Post-Gazette wins top online award for Pipeline website

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Pipeline, the Post-Gazette's site dedicated to Marcellus Shale news, won online journalism's highest honor Saturday night, taking the prize for Best Specialty Site at the Online Journalism Awards ceremony in Boston.

Pipeline ( won the prize for niche site housed within a traditional newsroom, besting national competition like USAToday and tying with NPRMusic.

The judges called Pipeline an "innovative partnership on a very important story" and "a hard and an admirable journalistic endeavor." The Online Journalism Awards is the most important online journalism competition in the nation, and was presented before 1,200 digital news practitioners at the annual convention.

The site launched in late February as part of the Post-Gazette's ongoing coverage of the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom and brings together a team of local news partners also exploring the issue.

Pipeline is run by a team including project leader Erich Schwartzel, Elisabeth Ponsot, Laura Olson, Laura Schneiderman, Steve Mellon and Matt Kennedy. It is overseen by Deputy Managing Editor Mary Leonard.

Pipeline launched with a grant from J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University.

"This award is both a tribute to a remarkable team and a symbol of the PG's evolution to a news gathering company operating on many platforms," said David M. Shribman, executive editor. "This is both a moment of pride and a symbol of our commitment."

A second Post-Gazette entry, the '60 Bucs, was named a finalist in ONA's Multimedia Presentation category for medium-sized news sites. The project, produced by Andrew Rush, Steve Mellon and Robert Dvorchak, was a retrospective of the Pirates' magical run to the 1960 World Series championship.


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