Local news websites have come a long way since the first published pages on the World Wide Web from major national outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post. In the 2020s, local publishers have transformed their sites to showcase highly relevant content with a smooth user experience.

The Local Media Digital Innovation Awards for Best Local Website recognize nine of the best all-around local media websites. Judges noted exceptional site design and organization, brand continuity, local content, opportunities for user engagement, and more. Here we share a glimpse of these award-winning local news websites.

Small website winners — 250,000 monthly unique visitors or less 

1st place: InvestigateWest | invw.org | Judge’s note: Visually driven site, easy to navigate, very responsive.

2nd place: Volume One | http://volumeone.org | Judge’s note: A lot of information but easy to navigate by subject and subgroups.

3rd place: West Texan Media Group, LLC | www.bigbendsentinel.com | Judge’s note: Very clean and easy to navigate, doesn’t overwhelm visitors.

Medium website winners — 250,001 to 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place: Cascade Public Media | www.Crosscut.com | Judge’s note: Clean design, easy to navigate. Interactive and responsive.

2nd place: NowMedia Group.com | www.KelownaNow.com | Judge’s note: Very nice accessibility options – I liked that you could listen to the articles and it was an easy-to-find option integrated into the design.

Large site winners – over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st place: OutThere Colorado / Colorado Springs Gazette | www.outtherecolorado.com | Judge’s note: Visually driven site, easy to navigate, very responsive.

2nd place: News 12 Digital | http://www.news12.com

3rd place: WJXT/News4Jax | www.news4jax.com | Judge’s note: Important information and visualization on the home page, easy to navigate.

Thanks to AdPay for sponsoring this awards category.