Neighborhood news site wins national journalism award

Next Door Media’s PhinneyWood.com site in Seattle has won the prestigious national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for deadline reporting.

Founder Cory Bergman says:

PhinneyWood provided around-the-clock coverage of the series of devastating Greenwood arson fires last October, routinely breaking new developments in one of Seattle’s biggest stories of the year. Coverage included minute-by-minute updates posted on PhinneyWood and Twitter, as well as photos, video and an interactive map of the arsonist’s trail of destruction.

After the fires, PhinneyWood provided dozens of stories on the community outpouring and efforts by burned-out businesses to recover. Last week the suspect in the case admitted to 11 counts of arson.

In many ways, the award belongs to the neighborhood of Greenwood itself. Neighbors helped provide PhinneyWood with a steady stream of tips, comments and tweets.

This is Next Door Media’s second national journalism award in the last year. MyBallard.com won a national Online Journalism Award last October for community collaboration, beating several large metro newspapers for the honor.