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Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2000

Salon, the Internet magazine, and MSNBC.com, the World Wide Web site of the cable channel, have been honored for general excellence in Columbia University's first Online Journalism Awards.

They were among 12 winners announced Friday during the first national conference of the Online News Association at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, which also administers the Pulitzer Prizes for newspaper journalism. More than 600 online news organizations from 12 countries submitted entries.

"The awards are just another indicator that a lot of people are going online for their news," said Sreenath Sreenivasan, a Columbia journalism professor who is the administrator of the awards. "The Pulitzers do not accept Web sites that are not affiliated with newspapers. The online awards are the only ones to cover all the various forms of Web journalism."

In five categories, there were two awards, one for journalism done for the Internet and another for journalism done in collaboration with media partners. A sixth category had only one award, online commentary.

In addition to its award for general excellence, Salon won in the enterprise category for revealing that the White House had financially rewarded television networks for including antidrug messages in scripts. The Associated Press and The New York Times on the Web were co-winners in the collaborative award in that category.

The A.P. won for its online coverage of the American military's involvement in the July 1950 slaying of civilians at No Gun Ri in the Korean War. The Times was honored for its online presentation of the series "How Race Is Lived in America."

BabyCenter.com won for service journalism. Judges said it offered new parents "a complete guide to their baby's health for the first 12 months of life." The other winner was Cleveland.com for a look at nursing homes.

In the category of creative use of the medium, APBNews.com, which filed for bankruptcy in July, was selected as the Internet winner for its coverage of the unsolved slayings of nine women whose bodies were found scattered around the Great Basin region of Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. "Audio, video, scanned police reports, maps and photos of the victims make the stories come alive in a way that print publications couldn't do," the judges wrote.

TimesUnion.com, the Web site of The Times Union of Albany, also won in that category for its collaborative coverage of the Amadou Diallo case.

In the breaking-news category, CNET.com was recognized for coverage of the Microsoft antitrust ruling and ABCNews.com for its coverage of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle last year.

Emily Prager of Oxygen.com won in the online commentary category, for her articles on subjects including the presidential election and being accepted at a private school.

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