San Diego Three Web sites owned and operated by The World Company are among the best in the nation.
The World Company, which publishes the Journal-World and owns World Online and Sunflower Broadband's 6News and 6Productions, won four "EPpy Awards" on Friday for its three major Web sites -- ljworld.com, KUsports.com and lawrence.com.
The awards were presented at Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek magazines' eighth annual Interactive Media Conference in San Diego.
The company won an EPpy in each of four categories: "Best Overall Newspaper Site," "Best Internet News Service," "Best Internet Sports Service" and "Best Internet Entertainment Service."
"It's very striking -- your online team is one or two thinking steps ahead of the rest of the competition," said Janice Castro, one of 40 judges who picked the winners.
The World Company was the only media company in the competition to win four awards. The Washington Post and New York Times won two each.
The World Company was a finalist in seven categories, also more than any other media company in the contest. The category in which The World Company competed put it up against major metropolitan newspapers from around the world.
The winners were picked from more than 400 entries.
"We're so blessed to have not only talented Web designers, producers and editors, but extremely talented writers, photographers and news broadcasters who make building great local Web sites easy," said Rob Curley, online general manager. He and Dolph Simons III, operations manager for The World Company, were in San Diego to receive the awards.
"Winning awards is a ton of fun," Curley said, "but that's not why we do this. We just want to build the best Web sites for those who live in Lawrence and for all the KU fans in the Jayhawk nation."
Dan Simons, director of the World Company's New Ventures, said he appreciated the national recognition.
"It's outstanding. It's almost beyond belief," he said. "I know our people are talented. I know they're passionate about their work. But when you have an unbiased panel of judges looking at our work . . . . and saying we're the best -- that's amazing. I couldn't be more proud of our people."
Ralph Gage, Journal-World general manager, pointed out that the awards recognized more than Web sites.
"This recognition is outstanding not only for the exceptional talent of Rob Curley and the World Online staff, but also for the Journal-World and 6News-6Productions staffers whose work is incorporated for worldwide distribution through these world-class Web sites," he said.
Castro, an assistant professor in new media at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, said the overall attitude of The World Company was apparent in its presence on the Internet.
"One tendency of newspapers is to be tentative, to be afraid the Internet is going to overshadow what they're doing," she said. "Few enough of the big operations aren't afraid to go all-out -- The Washington Post is one -- but on the smaller level, you can see the innovation in what you're doing there."