Surfing event coverage wins DFMie for Santa Cruz Sentinel

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Headline: Santa Cruz native Peter Mel charges to win at Mavericks Invitational
Outlet: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Journalist: Santa Cruz Sentinel staff
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Multimedia coverage of the Mavericks Invitational big wave surfing event in Half Moon Bay won the Northern California DFMie for the staff of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Editor Don Miller said the coverage generated more than 100,000 page views, during one of the world’s most famous big wave surfing events, which included seven surfers from Santa Cruz, called on 48 hours notice. Coverage included a gallery of historical Mavericks photos, a liveblog of photos and updates, collaboration with Santa Cruz Waves, as well as a Storify and sports staff coverage of the competition.

Judges praised the surfing package:

With glorious photos, an online community conversation and well-reported stories, this coverage seems to hit the Digital First Media target dead-on. As a reader, I felt pulled into the event and was able to enjoy it immensely, even after the fact.

Another judge:

I particularly liked the social elements the staff put together, including a Twitter feed of the surfing participants. The coverage was nicely packaged as one-stop-shopping for surfing enthusiasts. I also enjoyed a photo gallery of past incarnations of the event. Dynamic images displayed well. If you were a community member interested in this surfing event, the Sentinel had it all for you.

And another:

The Santa Cruz Sentinel covered the surfing competition thoroughly both visually and through social engagement — as this event clearly required. Surfing is a very visual sport, and the  Sentinel did a great job of incorporating visual elements into its coverage. I thought the slideshow from past events was a good idea and provided readers a look back. Socially, the curation of posts into a Storify added to the story by offering different perspectives. I also thought the stream of tweets from surfers on the site’s sidebar was a nice touch. Incorporating Instagram added to the visual storytelling as well as the social engagement. In addition to finding every possible angle to cover this story digitally, the Sentinel staff covered it with a traditional news story. All of these story methods worked well together, and the Sentinel dominated its coverage of the surfing contest.

Santa CruzOther NorCal finalists were a team from the Marin Independent Journal who covered the first gun buyback in Marin County and Chico Enterprise Record reporter Joe Shufelberger’s coverage of Chico fans at the National Football Conference playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, led by Chico’s favorite son Aaron Rodgers.

The Marin Independent Journal and Santa Cruz Sentinel newsrooms operate as part of the NorCal cluster, but both are part of the Bay Area News Group for business purposes.

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