News Media Alliance Establishes John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development

Honors 20-year veteran staff member, recognizes news organizations demonstrating outstanding audience engagement strategies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arlington, VA – The News Media Alliance has established a new industry award, the John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development, in honor of their long-time colleague. Murray, former Vice President of Audience Development, who was with the organization for 20 years, passed away in 2018. He was known across the industry for helping Alliance news media organization members improve audience development and engagement, and for convening members to share best practices.

The John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development will recognize three newsrooms annually that have demonstrated throughout the year, on a broad scale, exceptional innovation and sophistication in understanding content strategy as part of audience development. The recipients of the award will also have demonstrated an effective relationship with editorial staff and a measurable impact on business performance.

Alliance President and CEO David Chavern stated, “In a time of extraordinary transition for the news industry, the news organizations that are best positioned for long-lasting success are those that are building strong relationships with an engaged audience, underpinned by in-depth knowledge and innovative strategies. Perhaps no one understood that better than John Murray, and we wanted to honor his memory with an award in his name that reflected what he did best.”

The recipients of the John P. Murray Award will be selected each year by a group of Alliance and American Press Institute (API) executives. The selection panel will be looking for deep insight into ‘on and off platform’ audience behavior and intelligent use of social and search analytics. As a benchmark of nominees’ success, the panel will use the seven ‘table stakes’ capacities of modern news publishing, which were developed as part of the Knight Lenfest Local News Transformation program, now managed by API.

The recipients of this year’s John P. Murray Award will be announced via a press release; invited to co-host an Alliance member webinar to share best practices; and receive an award to display at their property. The Alliance will also have a larger plaque at its headquarters, to which it will add the names of the recipients for each year.

Alliance members can nominate themselves or other newsrooms for consideration for the award. Nominations will be accepted from the Alliance membership through November 15, 2019. The three recipients, one in each publication size category (small, medium and large), will be announced in December.

Nominations should be sent to Alliance President and CEO David Chavern at dchavern@newsmediaalliance.org and should include a cover letter up to 400 words explaining why they should receive the award, including any examples of innovation and effectiveness in implementing successful audience development strategies leading to quantifiable outcomes.

John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development Rules:

  1. The John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development will be awarded to three newsrooms annually – one in each size category (small – 50 or fewer employees; medium – between 51 and 250 employees; and large – more than 250 employees).
  2. The recipients will be selected by a small panel of Alliance and API executives from the nominees and will be evaluated using the seven ‘table stakes’ capacities of modern news publishing, which were developed as part of the Knight Lenfest Local News Transformation program, now managed by API.
  3. Alliance newspaper members may submit nominations via email to Alliance President & CEO David Chavern (dchavern@newsmediaalliance.org) by the designated deadline for consideration. They may nominate themselves or another Alliance newspaper member, and they may submit more than one nomination. Non-Alliance member newspaper nominations will not be considered.
  4. Should there be a lack of qualifying nominations for any category, the selection panel may contribute nominations and/or designate a recipient of its choice.
  5. The Alliance will notify the recipients that they have been selected and they will have the option to accept or decline the award.
  6. Confirmed recipients will be announced via a News Media Alliance press release.

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Media Contact:
Lindsey Loving
Manager, Communications
571.366.1009
lindsey@newsmediaalliance.org

The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.

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