August 4, 2009

Msnbc.com captured the National Press Club’s Online Journalism Award recognizing its original web-based journalism for “The Elkhart Project” (http://elkhartproject.msnbc.com).  The Elkhart Project won the National Press Club’s (NPC) Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award for its dramatic multimedia presentation of how one community hard-hit by the recession is struggling to survive and preserve its community spirit.  Msnbc.com launched The Elkhart Project in April 2009 as a special editorial initiative to tell the story of the nation’s economic crisis through the eyes of the residents of Elkhart, Ind.  The Washington-based National Press Club (NPC), the world’s most renowned press club, presented the 2009 awards Monday evening after evaluating 139 entries in 18 categories.

“Msnbc.com is thrilled to be recognized by the National Press Club for our original journalism and innovative approach to presenting compelling stories through The Elkhart Project,” said Jennifer Sizemore, editor-in-chief of msnbc.com.  “Because Elkhart’s stories are America’s stories, this initiative has allowed us to cover this catastrophic national issue in a relevant and personal way.  The Elkhart Project continues to evolve and has become an interactive forum where consumers from every part of the U.S. can find and share stories of hope and perseverance.”

Msnbc.com journalists from across the newsroom are involved in the project.  Msnbc.com is working in partnership with The Elkhart Truth and eTruth.com, the city’s local newspaper and its website, to share news gathering resources to broaden and deepen its coverage.

Msnbc.com’s journalists also collaborate with The Elkhart Truth, the city’s local newspaper, to share news gathering resources to broaden and deepen its coverage.

“When times are tough in the news business, it is especially important to celebrate excellence in journalism,” said NPC President Donna Leinwand.  “These reporters represent the best of our craft. Their articles have exposed critical problems for consumers, kept our government and politicians honest and solved community problems. We are thrilled to honor them.”

Msnbc.com and NBC News will feature special coverage of President Obama’s visit to Elkhart tomorrow.  While in Elkhart, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd will pose questions from msnbc.com users and Elkhart residents to the President.  Msnbc.com will feature the answers as well as exclusive video, slideshows and interactive features from The Elkhart Project at http://elkhartproject.msnbc.com.  The Elkhart Truth, “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and MSNBC TV will also feature excerpts of the interview.

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