Best Website

Georgia Associated Press, Class B TV, 2008

2008's included a side menu and larger video player.
2008's included a side menu and larger video player.

In 2008, for the second year in a row, was awarded Best Website from the Georgia Associated Press, Television Class B. Class B encompasses all Georgia markets outside of Atlanta.

We had moved to a large central video player rather than a small player in the right column, using the logic that we should put the focus on our main product: visual news. We also spotlighted other important elements, putting weather right in the header and a flashy menu in the left column. (This menu was no longer supported after the next template update from corporate in 2009.)

The large video player was very unique; no other television news station had one that size in that placement, and some stations didn’t have video players at all. The player not only put our most visually compelling content front and center, but was also extremely attractive to advertisers.

I felt the side menu was needed in order to help site visitors find the many features available on the site. I was sorry to see it go in 2009, but thankfully the new template allowed for drop-downs in the top menu.

It’s hard to know what about our site appealed to the AP, but I’m convinced that the following were big factors: our unique design, the ease of finding content, the use of tasteful rather than obtrusive advertising, and above all our commitment to posting each and every news story online in a timely manner with plenty of supplemental materials.