Nexo wins at ONA 2017 and becomes the first Brazilian outlet to be honored with excellence award in online journalism

On Oct. 7, the Brazilian digital newspaper Nexo won a 2017 Online Journalism Award (OJA) in the category "General Excellence in Online Journalism - small newsrooms.” As a result, the outlet became the first in the country to win the top category of the prize from the Online News Association (ONA), which recognizes the excellence of digital journalism around the world.

Exclusively digital and based in São Paulo, Nexo was launched in 2015 with a bet on journalism of context, innovating in how it approached information and in the way it is presented. In the Brazilian media outlet, OJA judges recognized “integrated interactive visualizations that make for a rich user experience, the high quality of its journalism and creative dedication to delighting and informing audiences on a variety of platforms."

For Paula Miraglia, one of the founders of Nexo, the category in which the outlet was awarded "reflects the ambition of our model.” "A journalism of rigor in the quality of information and data, with diversity of perspectives and sources, that explores all the possibilities offered by digital and therefore, is always innovating from the point of view of user experience," she told the Knight Center.

The award also "reaffirms the possibility that an outlet can be exclusively digital, young and yet relevant and contribute to public debate," she said.

With nearly 30 people on its team, Nexo won the OJA 2017 award in the "small newsroom" category, competing with prestigious U.S. online publications such as the Texas Tribune and the Marshall Project. The award also acknowledged the "overall excellence in online journalism" by Canada’s The Globe and Mail and the Swiss Les Temps in the "large newsroom" and "medium newsroom" categories, respectively.

Nexo was also the only Latin American outlet nominated for OJA 2017. The awards have been held since 2000 by the ONA and this year mainly recognized outlets from the United States. European media such as Britain's The Guardian and Italy’s La Reppublica, as well as  Al Jazeera, of Qatar, also won in other categories.

The Brazilian digital newspaper is one of the representatives of outlets launched in Brazil in the last five years that invest in "innovative, inspirational and independent" journalism, or the 3i’s. This is even the name of the festival being organized by Nexo and seven other Brazilian native digital organizations which will be held on Nov. 11 and 12 in Rio de Janeiro.

The 3i Festival "aims to be a meeting and reflection space in this moment of innovation in Latin American journalism, allowing for exchanges of experience, support and learning," Miraglia explained. According to her, the collective event "shows that today there is a diversity of journalism initiatives in terms of nature, niche and scale, all of them innovating in some way."

"What is clear is that the ecosystem of journalism is increasingly diverse, with multiple actors, and that this will be a feature of the future of the industry," she said.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.