large” site category were CNN, The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The finalists were selected by industry-leading journalists and digital media professionals. The winners were selected by a panel of judges at the University of Miami under the auspices of the School of Communication in Coral Gables, Florida.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959 or write to Additional information can be found at the VOA Public Relations website at, and at the main English language news site at