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ONA logo AxisPhilly won the top award of the Online News Association at the ONA national convention in Atlanta Saturday (Oct. 19).

The website was the winner of the 2013 ONA Award for General Excellence in the small site category.  The Texas Tribune won the General Excellence Award for medium-sized sites; the New York Times won for large sites.

ONA counts as its member most news web sites in the United States, plus several overseas.  Its General Excellence Award is the top award given to web sites.

AxisPhilly, which went online in February, was cited as “a great value for readers and a great model for the industry,” according to Joshua Hatch, chair of the ONA Awards Committee.

The site also was a finalist in two other categories for its coverage that centered on AVI, Philadelphia’s citywide real estate reassessment program.  The coverage included articles and an interactive map that let readers discover the new values of their properties.

“What impressed the judges so much about AxisPhilly was the focus and the quality of the work,” said Hatch. “With an incredibly small team, AxisPhilly realized it had to pick just a few issues to explore in depth. And that’s exactly what you did. “

Hatch said judges also commented on “how beautiful the site is and how easy it was to use.”

Tom Ferrick, interim editor and director of AxisPhilly, said he was “honored and delighted by recognition by our peers.”

“A lot of hard work by a small cadre of people went into producing our stories, columns and interactive databases. They are truly deserving of this award.”

Axis Philly is a public interest news site funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.  It is affiliated with the Temple Center for Public Interest Journalism.

This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Oct. 20.