The Guardian’s site scooped the prize for best online newspaper for a second successive year, while BBC News was named best news website for the sixth time in the past five years.
Judges named National Geographic best online magazine and NPR best radio site, while washingtonpost.com and BBC News were chosen as best online newspaper and best news site respectively in the parallel People’s Choice section, voted for by 300,000 web users.
Dubbed the “Oscars of the internet”, the Webbys debuted at the arrival of the online content industry in the mid-1990s and are judged annually by a panel of 535 judges at the International Academy of the Digital Arts and Sciences. Growing to include 69 categories and 5,500 entrants this year, the ceremony asks winners to limit acceptance speeches to just five words.
Guardian Unlimited has now topped the best online newspaper field in both of the years since the category was added in 2005. The site recently launched its Comment Is Free opinion portal, is widely read in North America and beat off competition from rivals including the Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice.
Editor-in-chief Emily Bell wrote to readers: “[It is] particularly pleasing in a challenging year, when we have faced more competition than ever before. I am extremely proud of the team and everything they have achieved, not just this year but since we launched Guardian Unlimited in 1999.”
Meanwhile, the BBC also scooped the best community site honour for its Digital Lives project in Cumbria.
“We are delighted to land the double again,” said BBC head of news interactive Pete Clifton. “It is a fitting tribute to the dedication of our journalists, designers and technical staff, and we are proud to have beaten off such a competitive field.
“Of course, getting the vote from web users around the world is particularly pleasing.”