The Center for Investigative Reporting won an Online Journalism Award tonight at the annual Online News Association conference in Atlanta.

CIR won in the Topical Reporting category for the series Returning Home to Battle, by reporter Aaron Glantz with Shane Shifflett. The ongoing series focuses on the widespread shortcomings of the federal government to care for veterans.

It was the second year in a row that work from CIR has been honored by ONA for excellence in online news.

You can see a complete list of finalists on the ONA website. ONA conference attendees used #ONA13 and #OJA13 on Twitter to capture the reaction in the ballroom of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Atlanta.  

CIR had finalists in four categories. Returning Home to Battle also was a finalist for the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism. 

Broken Shield was a finalist for the Gannett Foundation Award for Watchdog Journalism. Broken Shield, by reporter Ryan Gabrielson, revealed systemic failures of a specialized state police force to protect some of California’s most vulnerable residents – men and women with severe disabilities living in the state’s five developmental centers.

In Jennifer’s Room,” one of the multimedia videos produced for that series, was recognized in the Feature category. Former CIR senior multimedia producer Carrie Ching produced “In Jennifer’s Room” based on Gabrielson’s reporting. Freelance artist Marina Luz drew the illustrations.

ONA gives out 29 awards – most of them determined by the size of a news organization (small, medium or large). CIR was entered in the “medium” category for three of the awards. (The Gannett Foundation Award for Watchdog Journalism is open to news organizations of all sizes.)

CIR won top honors at ONA last year for Broken Shield, taking home the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism for medium-sized organizations. But some of the project work fell into a new contest year, allowing it to be entered for work that had not been previously honored with an Online Journalism Award.

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