Me (James Dacey, right) receiving the award from Noel Young, one of the judges
By James Dacey
I was absolutely delighted to be in London on Thursday night on behalf of physicsworld.com, to receive the award for Best Specialist Site for Journalism at the Online Media Awards. It was humbling just to be shortlisted for the award alongside the likes of popular sports sites Espn.com and foxsports.com – but to win was really fantastic!
The awards, which are sponsored by the Press Association, are said to “identify the best and boldest of online news-based creativity and also the most original.” Websites in the different categories were assessed by a panel of 11 judges based in a number of countries including the US, China and Australia.
Other winners included bbc.co.uk and theguardian.co.uk, which shared the award for Best Site For News-Led Journalism. And the biggest haul of the evening went to thesundaytimes.co.uk, which took six awards including Best Video Journalism and Best Campaigning/Investigative Journalism.
The award ceremony was held at the swanky Marriott Hotel in Kensington and the opening address was given by Gordon Young, editor of The Drum, the magazine that organized the event. “We believe that online media is really becoming a discipline on its own,” he said. “It’s important to establish an event that gets down to the business of comparing like with like and really celebrating and appreciating the very best of these skills.”
Flattering words indeed! I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely convinced that we’d win the prize, largely because we were up against some websites with far more general remits. But it’s great that a specialist site like ours can occasionally get recognition from the mainstream. Of course, it helps that it’s a really exciting time for physics right now. You’ve got particle physicists closing in on exciting new understandings of nature at the Tevatron and the LHC. Then there are exoplanet hunters who seem to be discovering new alien worlds every other day. I could go on.
But online media – including videos and embedded audio clips – is bringing new opportunities for us to tell these exciting stories to new audiences in different ways. We’ve plunged headfirst into digital publishing in the last few years, having existed as a print publication for over two decades. Who knows how you will be able to digest Physics World content two decades from now. But whatever form it takes, I’m sure it will be the fascinating stories from the world of physics that will give the magazine its enduring appeal.